ACSD Board of Directors holds annual organizational meeting

by Brianne Eilers

The Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) Board of Directors met Monday evening, November 18 for its regular monthly meeting, followed by its annual organizational meeting.

During the regular monthly meeting, members of the Waukon High School FFA chapter gave a presentation on the highlights of their trip to the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, IN. On the way to the convention, the group visited the Kinze plant in Williamsburg. Other highlights of the trip included visiting the FFA National Headquarters, an orchard, a 1920s era living history farm and sessions and educational opportunities at the convention.

In the Superintendent’s report, ACSD Superintendent Jay Mathis noted that the Veterans Day programs were well attended and well done. He thanked the staff and students for their work. The Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) results are in. This was the first year of this testing, which took the place of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Mathis thanked the custodial staff for clearing the snow from the football field when Waukon hosted the quarterfinal round of football. He also thanked the voters of the ACSD for their support of the extension of the voted PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy), as well as thanking board member Tim Waters for his years of service on the school board as he did not seek re-election after this term.

Mathis also gave an update on the progress of the West Elementary project involving an HVAC system, new windows and drop ceiling. He thought that by the December meeting they could have specifications for asbestos removal.

In the Principals’ reports, Waukon High School Principal Jennifer Garin noted that the student council sponsored a blood drive November 15. She also reported that the house project is moving along with the roof, soffit and fascia being completed. They are in the process of putting in windows and exterior doors, hoping to have the home enclosed soon. She updated the board on professional development that was held November 13, as well as the Youth Frontier retreats and the high school Veterans Day assembly.

Waukon High School Assistant Principal/Activities Director Brian Hilsabeck noted that the musical was a success. He thanked the staff, students and volunteers that helped to clear snow from the football field to host the quarterfinals. He also thanked the booster club for organizing a charter bus to the UNI Dome this past Saturday. Hilsabeck also invited the public to a “celebration of success” this Friday after the football players return to Waukon, with a time to be determined.

Waukon Middle School Principal Luke Steege reported on parent/teacher conferences and also noted that the winter concert is December 12. He also reported on winter middle school sports, PLC and the eighth grade 2020 field trip.

East and West Elementary Schools Principal Joe Griffith thanked the district for its support of the ongoing Kids Club as well as parent/teacher conferences. He also noted that they are discussing procedures on introducing East Elementary students to the new Chromebooks. December 10 will be the STEAM Night at East Elementary.

In other departmental reports, Building and Grounds Director Bill Hennessy noted that the boilers were started due to cold weather. He also reported on preparations for the quarterfinal football game. The East Elementary HVAC project is moving along and the plans for the West Elementary project are also coming along.

Technology Director Shawn Gordon reported that the East Elementary Chromebook bids were sent out and the board voted on the bid at the organizational meeting. He has also submitted enrollment for the ERATE filing.

Julie Magner, Food Service Director, reported that they served many local foods during Farm to School Month. The Veterans Day lunch was a success and they prepared 250 sack lunches for the Youth Frontiers retreats. Donuts for Dads will be November 26.

Transportation Director Andrew Eberling reported that he applied for a grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Iowa Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). The grant would pay up to 35% ($74,733) of eligible costs for two new LP buses, which the board approved for purchase later in the organizational meeting. Outgoing board member Tim Waters gave a brief address thanking the district and praising the staff of the ACSD.

The final item before adjournment of the regular meeting was the approval of the second reading of several board policies: 202.4 - Vacancies; 210.5 - Meeting Notice; 210.6 - Quorum; 210.9 - Consent Agendas; 211 - Open Meetings; 216.2 - Board of Directors’ Member Development and Training; 404.R1 - Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics Regulation; 711.7 - School Bus Safety Instruction; 711.15 - School Bus Passenger Restraints; 100 - Legal Status of the School District; 200.1 - Organization of the Board of Directors; 206.3 - Secretary; 206.4 - Treasurer; and 215 - Board of Directors’ Records.

The board reconvened for its annual organizational meeting with Board Secretary Jaime Curtin calling the meeting to order. A letter from the County Commissioner of Elections was approved. The oath of office was administered to elected board members Brent Beyer, Beth Shafer and Erik Helgerson. Allan Rissman was elected as board president and Erik Helgerson was elected as vice president, and they were administered their oaths as well. Regular board meetings were set to be held the third Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Waukon High School library.

Jaime Curtin was appointed as board secretary and treasurer and given her oath of office. The board then named the district’s depository banks as follows: Waukon State Bank, $15,000,000; FreedomBank, $5,000,000; and ISJIT/ISCAP $1,000,000. The Waukon Standard was named as the district’s official publication. Board committees were appointed as follows: School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC)- Beth Shafer; Negotiations- Allan Rissman and Erik Helgerson; County Compensation- Scott Melcher; Wellness Committee- Brent Beyer; Technology Committee- Allan Rissman and Erik Helgerson; and Curriculum and Technical Advisory Committee- Scott Melcher.

The board approved a bid for School Bus Sales in the amount of $139,789 for two 71-passenger propane powered buses. The board also discussed fueling options for the propane buses and what the district would have to do to have its own LP tanks for the buses.

The board then approved a bid from Sterling Computers for 245 Dell Chromebooks, 245 Google Chrome OS Management License and 12 30-bay anywhere carts for charging in the amount of $72,916.95. Technology Director Shawn Gordon explained that specifications were sent to six different companies, but only one bid was received. Superintendent Jay Mathis noted that the buses and Chromebooks would be purchased with PPEL funds.

The board approved one application for early graduation, as well as a bid from Winona Controls in the amount of $10,994 for replacement of a central kitchen compressor. Mathis noted that the unit had been struck by lightning and insurance would pay for all but the deductible. The board also approved the first reading of the following board policies: 507.9- Wellness; and 507.9R1- Wellness Regulation.

Under the consent agenda, several items were approved. Staff for after school programming was approved. Tim Gress and Alicia Enyart were approved as paraprofessionals for West Elementary. Resignations were accepted from paraprofessionals Jadi Twite and Kelly Delaney. Mariah Criswell was approved as a volunteer coach for girls basketball.

Jay Mathis and Karen Burke were appointed as Level I investigators for child abuse reporting. Bill Shafer was approved as a Level II investigator for child abuse reporting. Luke Steege was appointed as Equity Coordinator. Jennifer Garin was appointed as the Title IX Officer and Truancy Officer. Joe Griffith was appointed as the Section 504 Coordinator. Brian Hilsabeck was appointed as the Homeless Liaison. Amy Wasson was appointed as the Middle School and High School Guidance Counselor. Scott Iverson was appointed as the Elementary Guidance Counselor.

Sunday requests and out-of-state field trips were approved for fourth grade boys basketball and Iowa Honor Cheer Squad, respectively.

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