override levy sought
The school board authorized some extensive cuts in the budget but still need to seek a $150,000 override levy to make up the shortfall for the 2009-10 school year. This is the smallest override sought in many years.
The levy election will be held May 19. If more than one candidate files for the position there will also be a trustee election on that day for the Ferdinand zone (zone 5). Currently Pat Alfrey is the only one who has filed.
They wound up cutting both a 2nd grade and 6th grade teacher position due to the numbers of students in those grades, but two teaching positions paid for with federal Title funds opened up and they wound up not cutting any certified staff. Two classified positions were cut with seniority determining who stayed. There were about $175,000 in total cuts made. These include cutting the Elementary Special Education position, Elementary counselor and Elementary Computer Lab Aide. Adjusting the contracts of the Special Education Psychologist and Career Teacher. Cutting 10% of extracurricular competitions; cutting back on utilities, janitorial, maintenance, bus, subs, etc., cutting budget requests, cutting the coal worker position, cutting back on technology supplies, cutting extra contracts from the general fund, cutting the district mail carrier, cutting the secretary helper at the high school cutting extra contracts for library aides and cutting back classified salaries from 178 days to 173. Also making the superintendent special ed responsible saves $20,000.
Superintendent Gary Blaz welcomes anybody with any questions about these cuts or the levy to talk with him. He also has an article elsewhere in this weekís paper addressing some of these questions.
The school calendar for 2009-2010 was adopted. School will start on August 26 and end on June 4. The full calendar is outlined below.
Middle School heating system bids were discussed. Blaz said they received 4 bids but there were some inconsistencies and he wants to make sure they have the same info to all the bidders. Gus Hoene made a motion to have Blaz and trustee Bill Hill get together and review things and get back to the bidders and then determine the best option so that the work can get started. The motion was seconded and approved by the board.
Reneí Forsmann presented a bid proposal to redo the technology wiring at the high school and middle school. A best guess she has from someone who looked at it is about $47,000 for each building. What has happened is they have outgrown the wiring they have. As they add more machines the whole system slows down. Funding for this would be from the Forest Fund monies. The board approved asking for bids.
Several fund transfers were approved. There will be $36,859 transferred from the general fund to the maintenance fund and $76,000 from the Federal Forest fund to the maintenance fund. Also $41,697.76 will be transferred from the plant facility fund to the bus fund.
Bill Hill volunteered to be the board member on the negotiations committee.
In administrative reports Mrs. Forsmann presented a list of all the activities coming up in the final 7 weeks of school.
Of special not she said the Spring Concert will be a little different as the high school and middle school bands will join together. It is set for May 19 at 7 p.m. at the Middle School gym. Featured will be band numbers by a combined 7th-12th grade band.
Todd Shumway wasnít in attendance but sent along a report stating that grade checks were done April 17.
He reported that 12 students competed at the state HOSA competition with 9 qualifying for Nationals in June.
He reported their high school showcase during parent-teacher conferences was very well received.
All three principals reported ISATís have started and are ongoing.
Blaz reported the school will again be holding a NICI appreciation barbecue in conjunction with the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce. It is set for May 7 from 11:30-2:30. He and Shumway will cook burgers along with board member Gus Hoene who volunteered to take Forsmannís place. Forsmann will be gone to her sonís college graduation.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 8:15 p.m.
The next regular meeting of the board will be Monday, May 18 at 7 p.m. They will also get together on May 19 at 8:45 p.m. to canvass ballots from the levy election.
School Calendar for 2009-2010
The Prairie school calendar for the 2009-2010 school year was approved Monday, April 20 at the school board meeting.
Following are the no school days, quarter breaks, etc.
August 26-First day of school.
Sept. 7-Labor Day, no school.
Oct. 1 & 2-teacher in-service days, no school
Oct. 29-end of first quarter
Oct. 30-In-service day, no school
Nov. 4-5-parent-teacher conferences
Nov. 6-No school
Nov. 25-27-Thanksgiving break, no school
Dec. 21-Jan. 1-Winter break, no school
Jan. 14-end of second quarter
Jan. 15-In-service day, no school.
Jan. 18-Martin Luther King Day, no school
Feb. 12-In-service day, no school
Feb. 15-Presidentís Day, no school
March 25-end of third quarter
March 26-In-service day, no school
March 31-April 1-Parent-teacher conferences
April 2-9-Spring Break, no school
May 31-Memorial Day, no school
June 4-Last day of school