Released Time requests course credit for classes
Nick and Cherie McDonough of Prairie Released Time put in a request to have Released Time classes considered for credit at the September meeting of the school board Monday, Sept. 18.
Cherie said they were concerned that the increasing graduation requirements would make it harder for students to fit the Released Time religious classes into their schedules.
They presented some handouts on research done by the Christian Legal Society into legal precedents and court decisions on the matter that show such classes have been accepted for high school credits.
Superintendent Stan Kress said he would like to talk to the State Board of Education about it. Principals Dave Snodgrass and Rene’ Forsmann each raised concerns about certification-classes for credit usually need a certified teacher. Forsmann also was concerned about Average Daily Attendance (ADA) as those students aren’t usually counted during the period they’re in Released Time.
Kress said if approved he would recommend the grade go into the student record as pass/fail rather than a letter grade.
The board will study the matter and get more information about the concerns raised and discuss it again at the October meeting.
Board member Brit Groom has tendered his resignation from the board as he is moving out of the trustee zone he represents. His resignation is effective Oct. 1. The board will be seeking a replacement. The board will also need to elect a new vice-chairman at the next meeting.
The water study has been done for the high school gym. Apparently when the holes were drilled for the new volleyball standards it disturbed things underneath the gym floor. A new drainage system was recommended which Kress estimates would cost $10-$15,000. Money is available in the budget as they knew something like this would be coming when the budget was done. The problem is it may not fix it, because the water could be coming from a new spring under the gym rather than just run-off from the hill. They will present the plans to local contractors and see when the work can be done.
Kress received information from the highway districts about purchasing land between the football field and Primeland’s gas pumps. This would be used to store the Magnesium Chloride the highway districts and the city will be using for dust oiling. Kress said he has some concerns about the measurements on the map provided and would prefer to see the storage tanks further from the football field and track. He will look into this matter further and bring his findings back to the board in October.
Enrollment numbers were reported. There’s not much change from those reported a couple weeks ago in the Chronicle. The Elementary School shows 142 with 1 more coming in October, down from 148 last fall. The Middle School has 127, down from 136 last year. The high school has 145 plus two part-time students, down from 158 last year.
Cheri Holthaus was approved for hire as the Cheerleader Advisor.
The Annual Yearly Progress Report shows Prairie Schools above the state averages nearly across the board. In most cases well above.
Summit Academy’s Busing Contract was approved. They are looking at 3.5 cents per mile per students. This is using the least expensive method they could find that would be approved by the State Board of Education. Mileage is based on from the student’s home to the Elementary School. The District will bill to Summit, which would pay the District. Summit would then bill the families involved. Bus drivers will keep track of students concerned and how many times they ride the bus.
Snodgrass presented information from the White Pine League meeting recommending basically a $1 hike in sports admission fees. It was felt this was needed to meet the increasing expenses of officials and other items. The board approved the proposal.
In administrative reports Greg Deiss reported they had about 40 Elementary children participate in the Homecoming Parade with about 80 students checking out football jerseys. 
They are planning to have Elementary nights at all the high school sports similar to the ones they had at basketball last year, where the Elementary students would have their own cheering section with the high school athletes eating lunch with them that day.
He reported that they had 80% attendance of parents at the Open House with over $1000 raised at the Book Fair.
He reported they are also taking the library off of ValNet. This is a time-intensive job for librarian Millie Wimer but they’ll save the $4500 cost of belonging to ValNet.
Forsmann reported ISAT testing started Sept. 18 and runs through the 2nd week of October.
Thirty-nine 6th grades attended the McCall Outdoor Science School on September 6-8.
The new bleachers for the middle school gym are shipping this week and will take about a week to install once they’re here.
On Sept. 25 all schools will be attending a music concert put on by “The Standards” at the high school gym starting at 9 a.m. this group puts on an anti-drug message. Parents are also welcome to attend.
Forsmann also reported they are looking at offering Algebra I to four 8th graders who qualified by having high math ISAT scores, a high score on the Algebra readiness test and were highly recommended by the math teacher. They will be taking the course online in the library during the normal math period. 
She also reported they had 72% attendance of parents at the open house.
Girls basketball started the 14th with home games played at the Elementary gym until the bleachers are installed.
Sept. 19 was the first home junior high football game. Their first game was Sept. 12.
Snodgrass reported things are very busy at the high school. Homecoming went very well.
ISATs will start on Sept. 25 for freshmen and sophomores and on Oct. 15 for juniors and seniors needing retakes to pass it for graduation.
Kress handed out information on the Idaho Supreme Court backing away from the lawsuit enforcement. He said they are proceeding on getting a hearing to decide the constitutionality of HB 743 which gave the state board the power to appoint a supervisor for districts that vote down safety issue levies who would have the power to fire superintendents and invoke a levy without the vote of the patrons.
He also handed out a copy of the State Superintendent of Schools’ budget request for next year.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 8:50 p.m. to discuss some of the applicants for the open positions.
The next regular meeting of the board will be Monday, October 16 at 7 p.m.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522



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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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