ACSD Board of Directors hires new Middle School Principal/Activities Director at special meeting, hears updates on projects and facilities at regular session

by Brianne Eilers

The Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) Board of Directors met Thursday, June 6 for a special session. The board approved the asbestos abatement proposal from Advanced Environmental for $26,948.00. The board then went into closed session to conduct interviews for the Middle School Principal/Activities Director vacancy created by the transition of Jennifer Garin to the Waukon High School Principal position. Following the interviews, the board voted to offer a contract for the position to Luke Steege at an annual salary of $90,000.00.

The board’s regular monthly meeting was held Monday, June 17. Board members Tim Waters and Patty Nordheim were absent. Under personnel matters, staff for the after school programs was approved, as was Amber Adney for the position of assistant volleyball coach. Two open enrollments out were approved. The board also approved renewing the SAI Mentoring and Induction Program Agreement and renewal of the software agreements with Grantwood AEA.

In his report to the board, Superintendent Jay Mathis noted that the equipment in the East Elementary kitchen has been cleaned, polished and repassivated. The asbestos removal crew at East has finished up and now the project will move into the window removal and replacement phase.

In his final report to the board, retiring Waukon High School Principal Dr. Mike Hardy noted that the student-built home has been sold so a project is being planned for next year. He also noted that he has been working with incoming high school principal Jennifer Garin on transitioning duties. Dr. Hardy thanked the board for its support during his time as principal.

Waukon High School Assistant Principal/Activities Director Brian Hilsabeck noted that semester testing went well, as did end of the year professional development. Fall, winter and spring sporting schedules for 2019-2020 will be released to the public within the month. Free physicals and concussion screening for students/athletes will be held Monday, July 29 and Wednesday, July 31 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

In her final report as Middle School Principal, Garin noted that the Middle School awards program was held May 31. She touched on professional development at the end of the year as well. She also noted that middle school activities for the 2019-2020 school year will be on the ACSD website by the end of June.

East Elementary and West Elementary Principal Joe Griffith noted that he will be discontinuing Perfect Attendance Awards at both centers.

Buildings and Grounds Director Bill Hennessy noted that things went smoothly moving items out of East Elementary. The East project is moving along, and contractors have been making good progress. Cleaning of the centers and waxing the floors has also begun.

Technology Director Shawn Gordon noted that the new staff laptops have been distributed. The virtual desktop infrastructure server project is underway. The 700 new student laptops have arrived, and staff is going through the old laptops to see how many are fully usable for elementary students.

Food Service Director Julie Magner noted that the Summer Feeding Program has been having good numbers. They are averaging 102 children for breakfast and 180 for lunch. She also noted that her department received a letter that they have to continue working on reducing their operating balance. She noted that part of the solution is to not increase the price of paid lunches, improve food quality by purchasing more local ingredients and upgrading equipment.

Transportation Director Andrew Eberling noted they are power washing under the buses and cleaning them out. He also reported that Mulgrew has agreed to set two 1,000 gallon fuel tanks in the bus lot with a free lease. He explained that this will allow them to monitor moisture issues and blend the fuel to their needs to hopefully avoid issues experienced this past winter.

Under new business, the board approved certificates of deposits for bond proceeds. The district will deposit $1,000,000 in a nine-month CD at Waukon State Bank and $2,000,000 in a 12-month CD at Waukon State Bank. The board then approved a general fund transfer for protective equipment. Mathis noted that they can use general funding for this instead of monies from the activity fund. The total amount of the helmets and other protective equipment is $4,105.53.

Garin noted that the district will have to carefully watch how they order things like helmets in the future as the laws have changed for the rotational system. She explained that they have to be rotated and then thrown away every four years, regardless of condition or if they have been used. The laws no longer allow for “gifting” old helmets to other programs.

The 2019-2020 student fee schedule was approved, as were changes to the student and faculty handbooks. The board also approved the District Developed Service Delivery Plan. The board approved to adopt the Return-to-Play/Learn Protocol, which deals with students returning to school and activities following a concussion. A 28E Agreement with the City of Waukon regarding the tennis courts was also approved.

The board approved replacement of rooftop units used in cooling/heating systems for a total of $29,950. Hennessy noted that while doing preventative maintenance on the units, they noticed some repairs to be made. The units are over 10 years old, and replacement was recommended as opposed to repairing the units. He explained that there are lots of components to the heating and cooling aspects and that the units are pretty much running non-stop. When one unit fails to perform, the other unit has to make up for that.

The board approved the purchase of an ECO-250 self-propelled spreader from Village Farm & Home in the total amount of $5,939.00. The spreader will be used to help maintain the football field as well as baseball and softball fields. It will help spread out dirt more evenly as well as sand and grass seed. The unit can also be used along sidewalks to repair any winterkill to the grass. The unit could also be used to spread salt in the winter time.

The board also approved the purchase of a digital repeater, 39 bus radios and 31 handheld radios for the district from TBS Electronics, Inc. for a total of $37,400 ($34,235 after mail-in rebate). Eberling noted that he has worked with this company in farming operations for several years and has had no complaints with them. Gordon explained that the repeater and radios will be digital as opposed to the current analog. This should hopefully increase range for radio communication in the district.

The board approved a change authorization request for the East Elementary HVAC project regarding the area of the entrance, secretary’s office and principal’s office. The changes to the entry will allow for the secretary to have line of sight communication with those entering and exiting the building and ID tracking.

The board approved the payment of bills through June 30, 2019 with board president approval. The board then approved the first reading of several board policies. Prior to adjournment, the board also approved the Emergency Operations Plan.

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