SH board passes proposed budget

JEWELL – The regular monthly meeting of the school board at South Hamilton kicked off with a budget hearing on Monday evening. With no objections from the public, the board approved the proposed district budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

Technology was once again a topic for discussion, but this time it had to do with financing the new laptop computers. After discussing several options for repayment of the $375,000, the board voted to borrow from First American Bank at a rate of 3.75 percent.

The board also discussed the possibility of adding a technology integrationist position to work with teachers and students. Such a position would share with classroom teachers how technology can be integrated into the classroom.

“I think initially they should work with staff,” said board member Marie Johnson.

Considering how such a position would best be used, middle school/high school Principal Scott Dwyer said, “Immediately, they would be busy every single day.”

The board voted unanimously to add the position to the staff. To be qualified for the technology integrationist position, an individual must have a teaching degree plus a background in technology.

Scott Griffin of G6 Power Solutions was at the board meeting to make a presentation regarding offsetting power usage by using wind, solar and power efficiency equipment at the school.

Griffin said that the only thing different about using his company’s power solutions would be “different equipment in your backyard,” which at South Hamilton would be solar panels and windmills.

The board was undecided about proceeding with Griffin’s proposal but voted to have Superintendent Tim Johnson do more investigating and report to the board at their May meeting.

In his report to the board, elementary Principal Paul Hemphill updated them on summer school. The program is open only to students who qualify academically, and they will be invited to attend. Transportation will be provided to the classes.

Hemphill also said that the elementary carnival, held recently, was again very successful and earned $16,000-18,000, about the same as last year’s carnival.

Middle school/high school Principal Scott Dwyer reported to the board that the trip to Chicago for high school music students, held every four years, will involve 105 students this year. A lot of effort has gone into keeping the trip cost effective, he said, adding that throughout the planning process there has been excellent communication with parents. The trip will be April 26-27.

In his report, Dwyer also told the board that plans are getting in place to begin offering a TV and media class in high school starting in the fall. The class will combine both technology and speech. Staff coordinating the class hope to visit schools in Spirit Lake and Webster City, where such programs are already in place.

In financial matters on Monday’s agenda, the board approved a resolution authorizing the redemption of general obligation school refunding bonds series 2005 and levying a tax for fiscal year 2013-14 for the redemption of general obligation school refunding bonds dated December 1, 2005.

Resignations from special education teacher Lori Solviyov and from basketball coach Doug Sogard were accepted by the board Monday evening.