Long agenda for SH board

JEWELL – School board members at South Hamilton faced a lengthy agenda when they met in regular monthly session Monday evening.

The meeting kicked off with two brief public hearings, both with no objection: one for the proposed loan agreement with First American Bank and the other to amend the 2012-13 budget.

Approximately 15 visitors were present at the meeting – patrons, teachers, and administrators. Jackie Reiter, representing the Music Boosters, thanked the board for its support of the April trip to Chicago for 107 high school band and vocal students.

“This was one of the best trips I have chaperoned,” she told the board. “The kids were very well behaved and represented our school well.”

Another visitor at the meeting was Stephanie Nichols, who read a letter she wrote to the board commending them for offering a contract to middle school/high school principal Scott Dryer for one year. “I support Mr. Dryer,” the letter read. “He and his family have been a great asset to the community.”

With commencement scheduled for Sunday afternoon, the board approved the 53 members for the graduating class of 2013. Baccalaureate is Wednesday evening, along with the senior awards banquet. Spring Fling for high school students is also Wednesday. “This class has been a fun group of good leaders who are fun to work with,” Dyer commented on the class.

The school’s athletic department spent $60,000 this school year and had $50,000 income, athletic director Todd Coy told the board in his report. He said that South High Pride (athletic boosters) is a “great support” for that department. SH Pride has gifted the department with $9,500 and has also given $500 to the band instrument fund drive.

Coy said that for some time the school has had an agreement to be served by an athletic trainer from the Ames McFarland Clinic, at a cost of $1,800 annually. He has been approached by Mary Greeley Hospital of Ames to offer the services of a personal trainer to South Hamilton teams at no cost. “They want to be in the Jewell community,” Coy stated. The board approved the change to Mary Greeley.

Coy discussed with the board a possible change in season passes to athletic events at the school. Rather than sell punch cards at the beginning of the school sports season, he suggested levying a fee that would be paid at school registration. Purchasers would then show the card to be scanned at games, where the passes would also be available for sale. One suggestion on cost is $50 for adults and $25 for students.

The board tabled action on the matter but plans to revisit the issue at a future meeting.

In other business, the recommendation from the support staff salary committee was approved by the board on a vote of 4-1, with Kempton Young voting no. Support staff salaries will increase 4.75 percent for the next contract year. Curt Stoeker, director of buildings and grounds, will receive a 6 percent salary increase, since his wage is below average compared to a similar position in other school districts. The salary of business manager Sue Headley will stay at $65,000 annually, with single health insurance coverage for Headley.

Additional personnel matters on the agenda were accepting resignations from home school coordinator Vicki Smith, teacher aide Charlene Roach, and junior high basketball coach Keara Sloan.

Approved for contracts were Kelsi Ratallick, high school science; Sarah Terrones, elementary special education; and Catherine Hines, in the new position of technology integrationist.

Elementary Principal Paul Hemphill told the board that summer school plans are well on their way. Iowa Assessment results were received earlier that day, and they will have to be reviewed to see who will be invited to attend summer school. He also reported that the Watch Dog program in the elementary is going very well and is well accepted by students and staff. In addition, Hemphill updated the board on the garden at the school.

In other new business Monday, the board approved 2013-14 fees.

“On average, I think our school fees are right in the ball park,” Johnson said. Textbook fees will remain the same for the next school year. The board accepted Johnson’s recommendation to increase the price of student breakfast 10 cents, lunch 25 cents, and the price of additional milk 5 cents as a move to making the food service department self-supporting, as mandated by state regulations.

Johnson told the board that security cameras are being installed at the school at a cost of $2,400 per building, adding that he believed that was a good price so he went ahead and okayed the purchase and installation. “I wish that had been brought before the board,” board member Marie Johnson said. Two of the cameras, which are to deter vandalism rather than to spy, are installed. The cameras will cover the bus bard, back lot, the front of the building, and will be configured to the local police department.

In other new business, the board:

Reviewed summer maintenance projects on the roof of the elementary building, pea rock on the playground, and lights on the circle drive.

Accepted the recommendation of transportation director Gene Greenfield and approved purchasing a new 65-passenger bus from Blue Bird at a cost of approximately $81,500. Funding for the bus, to be delivered in mid-October, will come from the physical plant and equipment levy.

Approved 28# agreements with NEH for consumer science and TAG instructors and transportation director.

Approved the IAEP agreement for 2013-14.

The meeting ended in closed session for superintendent’s evaluation.