Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Board Briefs for the Monday, November 9, 2015 Regular Board Meeting

Below is a synopsis of the board meeting actions and discussions that took place at the November 9, 2015 regular board meeting held at City Hall:

  1. No one spoke during Citizens Speak.
  2. Grant Elementary students demonstrated how each student led their own parent-teacher conference by sharing their student data notebooks with each board member and members of the audience.
  3. FFA team members were honored for their outstanding representation at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky in October. Muscatine’s Ag Sales team won the National Championship with a gold rating and high overall team. Individual honors went to: Alyssa Scholz – gold rating, Sam Burmeister – gold rating, Tiffany Tomlin – 2nd individual, and MaKayla Kellor – 1st high individual. The Muscatine FFA Floriculture team finished gold and 6th over all. Rachel Schoer won 5th overall individually.  In addition, Anna Brooks received her American Degree.  
  4. The consent agenda was approved that included:
    1. The minutes of the October 12, 2015 Regular Meeting and the minutes of the October 19, 2015 Special Session.
    2. The Bills and Claims against the district dated November 9, 2015.
    3. The Personnel Recommendations of:
      1. Resignations - Certified Staff: Rebecca Rodocker - Interim Executive Curriculum Director (effective at the end of the school year) and Jennifer Hampton - Elementary Special Education (effective December 23, 2015);
      2. Resignations - Schedule C: Dave Kerr - MHS Assistant Volleyball and Tom Randleman - MHS Head Boys' Golf; 
      3. 2015-16 New Hires - Certified Staff: Elizabeth Vogeler - Mulberry 1st Grade - .375 FTE, and Amelia Johnston - Madison Special Ed; 
      4. 2016-17 New Hire - Administration: Mike McGrory - Assistant Superintendent; 
      5. 2015-16 New Hires - Schedule C: Ali Bennett - Assistant Cheer .5 FTE, Mollie LaRue - Assistant Cheer - .5 FTE, Rebecca Sund - MHS Assistant Girls Track, and Alissa Castle - MHS Assistant Volleyball.
  5. The board approved administration to seek modified supplemental amounts from the School Budget Review Committee (SBRC), and to attend such meeting as necessary to accomplish the same, of:
    1. $576,984.67 (or as determined by the IA Dept of Ed) to provide 100% spending authority for school year 2014-15 actual cost of ELL program instruction.
    2. $267,372 for 2015-16 on-time funding of open enrolled out students not on previous year's certified enrollment.
    3. $205,627 for the cost of LEP instruction beyond 5 years.
  6. Approved the Request for Proposals on the following:
    1. Commercial Insurance Broker
    2. Employee Benefits Broker
    3. Commercial Insurance Carrier
    4. Workman's Comp Carrier
    5. Employee Benefit's Carrier
  7. Approved the purchase of five 77-passenger Bluebird Vision Buses for a total cost of  $182,042.
  8. Approved the MHS Gymnasium Sound System Remodel in the amount of $18,500 as proposed by Communications Engineering Company.
  9. Approved the infrastructure to facilitate propane bus usage.The cost will total approximately $20,000 which includes concrete and wiring. 
  10. The following teaching staff presented on the Teacher Leadership Compensation grant program: Julie Calderon (Franklin ELL), Shawn Larson-Walgren (CMS ELA), Jason Stoltzfus (MHS Social Studies), Jillian Poppe (Madison 4th Grade Math and Science), Jen Keltner (MHS Librarian), and Cheryl Reed (Franklin 1st grade). The teaching staff shared how the TLC grant impacted them personally with instructional support and curriculum development. A Google document with additional links that has information for staff and the public regarding TLC is available at: Teacher Leadership Compensation Update 2015-2016.
  11. Director of Finance Jean Garner presented the financial statements for August and September and also for the Food & Nutrition program.
  12. Superintendent Riibe reported on district enrollment. This October's certified enrollment shows the district has a net loss of 173 students which translates to a loss of $1.4 million dollars in funding and spending authority. He shared that from the end of last school year to this fall, 386 students exited our district. 287 students moved out of the community and 99 others exited for various reasons. Trend data shows that Muscatine County's birth rate has been declining since 2001 which has future implications of continued declining enrollment.  He shared the district's response to this decrease in enrollment:
    1. Protect classrooms and the learning process.
    2. Identify different models and paradigms for service delivery.
      1. Explore different custodial schedules and assignments.
      2. Explore the efficiency of our current elementary model.
      3. Explore long range reconfigurations of grade levels and school sites.
  13. Other announcements/meetings:
    1. November 18 & 19 is the Iowa Association of School Board's State Convention in Des Moines.
    2. There is a two-hour early dismissal for the Thanksgiving holiday on November 25.
    3. November 26-27 - no school.
    4. December 14  is the next regular board meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
    5. The draft policy manual from IASB is ready for review by the board. A poll of possible meeting dates and times will be sent to the board. 
    6. The high school gate closure times were announced for the public. The gates are closed beginning at 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then again at 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. seven days per week.

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