Stratford school board welcomes new member

Although two of their members were unable to attend, the Stratford school board had a busy meeting Wednesday evening that started off with swearing in new board member Christina Bauer.

Bauer was appointed in June to fill the vacancy created when Eric McGlynn resigned his seat on the board due to conflicts with his work schedule. He was serving his second term on the board. Bauer was appointed to complete the remainder of McGlynn’s term, which runs until September, 2015.

After that, Bauer will have the option of running for election to the board. Monday’s meeting was her first. She was sworn in by board secretary Linda Swedlund at the start of Monday’s meeting.

Supt. Sarah Binder had good news for the board regarding grant applications. The school was awarded a Monsanto Grow Rural Education grant, Stratford Maker Space: Invent to learn was funded. The $10,000 grant will be used for a 3-D printer. The grant will be awarded in a ceremony at the Farm Progress Show next week, to which Binder and board members are invited to attend.

Binder has also received word that the school has been awarded an Early Literacy Initiative Grant for $13,189. Binder and three teachers have attended training on this initiative and are now training other members of the faculty. According to Binder, this is an assessment tool that is part of ELI legislation.

In sharing with the board about the start of the new school year, Binder reported that classes were “extremely well attended. The classrooms were full, and the hallways were full.”

In a related matter, Binder told the board that there are several new families in the school this year and welcomed many new families back. She discussed tentative projected enrollment for 2014-15, although official count day isn’t until October 1.

Liz Smith and Alexis Schneider are the new teachers on staff this year. “We’re thrilled to have both of them here in Stratford,” the superintendent noted.

Also on Wednesday, there was a brief discussion of the HAPI (Homework Assistance Program Intervention), which will be offered again this year at school. As in the past, HAPI will start in September, but students are already inquiring about when it will begin.

With no major projects on the school’s physical plant this summer, custodian Darrell Borer and summer assistant Levi Haman were able to do many small projects at the school in order to get it ready for the new school year.

The preschool has been notified that it has earned enough points in tits application to earn a QRS level 5. It is the only preschool in Hamilton, Humboldt, and Wright counties to accomplish this.

Binder updated the board on the audit, which is scheduled for October. She said last year’s audit was excellent and that waiting until then to do this year’s audit is an indication of that.