The school board approved a minor change to the recently adopted school calendar at their regular May meeting Monday, May 15.
Several teachers felt there wasn’t enough time in two early outs to get all the spring parent-teacher conferences done and asked if they could have a full day in April. The board passed a motion approving a full day off on April 6. This also necessitated adding a day at the end of the year so school will end on Wednesday, June 6, 2007 instead of June 5.
Kellie Bruner was declared elected to a 3-year term as trustee for zone 5 as no one else filed for the position.
Spring Idaho Standards and Achievement Test results were presented to the board. Through all the classes taking the test the results were very good with the vast majority of students testing as proficient or advanced. Also, for the most part, there was improvement shown over the results from last Spring.
The board also decided to adopt Grangeville’s method for determining costs for transportation of non-public school students as it appeared to be the least expensive option and has already passed muster with the state. Grangeville calculates costs by taking the district’s cost per mile for busing and dividing it by the number of seats available (rather than actual students filling seats). For the Cottonwood district this would by $1.88 per mile divided by an average 50 seats per bus to come up with a cost of 3.76 cents per mile per seat. Each bus driver already keeps logs of who rides each day so it would be little problem to calculate based on actual ridership. The district had been charging $1 per year but in a recent transportation review by the state they were told they were in violation of state law. Kress said he discussed this with the state and was told that yes, Grangeville had passed the audit using this method of calculation. Superintendent Stan Kress recommended billing on a quarterly basis. The board asked him to contact Summit on this.
A bid of $45,200 for new bleachers at the Middle School was approved. Rene’ Forsmann said they should be installed by Sept. 30. They are taking the old bleacher boards to the consignment sale to see what they can get for them. Kress said the new bleachers will be 78 feet long where the old ones were 80 feet. He said lopping off a foot on each end saved a couple thousand dollars. Upgrading the bleachers became a safety issue as there were some incidents with the old ones in the past year.
A new wellness policy was approved by the board.
Presnell & Gage was approved as the auditor. They submitted a bid of $4,975, up 5.3% from last year.
The emergency closure on April 25 was officially approved. Board chairman John Nida and Dave Snodgrass made the decision to close after the escapes. It was felt the less traffic there was in the search area the better plus the concern about children waiting at unsupervised bus stops was too great a risk.
Two new hires were approved. Katie McCarvel was approved as the new Kindergarten teacher with Allason Zenner to move to third grade. Kress said McCarvel is the bride-to-be of the new doctor that will be coming to St. Mary’s Hospital in September. She was a teacher of the year in the Boise district and has glowing recommendations.
Jeff Martin was approved to replace Dwight Wicks at the Middle School. Wicks is retiring. Martin is currently the softball coach at Culdesac.
A recommendation was made for an assistant football coach to replace Steve Wilson, who has resigned. A couple board members wanted to discuss that further in executive session so no action was taken.
Dina Frei has resigned as the PLATO aide at the high school effective May 19 as she has gained full-time employment elsewhere.
It was reported the negotiations went smoothly. Kress said they were able to offer their first raise in 6 six years. The 3% raise is a pass through as the state provided the additional funds.
Other items discussed in the negotiations were a possible 2 insurance holidays this year instead of one if the funds are available. Paying the insurance premiums from the insurance fund saves the district money as well. The one they took last December saved the district $36,000 in premiums and the employees a collective $21,000. Despite that there is $12,000 more in the insurance fund than there was at this time last year. The program seems to be working very well. Nida reported that district treasurer Denise Uhlenkott helped present this program recently to the county commissioners.
The board approved calling for bids on bus fuel.
In administrative reports Rene’ Forsmann reported on lots of field trips. The school was to hold their science fair the evening of May 16. Their concert is set for Monday, May 22 at 7 p.m.
Dave Snodgrass reported that student body elections were held. Kylie Uhlorn is the president-elect with Daniel Sigler as vice-president-elect.
High school awards are set for May 24 with graduation at 7 p.m. on May 26.
They will hold a summer school session with Darby Duclos as teacher from June 5-30.
Greg Diess reported they are done with testing except for a couple of makeups.
In Kindergarten screening they screened 24 students. There may be a few more that haven’t come through yet.
The elementary concert and science fair were both well attended.
The elementary summer school will be July 10-21 with Kim Schumacher handling the teaching.
They also have several field trips on tap.
Kress reported he attended a meeting with the county commissioners on the Craig-Wyden bill. He said depending on who you talk to it will be renewed at full funding or scrapped altogether. He suspects it will be somewhere in between. There is a rally scheduled for Sept. 16 at Washington, D.C. to support renewal of the bill.
He reported the new school funding law passed will provide an additional $57,101 to the district in maintenance monies. That was the good news. The bad news is that none of the other issues pushed for in the ISEEO lawsuit were addressed.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 8 p.m.
The next regular meeting is set for Monday June 19 at 7 p.m.