The school board had a relatively short meeting, which was followed by a lengthy executive session at their July meeting Monday, July 16.
After the executive session, school board chairman Roy Schumacher informed Jerry Uhling and his representative from the Idaho Education Association, Harry McCarty, that they were going to stand behind their decision not to renew his contract as boys varsity basketball coach.
The press is not allowed into executive sessions but during the regular part of the meeting athletic director Travis Mader read a letter that he submitted to the board in support of Uhling stating that Uhling was given no warnings that there was a problem and the as athletic director, he had not been notified that there was any problem either.
Pat Holthaus also spoke in support of Uhling as someone who has coached with him ever since he started here in basketball and ever since Holthaus was promoted to head coach in baseball in that sport.
In other business in the regular meeting Della Gehring and Gus Hoene took their respective oaths of office as they started a new term.
Schumacher was re-elected as board chairman with Kelli Bruner as vice-chairman.
Hot lunch prices, bus rental rates, per diem rates and facility use rates were all kept the same as last year.
The board also voted to keep their meeting date and time the same, the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m.
Discussion of bus routes was tabled to next month.
Some housekeeping was done as some fund transfers between fund accounts were approved.
Resignations were accepted from Shelli Schumacher as dance team coach and Tara Duclos as a special education aide.
Some test scores were reviewed from the ISAT (Idaho Standards Achievement Test) showing that Cottonwood students as a whole performed very well in comparison to both other local districts and statewide.
In administrative reports Reneeí Forsmann reported the summer projects are going well. The asphalt has been removed at the Middle School playground and it is ready for the concrete.
Sprinkler heads were fixed on the baseball fields and for the most parts the baseball field, school grounds and football field are keeping green.
She reported the gym floor has been done and they are keeping people off of it for the next few weeks.
The Middle School staff will be providing Fair security for $1200 with the money to go toward some digital cameras and other things the staff would like to get.
She said they also had a couple of student council members go through all the trophies and pictures in storage and sort them out and clean them. Some that were brought over from Ferdinand when that school was closed have been sent back to Ferdinand for display in their newly renovated gym.
New high school principal Todd Shumway said heís still getting up to speed on things and really didnít have anything to report.
New superintendent Gary Blaz reported he has been meeting with lots of people lately.
He met with the districtís maintenance supervisor, Mike Kaschmitter, and took a tour of all the buildings and areas. He also met with the transportation supervisor, Dave Remacle, and checked out all the bus routes and possible concerns.
On the decision to cut Kindergarten back to one class for half a day each week, he said they may have to revisit that because they have 20 students enrolled, up from the projected 16 when the decision was made to cut to one class, and you usually get a couple more once school starts.
He said they need to look at going back to splitting into two classes and shuffling staff back to their original places and hire a half-time special ed person. He said the budget looks like it would absorb a half-time person.
Reneeí Forsmann expressed some concerns about having a couple of very large classes due to the special ed shuffling at the Middle School and they may need to look into that as well.
Blaz expressed kudos to the school custodians and was really impressed with the correctional institute work crews and what they do for the schools.
Blaz also said the high school gym project looks like it will keep any new water from getting under the gym but he would like to look into what may still be under there. He said they may have to look into doing something with the gym floor too as you canít just keep screwing it back down where itís humping up.
Another item that was discussed during the executive session was a summer month discrepancy for Blaz. He was hired as a half-time superintendent and half-time elementary school principal. During the summer months the contract only calls for the superintendent position. After discussing it in executive session the board voted to give him a stipend for the summer months to make up the difference. Basically making sure heís paid for the time heís putting in.
The board adjourned at just after 9 p.m.
The next regular meeting is set for Monday, August 20, at 7 p.m.