is new superintendent
Rene’ Forsmann was named as the new Cottonwood School superintendent for the 2010-2011 school year at the school board meeting Monday, March 15.
She will also expand her principal duties from grades 5-8 to K-8.
She replaces Gary Blaz who resigned effective June 30 to return to Montana where he has taken a job closer to his children and grandchildren.
In other business Vikki Riener was hired to be assistant track coach for the junior high track team as they have enough turned out to warrant the assistant position.
Also Dustin Behler, who was a volunteer assistant last year, will be a paid assistant high school baseball coach this year as there is a bigger turnout for baseball.
A memorandum of understanding will be signed with the state regarding equipment for the Idaho Educational Network. The IEN is a program started a couple years ago to connect all the schools in the state together. The state provides the equipment for this. The MOU was deemed necessary because Prairie has an additional program going with Grangeville, C.V. and LCSC to network the 3 high schools together with the college. They received a $285,000 grant for this and they want to make sure if the IEN goes away that the state takes only their equipment back, not the equipment purchased through this grant.
A funds transfer was approved from the general fund to the bus fund for bus depreciation.
In facility upgrades Forsmann reported they are ready to go with the kitchen upgrade once school is out for the summer.
Blaz reported they are having an asbestos survey done at both the middle school and high school, especially in areas to be remodeled for the proposed shift of students. Any abatement needs will be done prior to any other work being started.
Clerk-Treasurer Denise Uhlenkott passed around a handout showing where this year’s state funding is at compared to previous years. The amount of funds per unit over and above salaries with which school districts have to work with for everything not related to salaries has been scaled back to less than it was back in 1998-99. Teacher salaries have been cut back to less than they were in 2006-07. Administrative salaries to less than in 2001-02 and classified salaries (secretaries, custodians, cooks, etc.) to less than the 2006-07 school year.
In administrative reports Todd Shumway reported that Fisher alarms did their annual checks on the fire alarm systems on March 5 and made upgrade recommendations. The primary recommendation was to redo the shop building. It has a different system. When the alarm in the main building rings, it also rings in the shop but the reverse is not true. Setting off the alarm in the shop does not set off the one in the main building.
He reported on the boys basketball team winning both the state tournament and the state academic championship. Girls basketball held their awards banquet March 2. Wrestling sent 10 to state with 3 earning medals. The cheerleaders have started pizza sales as a fundraiser.
The Health Occupations Class continues clinical trainings at regional clinics and nursing homes for local students. HOSA will be taking 11 students to state competitions over Spring Break. HOSA is also hosting the high school blood drive on March 30.
BPA attended state competitions in Boise March 11-13.
The drama class has selected “Big Bad Wolf” as their spring musical production set for May.
Knowledge Bowl is at state this week, March 16-17.
Jazz Band and Choir attended the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at Moscow on Feb. 26-27.
Forsmann reported the 3 administrators attended the IDLA conference Feb. 22-23 and came back with more options and ideas for the schools. Shumway reported that Lydia Deiss received an award for her outstanding service to the students.
Andy Gehring participated in the regional Spelling Bee and represented Prairie Middle School very well on March 6.
The Middle School students donated $1451 to victims of the earthquake in Haiti. They will be working with the Lions Club to get the money to the Haiti victims.
Blaz reported they have been discussing possible teaching scenarios for next year. They will have two first grades and two second grades.
Five students and two staff had lunch with the principal last week.
Zach Arnzen, 1st grade, was the monthly bicycle winner for attendance.
As superintendent he said he has been in contact with the state about their energy audit. They should be receiving a report in early April.
He had a meeting March 12 with a company out of Colorado concerning biomass and a cogeneration plant at the high school. This is all preliminary at this point but apparently IdaLew Economic Development has taken an interest in this project as well.
He has been scrutinizing all portions of the budget for possible cuts.
The board adjourned to an executive session for principal evaluations at 7:35 p.m.
The next regular meeting of the board will be Monday, April 19 at 7 p.m.