EACSD Board of Directors approves overnight trips for music and FFA students, hears fitness center update

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The monthly meeting of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) was held at Kee High School in Lansing Monday, October 15. The meeting was called to order by Heather Schulte, Board President. The following board members were present: Bobbie Goetzinger, Kelli Mudderman, Bruce Palmborg, Melanie Mauss and Heather Schulte. Also present were EACSD Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier, Kee High and Middle School Principal Mary Hogan, New Albin Elementary School Principal Chad Steckel and Board Secretary Janet Heiderscheit.

The board approved the overnight request for the Band and Choir trip to Chanhassen March 15-16, 2019. Students and staff will leave that Friday, take part in a clinic and campus tour at the University of Minnesota and eat at the dining hall. They will stay overnight at a hotel and go the next day to Como Park Zoo, where there will be food vendors and indoor and outdoor exhibits. They will then attend “Mama Mia” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. The trip will cost approximately $170 per student, and they intend to pursue fundraising ideas to help the students defray costs. The hope is to take three or four chaperons including the instructors.

The board also approved the FFA overnight request for the national convention October 23-26 of this year. In addition to the convention, they will be stopping at the Indianapolis Zoo. There will be two charter buses transporting students from several area schools and they will leave Tuesday night from Decorah. Wednesday they will arrive in Indianapolis and then will go to the zoo. Opening session at the National FFA Convention begins at 3 p.m. followed by supper and a Garth Brooks concert. The next day is a career fair with ag-related businesses and colleges. Then they will participate in a ropes course at a leadership center. The third session will have more speakers. On the return trip, they will stop at the Indianapolis Speedway, a swine farm and Fair Oaks, which is a large educational farm. The convention hosts approximately 60,000 students and teachers interested in agriculture.

FFA instructor Ray Rankin explained that the  school’s FFA judging team of Peter Boland,  Charles Stendel,  Rachel Walleser and Brooke Stanley won the Iowa state championship for dairy products and will be competing at the national convention. They were also the top team for problem solving at that state competition and won additional ribbons. Rachel Walleser will likely be competing in the State Cross Country Meet, so Ryan Schulte will replace her on the dairy products team at the national convention.

The group also went to an additional contest in Calmar and they were the top team there as well, with Stendel receiving five awards at the event. Then they attended the World Dairy Expo, where there were 70 teams, and they placed 16th overall in that national Midwest regional contest.

There will be a send-off from the school next Tuesday for the FFA students. Wednesday of the trip includes orientation and a team activity, with the actual contest being Thursday. Awards will be distributed at a banquet Friday. FFA started with 15 members, and the group now has 27 members, including 12 juniors, five sophomores and 10 freshmen. The board praised Rankin for his leadership and mentorship of the program.

The certified enrollment report was approved. Enrollment in the EACSD is certified at 327 students for the year. The board also approved the certified annual report, annual transportation report and the special education supplement. The transportation costs for the districts were $276,739 as a net cost. The average number of students transported per week was 221. Total miles traveled were 106,034. The average cost per pupil transported was $995.76.

The board also approved a driver education instruction contract for Chad Steckel.

During Administrative Reports, Principal Hogan described meeting with Keystone Area Education Agency through a Zoom meeting about being a trauma sensitive school. Professional development for the year will be based on the input from those meetings and surveys.

Principal Steckel reported that the fire department performed fire prevention activities at the elementary level, the VFW brought pumpkins and the police explained trick-or-treat safety. The elementary Veterans program will be held November 9 and the high school’s program will be November 12. Conferences are being held this week and the LIFT  food pantry in Lansing opened last week.

Superintendent Crozier told the board that the high school and middle school received a HAWC Grant for $4000 for wrap-around details. HAWC (Howard, Allamakee, Winneshiek and Clayton counties) deals with before and after school programs for middle school and high school programs.
In terms of the physical needs of the school, Dr. Crozier had several items to bring to the board’s attention. A storm this summer damaged the roof of the high school and the repairer recommended a section of the roof needs to be replaced. Other items which need to be looked at in the upcoming months include a newer truck, an air conditioning program, a refrigerator in the school kitchen, a mini bus, dehumidifiers, the fitness center and roof repair.

Dr. Crozier advised that soil under the fitness center has settled more than anticipated. In 2013, three different engineering firms said it was ok, but in a recent check, the center needs to have this taken care of or more significant problems will result. The fitness center will need to have the center wall removed with added pilings to replace it to create a better foundation. The middle wall is too heavy and will need to be replaced with a three-hour fire resistant dry wall. The fitness center will be closed for a short time during the repair. The repairs will all be paid for from the physical plant levy funds.

The convention for the Iowa Association of School Boards will be coming up. Board members Goetzinger and Schulte will represent the Eastern Allamakee Community School District at the convention.
 

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