ACSD Board of Directors approves variety of projects for the summer

by Brianne Eilers

The Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) Board of Directors met Monday evening, March 21 for its regular monthly meeting. During the reports time of the meeting, Board Secretary Janice Rea explained to the board members a pie chart which she had provided them that shows the four main areas that can be overspent in the budget: Instruction; Support Services; Non-instructional programs and Other Expenditures.
During the School Lunch Report, Superintendent Dave Herold stated, “Our lunch counts are very good counts, considering we have less students than a year ago or two years ago.” During the Superintendent’s Report, Herold explained that he had gone to the recent legislative forum held in Waukon. Some of the topics included State Supplemental Aid, the one-cent sales tax, transportation bill, funding for early childhood and preschool and assessment of literacy in students.
During the Principals Reports, Julie Askelson of Waterville Elementary noted that they had received their Iowa Assessment results. KWWL meteorologist Eileen Loan visited classrooms at Waterville. “She is a very positive role model for STEM,” Askelson noted, adding that Loan spent time explaining meteorology and the classes needed to study that subject.
Joe Griffith, East and West Elementary Principal, noted that the annual Spell-a-thon has kicked off, with the test being April 1. The students will be learning about the collection and processing of maple syrup also. Griffith also gave the report for Middle School Principal Jennifer Garin, who was out of town for the meeting. The sixth grade and junior high bands all received “Superior” ratings at the contest held in Waukon. The sixth grade Career Fair will be March 23.
Dr. Mike Hardy, Waukon High School Principal, noted that there were 35 new inductees to the WHS National Honor Society chapter and there were 148 students who received academic awards. He also said that the school staff has been working with students who are not passing in classes and have reduced the number by eight percent.
During the Curriculum Report, Gretchen Devore, Curriculum Director, noted that the district has begun assessing the results of the Iowa Assessment. ACSD received the TLC Grant and will begin training for that, as well as participating in some webinars for Emergency Management. Devore noted they have been working on learning the differentiating accountability, which she said is like the Site Visits, but computerized, and the State Report Card.
During the Buildings and Grounds report, Bill Hennessy noted that there have been issues with the high school roof again. The maintenance crew is getting ready for spring and summer activities. Barb Winters, 21st Century Coordinator, noted that she had attended a national conference. “We should be very proud of our school,” she said. At the conference the ACSD was held up as an example for rural schools and a good number of presentations were given on the 21st Century program at ACSD, as well as having group interviews.
Moving on to the Communications time, the Board was reminded that the Leadership for Student Learning Board Workshop is coming up. Under Old Business, the Board approved the second reading of a number of board policies.
Under New Business, the Board approved staff for the 21st Century After School Program. The Board also approved the transfer of Ben Lange from junior high football coach to high school football coach. Jim Hennessy was hired as a substitute bus driver, and Gail Teff and George Teff were also hired as substitute bus drivers.
The Board accepted the resignation of Janice Shogren, who has been with the ACSD for 35 years, due to retirement. The Board also accepted the resignation of Rose Snitker, who has been with the district for 50 years, due to retirement. The Board approved the transfer of Jessica Keenan from lunch secretary to payroll secretary and the transfer of Michelle Kiel from middle school associate to lunch secretary. The resignation of Don Kuennen, who has been with the district for 30 years, was also accepted, due to retirement.
A field trip for the fifth grade classes from East and Waterville Elementary Schools to visit the Villa Louis historical site in Prairie du Chien, WI and Effigy Mounds was approved. The  Board also approved the renewal of a co-op swimming agreement with Decorah Community School District. Sunday use of the football practice field for summer open field sessions was approved, as was Sunday use of the high school gym for open gym sessions for girls and boys basketball.
Sharing agreements with Eastern Allamakee Community School District for Director of Buildings and Grounds and Transportation Director were approved. A Human Resource Sharing Agreement with Postville Community School District was approved, as was a Guidance Counselor Sharing Agreement with North Winneshiek Community School District.
A list of summer projects was also approved, including the following:
West Elementary: Replace Hallway Lights (LED) - Ken Kerr, $14,512.55; East Elementary: New partitions for restrooms - VIP, $16,593.61, Water fountain (2) with bottle fillers - Casper, $3,723; Waterville Elementary: Replace carpet on second floor - Floors Plus, $3,908.76, Replace urinals, sinks and use flush valves - Casper, $7,851, Replace Wall boards behind toilets - Sweeney Builders, $3,864.46;
Junior High/High School: Replace fire doors (middle school office area and north hallway), Boiler Room door, Bathroom doors (middle school cafeteria) (two sets) - Sweeney Builders, $19,000, Replace urinals, toilets and flush valves in middle school bathrooms and middle school locker room - Casper, $11,203, replace Technology Room air conditioner - Winona Control, $5,400, replace lockers in middle school locker rooms - Iowa Direct, $46,584, replace shingled roof over east side of building - Beneke Roofing, $48,000 and Flashing and  Exhaust Fans for roof - Casper, $7,494, Replace cracked and broken tile, grind down expansion joints - Sweeney Flooring, $6,443.25.
Several painting projects were approved, with the work to be done by Toms Painting, $19,930. The drain assembly will be replaced in the middle school kitchen by Casper Plumbing, $270. The middle school and high school parking lots will be asphalt sealed and cracks filled in, as well as stripes painted, with work to be done by Strub Blacktopping, $17,250.
At the bus garage, the new area will be fenced off and the old area fence will be repaired by Lifetime Fencing, $8,995. Lighting in the garage will also be replaced with LED lights by Ken Kerr, $4,430.45. Several concrete replacement projects were approved to be done by Kelly Concrete for a price $7,355. A project to fill in pot holes in the parking lot at Waterville and fill in cracks was tabled, because several board members wanted to be able to look at the area and see how expansive the damage is and if it would be prudent to fill in the cracks or if they need to consider another action.
The Board approved the following Levies: Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) .33, Voted PPEL .19408, Management .72554, and Debt Service .30967. The Board also approved a Budget Guarantee Resolution and set a public hearing for April 14 at 7 a.m. for the 2016-2017 budget, as well as for amending the 2015-2016 budget. The Board accepted and placed on file the FY2015 audit.
Approval was also given for software purchases totaling $45,417.48 for staff. Technology Director Shawn Gordon noted that he spoke with administrators and the teaching staff to determine how many staff used certain software programs and why they used them, and that helped compile the list. The Board also approved the Master Contract with the Allamakee Community Education Association, which amounted to a 3.97% increase. Prior to adjournment, the Board approved the first reading of a number of board policies