EACSD School Board hears requests, enrollment reports at regular session

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) held its regular board of directors meeting Monday, October 19 at Kee High School in Lansing. Board President Heather Schulte called the meeting to order. Also present were board members Melanie Mauss and  Bruce Palmborg. In addition, school personnel attending included Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier, New Albin Elementary School Principal and EACSD Activities Director Chad Steckel, Kee High School and Middle School Principal Mary Hogan and  Board Secretary/Business Manager Janet Heiderscheit.
The Board approved the agenda, the minutes of the September meeting, bills, the financial statement and customary authorizations.
The Eastern Allamakee Chapter of the FFA presented information to the Board about the upcoming FFA National Convention to be held in Louisville, KY. FFA members requested approval for an overnight trip for the four members of the group who have been chosen to attend. The group will travel with FFA members from the Crestwood and Postville school districts. The convention offers many educational, cultural and recreational opportunities. Many motivational speakers are also scheduled. The convention is an opportunity for the students to network with over 50,000 other FFA students from all over the United States. The trip will take place from October 27-31. The Board unanimously approved this request. FFA members will report back to the Board after they have returned.
Activities Director Steckel presented a request from the Kee baseball team for an overnight trip to Coon Rapids June 24 for a tournament which is 275 miles from Lansing. After discussing several options for the trip, the Board approved a one-night stay with travel via suburbans, driven by coaches or volunteers. The Board recommended that the activities director and coach look for closer tournament opportunities for future years.

The Board received the certified enrollment for the district. This year’s enrollment is down 4.6 students. The fraction of the student results from weighted students in special programs.
The Board also received a notice of intent to initiate collective bargaining from the Chauffeurs and Teamsters Union for the classified staff, such as the secretaries, custodians, teacher’s aides, bus drivers and paraprofessionals. In other personnel items, the Board approved the resignation of Angela Baumann as a teacher’s aide, the contract for Fall Drivers Education for Chad Steckel, the  extracurricular contract for Tiffanie Peters for junior high girls basketball, and the contract for Dolly Boland as a teacher’s aide in New Albin.

Superintendent Crozier asked Board members about the upcoming state school board convention November 18-19 in Des Moines, and Palmborg, Schulte and Goetzinger will be attending. Business Manager Heiderscheit will take care of arrangements for the group. Dr. Crozier also discussed his work on the district’s bus situation. He is exploring several options, including leasing with an option to buy at the end of eight years.
Dr. Crozier explained that the concession stand project at the softball diamond in New Albin will take place within the next couple of years. Drainage issues and plumbing issues need to be resolved before construction can begin.
Maintenance issues within the district include the expense of replacing a computer element for the boiler in the New Albin building. In addition, the Middle School building also has boiler issues which will need to be resolved in the next few years. Dr. Crozier explained that he is still working with the City of Lansing on a potential lease for portions of the Middle School building; when the City makes a decision, he will bring further information to the Board.
Principal Steckel said that the National Honor Society is sponsoring a 5K run this weekend for Cancer Awareness. Veterans Days assemblies will be held at Kee High School at 10 a.m. and at New Albin Elementary School at 1:30 p.m. Area veterans and community members are invited to attend.
The four-year-old pre-kindergarten students will trick-or-treat in downtown Lansing from 9-11:15 a.m. The first and second grade students will parade in New Albin at 12:30. Fourth grade students will plant trees October 20.
Principal Hogan’s remarks centered on the teacher leadership team. Keystone Area Education Agency (AEA) has provided presentations for teacher coaching/mentoring. Team leaders will survey the faculty and reflect on effectiveness of the program, and eventually there will be a presentation to the Board.
The faculty and staff are exploring the best ways to use the 1:1 laptop computer program. Professional development will include more training application on implementing the 1:1 technology, and future in-services will offer opportunities for staff in the Eastern Allamakee and MFL/MarMac school districts to collaborate. Personalized professional development is also being implemented through Keystone AEA.
Hogan told the Board that the  Traces “Bus-eum “will be in town October 29. This is a specially equipped school bus which contains exhibits that center on the Midwest and Iowa history. The Bus-eum will be at  Meehan Memorial Lansing Public Library in the morning so that community members can view the exhibits, and it will be at the high school in the afternoon so students can tour the exhibits. Sixth graders will also tour the exhibit since sixth grade is the year to focus on Iowa history. Traces is a non-profit organization focusing on the preservation of history and how it connects to the present.
Before the meeting concluded, Palmborg mentioned that a documentary entitled “Lost Schools” about small towns losing schools will be aired on Iowa Public Television (IPTV) at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 22. The next Board meeting is scheduled for November 16 at 7 p.m.

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