district to seek $239,000 override
The school board decided to ask for a $239,000 override levy at their regular April meeting Monday, April 18.
This amount is $24,000 less than the override passed last year.
This amount is needed to balance a budget that would maintain the status quo. It will be the fifth straight year that there are no salary increases for the staff although there was a possibility the state legislature might approve a 1% increase if there’s enough carry-over in funds. This would be just a pass-through and wouldn’t affect other parts of the budget.
The board has scheduled a question and answer workshop on the levy for Tuesday, May 10 at 7 p.m. in the Elementary School cafeteria.
The levy election will be held Tuesday, May 17 with the polls open from noon until 8 p.m. at the usual polling places.
In other business, superintendent Stan Kress presented the specs for redoing the Middle School heating system. They are looking at individual heat pump units for each classroom. This would be for the upper part of the building although Kress said he would ask for an alternative for the 5th-6th grade wing in case estimates are low enough. They would also put some similar units in some of the high school classrooms. Kress said they have about $85,000 available in the plant facilities fund for the projects. Kress said that Rhonda Wemhoff will take the specs and get the project put out for bid.
Results of the Direct Writing and Direct Math tests were reviewed. Scoring is on a 1 to 4 basis with 2 considered basic and 3 as proficient. 76% of the Prairie students tested were at 3.0 or above compared to 61% statewide. Prairie had no one below a 2.0 while statewide averages show 7% of the students below 2.0.
Two hiring recommendations were made. Darby Lamb was recommended as the new math teacher to replace Rob Lawler who has resigned effective the end of the school year. Kathy Riener was recommended for hire as the new cook. Both recommendations were approved by the board.
Della Gehring was appointed by the board to be the representative on the Kantola-Morgan scholarship review committee. Due to low interest rates the scholarship will be $100 this year.
In principal reports, Rene’ Forsmann reported that ISAT testing started Monday at the Elementary School and will continue through the first week of May. Idaho Reading Indicator testing will be the second week in May.
The Elementary spring concert will be Thursday, May 26.
She reported that she and some staff members attended a Title I conference in Boise where they were presented updates in the No Child Left Behind act. Prairie schools’ Title I program will be audited this year.
She said they’ll complete the fish project on the 27th when they release the fish.
They also had a Lewis & Clark presentation on Monday.
Dave Snodgrass reported there will be a Band Fest this Wednesday at Potlatch. The Middle School will have a Lewis & Clark presentation in May. He said they’ve also been invited to a big Lewis & Clark celebration set for Kamiah in September.
The Middle School starts ISAT testing on Wednesday.
Mike Bundy reported that the Crane family will be hosting a foreign exchange student from Macedonia next year. Macedonia is north of Greece and used to be the southern part of Yugoslavia.
He said from their survey results respect, school spirit and communication with parents were the things that needed to be improved.
ISAT testing for the high school will be May 9-12.
The board adjourned to a short executive session at 8:40 p.m. The next regular meeting has been changed to Tuesday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m. This way their regular meeting will be the same night that they canvass the ballots from the levy election.