ACSD Board of Directors hears updates on the completion of the 2017-2018 school year and preparations for the 2018-2019 school year

by Brianne Eilers

The Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) Board of Directors met for its regular monthly meeting Monday night, June 18 short one member as board member Tom Baxter had resigned at the end of the board’s previous meeting in May. Later in the meeting, the board formally accepted Baxter’s resignation and appointed Erik Helgerson to finish out Baxter’s term.

The board heard a brief presentation from Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker regarding the County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Snitker explained that he hoped the district would adopt the Hazard Mitigation Plan with a resolution. The plan is a five-year plan and has been approved by FEMA. The board did approve the resolution later in the meeting.

Moving on to the meeting reports, retiring ACSD Superintendent Dave Herold gave his final Superintendent’s Report. Herold noted that 76 students in the district received free eyeglasses through the Vision to Learn program. He also discussed the change orders for work being done on the East Elementary kitchen project. Herold noted that several issues had been found with some of the tiling, old pipes and drains that should be taken care of prior to finishing the project. Later in the meeting, the board did approve five change orders on the East Elementary kitchen project. Herold also noted that the closing for the Waterville school property would be happening at the end of June.

During the Principals’ reports, East and West Elementary Principal Joe Griffith gave the reports for the elementary schools and Waukon Middle School, as Middle School Principal Jennifer Garin was unable to attend. The Middle School had its first STEAM day in May and it was deemed “successful.” End of the year activities for students included field days, awards and variety shows. Griffith noted that the eight days of professional development instructional staff attended to finish out the school year were “incredible” and thanked curriculum director Gretchen DeVore and her staff for putting that together. He also noted that the Middle School activities calendar has been updated.

Waukon High School Principal Dr. Mike Hardy gave his report as well as the report for Activities Director Brian Hilsabeck, who was involved with the high school baseball game taking place that same evening. There are 35 students out for softball and 36 students out for baseball. Dr. Hardy agreed that the professional development days were “incredible and well-received.” He also noted that the High School Activity Fair was a success and that the high school has eight to 12 students working on credit recovery this summer.

During the Buildings and Grounds Report, Department Head Bill Hennessy noted that the irrigation system has been installed, but is not up and running yet. Lights are being installed in the Middle School and rooms painted. He also noted that doors have been installed and painted.

During the Transportation Report, Department Head Randy Nordheim introduced the board to Andrew Eberling, who will be taking Nordheim’s place in July when he retires. He said that the school vehicles have a total of 356,050 miles for the year, and that is only 2,000 miles over the five-year average.

During the 21st Century report, Department Head Barb Winters-Kelly stated that summer school has been going “really well.” She also said that the elementary schools did not receive a new 21st Century grant. Winters-Kelly said that she had been contacted by someone at the State level and that there are some concerns that rural schools have not been receiving the grants like they have in the past. She explained that next year, only the Middle School will be have a 21st Century grant.

During the Communications time in the meeting, board members were reminded to look over the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) Call for Legislative Resolutions and to have their choices ready for the July regular meeting. They were also reminded about the IASB Fiscal Management Conference in July. Under Old Business, the board approved the second reading of the following Board Policies: 201-Board of Directors Elections and 202.3-Term of Office.

Under New Business, the board approved to hire staff for the 21st Century After School Program, as well as salary increases for the 21st Century Staff. Stephanie Gordon was hired as a para professional at Waukon High School for the 2018-2019 year. The board accepted resignations from Jane Johnson from her position as 21st Century Waterville Site Coordinator and Brook Welsh from her eighth grade girls basketball coaching position, pending finding a suitable replacement. Mike Shupe and Tyler Scholl were approved as volunteer cross country coaches. The board also approved the hiring of Jason Dahlstrom as a custodian.

Moving on to other matters, the board approved the Music Department’s Sunday event schedule for the 2018-2019 school year. The board also approved transferring $14,292.46 from the General Fund to the Student Activity Fund to purchase protective safety equipment. The board also approved the low bid from Driveway Specialists, in the amount of $3,689.00, for filling cracks and seal coating part of the parking lots. The other bid was from Strub Blacktopping & Trucking LLC in the amount of $5,500.00. The board also approved paying bills through June 30, 2018.

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