The final school board meeting before the Sept. 11 election was called to order at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept.10. Board member Jeri Pershy was absent.
Members of FFA made a presentation to the board requesting permission to attend the National FFA Conference in Louisville, Ky. in October. Twenty-two people, including chaperones will be attending the conference. Later during the meeting, the board approved the trip.
The board then approved a small change in the number of per diem days for the school resource officer in the contract with the city of Centerville and also approved the second and final reading the Series 700 policies with no further changes.
The junior high catastrophic insurance plan was revisited because the district has to purchase a minimum amount costing $810. The plan approved at the last meeting cost $450, so the board approved an additional $360 in spending. Finally, the board revisited the vehicle purchase from the previous meeting in order to approve the inclusion of carpeted floors at a cost of $190.
The transfer of Shawnda Starr from one special ed aide specific position at Lakeview to another was approved and all employment contracts were approved.
Centerville High School principal Roger Raum spoke to the board about ACT assessment information. Raum said that overall the composite score for Centerville students taking the test was up slightly, but the percent of students who tested at the desired level to be considered college ready in all for subject areas was only 26 percent. Raum said there were also a relatively low number of students taking the test, but that was most likely due to many Centerville graduates beginning their post-secondary education at community colleges, which don’t require ACT scores. Raum also said he has some plans to help boost the scores, including introducing a test at the sophomore level that would help simulate the ACT test. The test would also include a career component to help all students focus on their future paths. Raum also spoke about the ongoing changes in the math curriculum throughout the Centerville district, including the new math curriculum at the elementary level and the consolidation of algebra into one year at the secondary level.
The board approved their contract with Kid’s World, a preschool provider. The board then approved technology purchases for Lakeview as well as instrument purchases for the band program. The Lakeview technology purchases came to $34,740 and the band purchase came to $19,848. The band is purchasing instruments for the high school, including two baritone saxophones, four marching baritones, two euphoniumns and a bass clarinet. They also approved a contract with the activity scheduler that is already being used in the district and approved their annual contribution of $350 to the Centerville Concert Association.
Principal Raum then presented changes to the high school handbook for approval. One change he wanted to make was to the truancy policy. Raum said truancy is a problem at the high school and instead of having truancies lead to suspensions, he wanted truancies to lead to restriction of activities. The more a student is truant, the more they will be restricted from participating in activities including sports, homecoming, prom and others. Students would be restricted from both participating in and attending these event. Raum thought this method might be more of a deterrent to students than the current punishment.
The board then turned to the new sound system for Simon Estes Auditorium. First the board approved purchasing the new system, so it can be put in place by Homecoming. The board will be reimbursed for the purchase once fundraising is complete. The board then discussed how much they would like to give to the project. The board discussed using the Elgin fund, a memorial fund left to the district specifically to be used for improvements to the auditorium. The fund currently has $8,800. The board decided to donate $8,800 toward the project, but they didn’t want to completely deplete the Elgin fund. Board member Nick Hindley asked about PPEL money. Board member Marty Braster said that there was $2 million slated for high school improvements in the current PPEL plan. The board eventually decided to use $1,800 from the Elgin fund and $7,000 of PPEL money to make up their $8,800 contribution.
The board approved scheduling a public hearing on an easement for the Safe Routes to School project for Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m.
They then discussed a letter from the Iowa High School Athletic Association congratulating the district because no coaches or athletes had been ejected from games during the last year. This is true for only 49 percent of the school districts in Iowa.
The board then approved sports officials contracts before hearing administrator’s reports and approving financial reports before adjourning.