First grade video honors SH board

JEWELL – May is School Board Appreciation Month, and the regular meeting of the South Hamilton school board Monday evening kicked off with a unique appreciation gift: a music video made by all the first grade students at the school. The video, made and produced by first grade teacher Kerra Sloan, featured songs, dance, and many expressions of thanks to the school board from the young students.

Looking at their agenda, the board considered property issues, 2014-15 student fees, and had several personnel matters to consider.

Elementary principal Paul Hemphill reported to the board that Iowa Assessments results were received that day, so he is in the process of evaluation. They showed that all students in Joan Walker’s second grade classroom are 100 percent proficient in math and reading, which happens only rarely.

“What a way to go out!” Hemphill remarked, referring to Walker’s upcoming retirement from the classroom.

Preliminary review of the Iowa Assessments also shows that 51 students are not proficient in reading or math, compared with 53 last year. Those not proficient will be invited to participate in the summer school program.

Also, Hemphill said that a new state ruling that goes into effect in 2017 requires that all students in grade 3 who are not proficient in math and reading and have not attended summer school must be retained.

During their two days of in-service at the end of this school year, the elementary faculty will participate in a training on what to do in case of a violent intruder in the school. Trainers will come from ISU. The second day of in-service training will feature the Jewell fire department with CPR training.

In his report for the board, middle school/high school principal Scott Dryer reviewed the week’s schedule for graduation activities, including baccalaureate, senior dinner, and commencement practice, Spring Fling is set for Wednesday and will include students going to all four towns in the school district to work on cleanup of town parks and other public spaces.

Superintendent Tim Johnson told the board that he has applied for a $17,000 early literacy grant.

All 57 members of the class of 2014 were approved for graduation, with commencement set for Sunday afternoon. Seniors Dana Boor, Amy Isvik, Carson Houck and Miriam Rueger will wear a senior academic honor cord at commencement. They have each met the requirements of a 3.5 GPA and completion of six honor courses.

In property matters, buildings and ground director Curt Stoecker shared with the board an update on summer maintenance projects. He has hired Justin Shepherd and Daniel Bell for the summer maintenance staff. They have started full-time work.

After voting to initiate the sale of the unused bus barn in Stanhope, the board agreed to accept bids on the building until noon on June 9. Bids will be reviewed at the regular board meeting that evening. Anyone interested in the building can contact the school for a showing.

Looking at student fees for 2014-15, the board voted to make no changes but did approve a recommendation from athletic director Todd Coy to increase activity pass fees. Student passes will go from $25 to $50, while adult passes will be increased to $75 from $50. Even with the raise, Coy said South Hamilton’s fees for activity passes are not at the top of the conference.

Matt Juber was approved to fill the opening for a high school science teacher. Lance Keller will be the new assistant wrestling coach, and the resignation of Brett Johnson as assistant wrestling coach was approved by the board.

The board set Wednesday, July 28, at 5:30 p.m. for a budget hearing.