$275,000 override levy sought
Despite the fact that the budget deficit was nearly $600,000, the school board was able to make enough budget cuts to get their requested override levy down to $275,000. The board approved the suggested budget cuts at their regular April meeting Monday, April 19.
The override levy election was set for Tuesday, May 18 with polls open from noon to 8 p.m.
The proposed budget cuts are all outlined in a brochure that is available at several locations around the district and from the district office.
Several of the cuts are ones that would be made anyway after the Elementary building is closed for the 2011-12 school year.
One cut in particular was the high school secretary being reduced to a half-time position. The board members said it was admirable that Judy Forsman offered to scale back to a half-time position to help the district in the tough times they are in.
There was discussion about increasing the prices for hot lunch. Lynn Rehder will do a presentation at a future meeting.
The technology project expense was approved. $40,000 to cover this was approved for transfer from the Forest Funds. This is the third year of the lease agreement.
The board voted to support the state’s financial emergency that allowed the state to call for a decrease in salaries.
After that action the board voted to ratify the negotiations agreement with the certified staff.
They then voted to offer contracts to the certified personnel.
Board member Lynn Guyer discussed the proposed baseball field. He feels it will take quite a bit of money to get this completed they way they want it to be. He went on to say it could take 5 years to get it done.  He didn’t want to spend monies on it at this time. Gus Hoene suggested tabling it until the other projects are done. There was a suggestion made to at least get a fence up around the field to keep the football parking in place and not have people driving on the field. Guyer will talk with Frank Bruno about getting a plan together. There were others suggested who may be interested in helping. Guyer will be the liaison for the board.
A couple of changes were made to the proposed school calendar. Spring Break was moved up to the last week in March. Also a professional day was moved from April 1 to April 22 and the dates for President’s Day and Good Friday were corrected as those were wrong on the original proposed calendar. The calendar was then approved with those changes.
A surplus equipment sale was approved. They are still in the process of developing the list. Hoene offered to take photos of the items once the list is finalized and post it on Craigslist.com as an additional outlet.
Bob Smith’s resignation as the school psychologist was approved. He may still be available on an hourly basis if needed.
In facility upgrades discussion Gary Blaz said he would like to scale back on the size of the proposed shop building. It started small then grew and he doesn’t feel right recommending more than just a storage shed to move the lumber and other shop supplies from the basement storeroom that will be part of the proposed junior high classroom area. Roy Schumacher said he would still like to go out for bids on the current proposal just to see what numbers come in.
In administrative reports Todd Shumway reported they are continuing work on the facilities projects at the high school. 
He also reported HOSA took 11 students to state competitions with 6 of them qualifying for nationals in Orlando.
The Drama class production of “Big Bad Wolf” will be presented on May 11. 
HOSA hosted the high school blood drive with 32 pints donated.
83 parents stopped in to check out student projects during the High School Showcase on March 31.
Rene’ Forsmann reported they had good attendance for parent-teacher conferences. 
ISAT testing has started (at the high school as well) and continues through May 12. 
She and Becky Higgins attended the Response to Intervention (RTI) Conference in Boise were they were awarded $1000 for having an exemplary RTI program. See story elsewhere in this week’s Chronicle.
She also presented the results of the Direct Writing and Direct Math tests. This will be the last year for these tests as they were part of the state’s budget cuts.
Blaz reported that Emma Gehring was the March bicycle winner.
He has been completing observations for each staff member.
As superintendent he has completed the brochure for the levy and meeting with as many patrons as possible as well as with the press.
He hasn’t received the asbestos report back yet for the project areas and once he does will do the asbestosis cleanup with Advanced Cleaning.
Blaz reported Tuesday morning that they have received 22 applications for the high school principal position and will be interviewing 6 candidates this week. They hope to make a recommendation by the weekend.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 8 p.m.
The next regular meeting of the board will be Monday, May 17 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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