EACSD Board of Directors makes some final decisions, hears updates prior to the start of new school year later this week

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Board of Directors held its regular meeting Monday, August 20 at Kee High School in Lansing. Board President Heather Schulte called the meeting to order. Upon roll call the following responded, Kelli Mudderman, Bruce Palmborg, Heather Schulte, Bobbie Goetzinger and Melanie Mauss. Also present at the meeting were Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier, Board Secretary/Business Manager Janet Heiderscheit, New Albin Elementary Principal Chad Steckel and Kee High School Principal Mary Hogan.

The board approved the agenda, August consent items, minutes of July meeting, bills, Secretary’s Financial Statement, and the Activity and Food Service Report.

During audience comments, Dr. Bill Withers from the Keystone Area Education Agency (AEA) Board of Directors met with the board to check to see if there were any concerns or issues which the EACSD wanted him to address. He thanked the members for supporting his re-election to the AEA Board last fall. Also present was Keystone AEA Administrator Pat Heiderscheit, who began with praising Dr. Withers for his continued commitment to the districts in the AEA.

Heiderscheit brought the board up-to-date on the push to reorganize the AEAs from nine to seven agencies last year in the State legislature. That measure failed because many boards in rural areas strongly opposed such reorganization. As a rural area, being even farther away from an AEA center which serves as a resource for students in need would result in a critical hardship. Regional planning partnerships continue to be strong in the district, as Dr. Crozier and Heiderscheit wrote a grant for computer technology which they are waiting to hear about.

The board approved the 28E Agreement with Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) for concurrent courses. Principal Hogan listed numerous courses which offer concurrent credits at Kee High School, noting several graduating seniors had numerous college credits because of the availability of concurrent classes.

A contract revision was approved for Tara Kolsrud as a secretary-aide in New Albin. The board approved the treasurer’s report and bank depositories as Kerndt Brothers Savings Bank, New Albin Savings Bank, Iowa School Cash Anticipation Program of Des Moines, Iowa Schools Joint Investment Trust of Des Moines and Bankers Trust Company of Des Moines.

The board approved the current board secretaries/business managers, Marian Verdon and Janet Heiderscheit, to remain in their positions. The board also approved the appointment of the same attorneys, Brian Gruhn Law Firm of Cedar Rapids, Swisher and Cohrt of Waterloo and Lynch Dallas of Cedar Rapids.

The final point of board discussion was the date and time of the September board meeting. President Schulte has conflicts with the next meeting time and requested moving the meeting date and time. The board approved moving the meeting to Wednesday, September 12 at 6 p.m.

Principal Steckel reported that the New Albin Improvement League hosted a 5K run, with the high school cross country team taking part. Funds raised will be donated to the elementary school. He noted that the food pantry is progressing and will be open soon at the former Rethwisch Lumber facility in Lansing. Keystone AEA is coming in for Explicit instruction and MTSS (multi-tier support system) training for part of this year’s beginning in-services.

Kindergarten classes have good enrollments of 25 in the morning and 29 in the afternoon, with four students in transition from Pre-K. The Pre-K four-year-olds have 19 students in the morning and 15 in the afternoon.

Principal Hogan did not have any firm numbers for enrollment yet at the middle school and high school, noting there will be more solid information in September. Classes begin in the district this Thursday and teachers are busy with professional development and class. The crisis team is going to Waukon to recertify this week.

Superintendent Crozier reported that MFL/MarMac and the EACSD had a joint opening keynote speaker earlier in the day and a full day of workshops and panel discussions including trauma sensitive schools, career education and opportunities, and concerns of local business and industry about preparing students for the world of work. He felt that the experience was beneficial for staff to network with teachers from other districts. Next year, that arrangement will switch so that the first day of events will be at Kee High School in Lansing.

Dr. Crozier said that he and board member Bruce Palmborg have been discussing a variety of issues concerning the Stone School. The City owns the school and the land. The district owns some of the land to the west where the gardens currently are. No action was taken.
 

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