school calendar adopted
The school calendar for the 2008-09 school year was adopted by the school board at their March board meeting Monday, March 17.
The board was given two options and approved draft B which has a shorter Spring Break wrapped around Easter weekend.
School will start Wednesday, August 27 and the last day will be Friday, May 29. Scheduled are 177 days of school, 19 vacation days, 8 early release days and 4 teacher in-service days in which there will be no school for the students.
Christmas break will last from Wednesday, Dec. 24 through Friday, Jan. 2, making it 2 days shorter than it was this year.
Spring Break will start Thursday, April 9 and school will resume Tuesday, April 14. Easter Sunday is April 12.
Two of the teacher in-service days are prior to the start of school while the other two are October 2-3.
There will also be a 4-day weekend in January with day after the end of the first semester, Jan. 16, being a no school day and the following Monday being Martin Luther King Day.
The board continued discussion about using an appraisal and inventory service but decided to try and do it in-house asking teachers to inventory their rooms and then they would video everything.
Wendy Stauffer’s resignation, effective the end of the school year, was approved. They will start advertising for a replacement for the 2008-09 school year.
The budget and override request were discussed. Clerk-treasurer Denise Uhlenkott said it looks like a larger override than last year would be needed given her tentative figures. At this point she’s estimating $236,000 would be needed but thinks that number may come down when she works out the final numbers by the next board meeting. Last year’s override was $199,000.
Two board members will be up for election this year in zones #1 and #2. And a trustee election was set for May 20. Roy Schumacher and Bill Hill would be the two board members up for election.
The Middle School roof was discussed. Apparently there is water leaking inside and they can’t find where it’s getting in on the roof. The contractor brought in to assess the situation recommended overlaying the whole section, which would amount to 6500 sq. ft. at a preliminary estimated cost of $31,000. The board approved letting out bids for the project.
Hill agreed to be the board representative for the Kantola-Morgan scholarship. Phil Wimer, Lydia Deiss and one board member review the applicants and decide who the recipient will be. Scholarship funds are generated by the interest from a $5,000 trust donated several years ago. Uhlenkott figures they should be able to give a $250 scholarship this year.
In administrative reports Todd Shumway reported that the Idaho National Guard unit is returning to Iraq so they won’t be able to return to Cottonwood this summer to work on the football field complex. Shumway reported they have topsoil available and need to arrange transportation to get it to the site.
He reported that higher education day was Tuesday, March 18th with all the 4-year colleges in Idaho sending representatives.
He also reported he and Mrs. Deiss were to meet Tuesday with math and science department representatives from the U of I regarding concurrent credit courses. He said the hope is that within two years they will be able to offer high school students enough college credit that they can eliminate their freshman year.
He also reported on the several of the high school clubs. The Honor Society raised $560 in their penny drive for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. TSA did very well at their state convention. See story and photos elsewhere in this week’s paper. BPA sent 8 students to state and did very well too.
Rene’ Forsmann reported that the Middle School raised $315 in the annual Idaho Lottery Scratch. These funds are in the student fund and will likely be used toward either a new scoreclock or sound system for the gym.
She reported that all junior high students visited LCSC as part of GEAR-UP and it went very well. They hope to go to the U of I next year.
8th grade students took a field trip to Lawyer’s Canyon with Tandy Savage and study several topics related to what they are covering in Physical Science.
She also reported that all of the middle school teachers attending the Middle Level Conference held in Post Falls and attended workshops there.
She spent some time reporting on the Idaho Middle Level Task Force that she attended which is a statewide effort to brainstorm ideas and solutions to holding 8th grade students accountable. There is a lack of accountability for students to pass middle level classes as they know they’ll get passed through to high school anyway with a concurrent lack of accountability for student attendance. Forsmann gave a handout to the board with some of the possible solutions she’s come up with for Prairie Middle School.
Gary Blaz reported the annual fish hatchery project is ongoing with the 4th graders. Students also attended the Jazz Festival recently with Mrs. Karel.
The third quarter awards party is set up for April 3rd with a carnival provided by the Center For Discovery.
The Elementary Spring Concert will be May 14 and the Spring Science Fair will be May 8.
As superintendent he reported on the tech plan they are working on. The hope is to get a system that doesn’t need as much maintenance and to take things to the next level. Forsmann said they really need to replace the servers they’ve got and are hoping those will get them through the end of the school year. Blaz and Forsmann presented a plan to get things upgraded using money already budgeted, but would need some additional money from the Forest Fund moneys to make it go. They asked the board to look this over bring their questions to the next meeting.
Blaz also presented an energy savings plan outline for the board to study. This includes some suggestions for the heating systems. Blaz says he is looking at all options on the heating system as they know they’ll have to eventually replace the coal-fired boilers at the high school and elementary school. Right now it costs more to get the coal shipped here that what the coal itself actually costs.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 9:15 p.m. for evaluations of the administrators. After reconvening the board approved 2-year contracts for Shumway, Forsmann and Blaz.
The next regular meeting will be Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m.