NEH board discusses their athletic future

At its regular monthly meeting on Feb. 14, the Northeast Hamilton School Board approved contracts for the spring of 2013 and voted to hold a public forum to discuss the future of NEH athletics.

The Board approved contracts for: Deb Larson, Special Education Associate; Chace Pruismann, head baseball; Natalie Ostheimer, head softball; Shannon Muhlenbrook, boys track; and Josh Vanderloop, JH boys track.

Supt. Patrick Hocking reported to the board concerning a meeting held with all the NEH coaching staff to discuss sports participation numbers for 2013-2014. It was reported at the January meeting that with falling enrollment, fewer students are available to participate in the different sports programs.

Supt. Hocking reported that the discussions were positive and that all involved are interested only in “what is best for Northeast Hamilton”. The administration also met with high school class officers to get their views.

At the school board meeting, Supt. Hocking recommended that the Board direct the school’s AD and administration to conduct a community meeting in order to gather patron feedback. It was noted that no decision would be made at the community meeting.

The proposal was approved and a meeting date will be announced in the future.

It was announced that the total valuation for NEH for the 2013-2014 school year is $190,641,570 compared to last year’s valuation of $177,646,865.

Supt. Hocking reported entering into discussions with Piper Jaffrey on possible bond refinancing options on the elementary school building. It is hoped that the investment bank and asset managing firm will conduct a professional development session for the NEH Board in order to provide refinancing strategies.

Supt. Hocking presented possible PPLE fund projects. These projects include: iPads for third-seventh grade students; a new bus; a school vehicle; wireless sound system for the cafeteria for meetings; new microphones for the gymnasium sound system; paving the west parking lot; purchasing a color copier; siding the tractor shed; siding the Weight Room; and/or purchasing a utility tractor.

The Board will prioritize the district’s needs on this issue at its March meeting.

Two additional items which will be decided at the March meeting include consolidating or closing out activity accounts which are no longer in use and setting the tuition rate for the summer Driver’s Education program. Supt. Hocking recommended charging a fee of $225 per student.

NEH High School Principal Dennis Bahr reported on developments in professional updates with teachers working on the common core on Jan. 25 at Webster City. Again at Webster City, NEH teachers will participate in an iPad workshop on Feb. 25.

The Board approved the entire 700 series of Board policy items.

In Good News Sharing, Supt. Hocking reported to the Board on the exemplary behavior of NEH students and the positive feedback the school has received. Reporting to NEH were staff members from Webster City High School, test administers for the NAEP tests and a substitute bus driver.

It was reported that five student groups attended district speech and with 13 entries for individual speech, two groups continued on to state. Trevor Klaver and Noah Ronnfeldt were selected to perform at the All-State Speech event in Ames on Feb. 16.

The NEH students completed MAP testing and Supt. Hocking reported that a majority of the students improved their test scores.

Supt. Hocking reported that Secondary MASH – Missed Assignment Study Hall has begun and students are adapting well to the new policy.

Elementary school student celebrated the 100th day of school with 100-oriented activities as the theme.

Tammy Massman’s third grade students have joined the Mystery Skype group from St. Louis, MO. The students work from maps, iPads and skill books and determine the location of another school by asking two questions.

Twenty-two students participated in the grades K-5 Little Cheerleader Cheer Clinic on Jan. 5.

It was announced that VIP Day will be held on April 17.

The regularly scheduled meeting of the NEH School Board will take place on Tuesday, March 12 at 7 p.m.