Eastern Allamakee School Board joins Rural School Advocates of Iowa

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Eastern Allamakee Community School District Board of met Monday, October 20 with all members present plus Superintendent Dale Crozier, New Albin Elementary School Principal Chad Steckel and Board Secretary Janet Heiderscheit.
During the public remarks portion of the meeting, Gertie Monat, a member of the Eastern Allamakee Community School District’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation grant writing team, updated the Board on the TLC (Teacher Leadership and Compensation) grant progress. The goals of the grant include attracting able and promising new teachers by offering competitive starting salaries and professional development and leadership opportunities; retaining effective teachers by providing enhanced career opportunities; and promoting collaboration by developing and supporting opportunities for teachers to learn from each other. In addition, the grant promotes rewarding professional growth and effective teaching by providing pathways for career opportunities with increased leadership responsibilities and involves increased compensation and improving student achievement by strengthening instruction.
The Board voted to join the Rural School Advocates of Iowa, a group represented by several rural school superintendents and board members, which advocates with the state legislature for students in rural schools to assure a fair and equal, quality education. The group has eight legislative priorities including a cost equalization formula for transportation based on students and route miles; at risk funding, particularly for poverty level students, and more local control with the expansion of funding by the Instructional Support Levies and the PPEL funds. In Iowa, funding is based on enrollment. Eastern Allamakee’s enrollment dropped 12 students from the 2013-2014 year. According to the advocacy group, Iowa ranks within the top three states in the nation losing population.
In other business, the Board approved the resignation of Forrest Ellis from his assistant baseball coaching position and approved the contract for Chad Steckel as the fall drivers education instructor. The Spanish Club asked for and received approval for a summer trip to Nicaragua.
In the administrative reports, Principal Steckel presented a final draft of the new report card format for New Albin Elementary School. The new format will not include traditional grades but will use P for proficient, S for satisfactory and N for needs improvement. Steckel said fall parent/teacher conferences  were well attended.
Supertendent Crozier acknowledged the district's business managers for assisting the Riceville school district with its annual report. He also reported that Kerndt Brothers Savings Bank and the New Albin Savings Bank raised $1,400 for the Booster Club at their tailgate event hosted during Homecoming. The two banks have donated  over $4,000 to the Booster Club over the past three years through the event. The Booster Club used this money to assist with the purchase of a water fountain at the high school.
The Board reviewed and certified the 2013-14 special education supplement, the certified annual report, the transportation report and enrollment report. Certified enrollment stands at 352 students, with 105 students in the high school, 85 in the middle school and 141 in the elementary school at New Albing. Twenty-two students open enrolled into the district this year. The Wellness policy was approved for 2014-15.