Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

January 17, 2014

School board discusses sports expansion, boiler replacements

By Krystal Fowler Lifestyle Editor
The Daily Iowegian

---- — The school board opened Monday's meeting once again discussing the possibility of adding baseball and softball at the junior high level in Centerville. Principal Bruce Karpen presented some information to the board about what some other conference schools offer at the junior high level. The board still had some questions about cost of coaches and when the season would run as well as other concerns.

According to Karpen the Iowa Boys' Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls' Athletic Association do not sanction junior high baseball or softball. Of the conference schools, Knoxville and Clarke offer programs, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Freemont offers sixth and seventh grade softball and seventh and eighth grade baseball and Chariton has a softball program, although not through the school. Albia and Davis County currently don't have programs.

According to Russ Ocker with the Appanoose County Baseball Association, other local non-conference schools such as Moravia and Wayne currently do offer programs at the junior high level. The board was interested in getting a potential schedule as well as discussing coaching options. They also had questions about the amount of equipment that would be needed. The board overall seemed in favor of the idea although they still wanted more information before moving forward.

The board then moved on to the second and final reading of Policy Series 100 and 900. The board had concerns with one of the policies and Superintendent Tony Ryan asked that the board okay the policy series with the stipulation to revisit the specific policy at a later date. The board wanted to take a closer look at the policy dealing with community use of school district facilities and equipment. The board voted to okay Policy Series 100 and 900. The board then requested the administration continue looking at ways to streamline the community use policy.

The board approved two resignations, Mike Moorman from aide specific at Centerville High School and Rita Teater from custodian at Lakeview Elementary.

Employment contracts were then approved for Cassandra Gee as special education aide specific at Centerville High School, Sierra Wireman as special education aide specific at Lakeview Elementary, Paula Gray as computer lab supervisor/aide and Laura DePrizio as Academic Bowl advisor. Also approved were two non-employee contracts with Mike O'Connor as a classroom volunteer at the k-2 level and Mike Whisler as a wrestling volunteer.

Jan. 20 was set as the date for the Centerville Board of Education negotiations opening proposal in response to Centerville Education Association.

The school district received a Harkin Fire Safety Grant and the board approved and ratified the grant proposal. The grant is for $8,546 and will go towards making improvements in the fire safety system at the Administration Office, Centerville High School, Howar Junior High, Lakeview Elementary and Central Elementary.

The district has an upcoming five year site visit from the Iowa Department of Education. The board assigned board president Rich Roos and board members Tom Lange and Joe Sharp to represent the board during the site visit.

The board then discussed the Early Childhood Literacy Implementation grant. The purpose of the grant is to fund legislation stating that all children should be reading at proficiency by the end of third grade. A total of $8 million was divided between Iowa's 346 school districts with the amount received being based on enrollment. Centerville has received $23,175.73.

The money will be used at the k-3 level and Director of Curriculum Rhonda Raskie spoke to the board about what the district will be doing in order to comply with the guidelines of the grant. By August of 2014 the district must have universal screening for reading for all k-3 students in place, which Centerville already does. They must also monitor progress weekly, give 90 minutes of daily scientific, research-based reading instruction and provide notices to parents among other requirements. The district already provides several of these services. By May of 2017 the district must provide a summer reading program which employs scientific, research-based practices and must retain any student who is not proficient by third grade based on a universal screener.

Raskie then presented a curriculum/student achievement report to the board. Raskie talked about the different kinds of assessments the district uses to collect data on student abilities in literacy, math, science and other areas. She also spoke about which assessments are shared with the public and which are used by staff and teachers on a daily basis to improve instruction in the classroom.

The board then discussed the inservice day that was held on Monday, Jan. 6. The program consisted of staff learning about the ALICE system. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. Training was held all day and school district staff were trained by local law enforcement about what to do in emergency situations. Superintendent Ryan asked staff and administrators to speak to the board about what they took away from the training and several in attendance spoke about the experience.

An education services contract with North Iowa Area Community College was approved by the board. It will allow students to receive college credit for completing the course, Introduction to Entrepreneurship.

The board was presented with a business agreement from MODUS to work with the district on their boiler replacements at Howar Junior High and Centerville High School. MODUS will be providing mechanical engineering services for the projects. MODUS presented an estimate that the project will cost between $500,000 and $540,000 in their opinion. MODUS' fee will be equal to 10 percent of the construction bid amounts or if the project does not move forward, the district will be billed at an hourly rate for services. The district has not yet taken bids on the project. It is hoped that both projects can be completed this summer. According to Buildings and Grounds/Transportation Director Mike Zintz the Howar Junior High project is the priority as the building is currently down to one usable boiler, but both buildings are reaching a critical need for replacement.

Sports officials contracts were then approved before the board looked at the contract with L.J. Roth Restoration Services, which was hired to restore the high school after last week's fire. The cost will be covered by EMC, the insurance provider, besides a $1,000 deductible. The district had already received a check from EMC for $125,000. The contract that was approved stated the board would make a $100,000 down payment and provide another $207,000 upon completion. Ryan also said there were still ongoing conversations about whether the carpet in the office and library might need to be replaced right away or just cleaned now and replaced in the summer. After the board approved the contract, they also approved accepting the check from EMC and then voted to pay $100,000 to L.J. Roth as stated in the contract.

The board then heard reports from the administrative team before approving bills and adjourning.