EACSD Board of Directors hears update in regard to upcoming NICC Levy vote

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) was held at Kee High School in Lansing Monday, June 16. The meeting was called to order by Heather Schulte, Board President. The following Board members were present: Bobbie Goetzinger, Bruce Palmborg, Melanie Mauss and Heather Schulte. Kelli Mudderman was absent. Also present at the meeting were Dr. Dale Crozier, Superintendent; Mary Hogan, Kee Middle and High School Principal and Marian Verdon, Board Secretary. Chad Steckel, New Albin Elementary Principal, was absent.

The Board asked for audience comments. Erica Nosbisch, Director of the Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) Center presented an overview of the upcoming vote for continuation of a bond levy to support NICC. Ten years ago, a bond for $35 million was passed for NICC that supported mostly infrastructure and updates to buildings, and that bond is now up for renewal. NICC has two main campuses and seven service centers, covering eight counties in northeast Iowa. Allamakee County is part of that NICC coverage area with a NICC satellite center located in Waukon.

The continuation of this bond levy would support four main needs: infrastructure (building updates), educational programming that would include coordinating with local businesses to help train workers, technology updates, and security (both cyber and physical security). Nosbisch explained that this is a continued tax, not a new one. The vote will be held September 11, the appointed date for school elections, and absentee ballots are available at county courthouses. The continuation of this bond levy would be a property tax of 28.8 cents per $1,000 assessed value, with an example of a $150,000 home being assessed $1.89 per month.

Nosbisch described some of the services that NICC provides to area schools, including Career Learning Links, which is a big part of how NICC works with the Eastern Allamakee Community School District. Ideally, NICC wants to establish a career coach in each school district in the area. EACSD currently has such a career coach in Hannah Steiber. NICC served over 2,300 individuals with career and academic advising in addition to arranging for students and educators to tour local businesses to explore careers. The school also conducts student mock interviews, helps establish internships, sets up career fairs and establishes on-the-job training.

Nosbisch further explained that local centers, such as Waukon, help with NICC registration for local students and assist with financial aid forms. She noted that NICC served 507 Allamakee County students who earned approximately 6,000 college credits last year. In the NICC area, approximately 6,290 students are enrolled, with several thousand more who look to NICC for continuing education certification credits. Nosbisch said students enrolled at NICC pay 35% less than at Iowa public universities and 83% less than Iowa private colleges.

Several students at Kee High School earn college credit every year through the dual enrollment program the high school has in place with NICC.

The Board approved food service bids for the 2018-2019 school year. Only one company bid for each item. Prairie Farms was selected for milk and Sara Lee/Bimbo Bakeries was the bread bid.

A contract for Clay Olson to serve as an assistant football coach was approved. The board accepted the resignation of Collette Kasten, New Albin Elementary School secretary, with the board and administration expressing appreciation for her years of service to the district.

Dr. Crozier informed the board that in 2018 Eastern Allamakee staff will travel to the MFL/MarMac district for one of the opening days of professional development. In 2019, MFL/MarMac staff will come to the Eastern Allamakee district. This will allow for some special speakers and programming. Dr. Crozier and the board agreed to continue membership in the Rural School Advocates group, which lobbied for the transportation equalization, whole grade sharing and other benefits which help rural schools.

Superintendent Crozier said he also talked to Pat Heiderscheit and others to develop a list of people who are successful alumni who may be resources for the district. The Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) has selected Dr. Crozier and board members to present a session on shared superintendency at the Iowa Association of School Boards convention.

Principal Hogan presented the board with the plaque that the district received for being recognized as a Bronze Level School by U.S. News and World Report. The district also received this award in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2017. The school offices are getting ready for fall registration, with August 6 and 7 being designated as family registration night from 4-7 p.m. Hogan is preparing a letter to go out to teachers about professional development days.

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