EACSD Board of Directors approves variety of personnel matters, hears updates at first meeting of the new school year

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Board of Directors of the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) held its regular meeting at Kee High School in Lansing Monday, September 20, the first meeting held after the start of the new school year. Board member Kelli Mudderman was not present.

After some additions to the agenda, the board adopted the agenda and the meeting proceeded with the usual authorizations for the September consent items, minutes of the regular August meeting, bills for September, Secretary’s Financial Report for August, Student Activity and Food Service August Reports.

The board approved several items of business before approving many personnel matters. The approved items of business included the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) annual transportation report, the FY21 certified annual report, the 28E agreement with Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) regarding concurrent courses and the FY22 purchase agreement with Keystone Area Education Agency (AEA).

In addition, the board approved the FY21 Special Education Supplement as presented, along with the resolution to make a request to the School Budget Review Committee for Modified Supplemental Amount and Supplemental Aid for the 2020-21 Special Education Program deficit of $119,643.01 as calculated by the Department of Management.

In personnel matters, the board appointed Kee High School and Middle School Principal Sarah Updegraff as Title IX Coordinator 2021-22 and dealt with numerous contract matters, including the acceptance of the resignations of Social Science teacher Bryce Rigdon and Art teacher Patrick Sullivan. A contract adjustment was approved for Russell Atkinson for second semester as a Social Science teacher, and a temporary first semester Social Science contract was approved for Patrick Wagner.

Numerous other contracts were approved, such as for Amy Peterson as junior varsity volleyball coach (75%), Jason Drape as junior high football coach, Terri Zipse as teacher aide, Joni Styve as preschool teacher aide, Hannah Darling as teacher aide, Brian Mallia as Student Council sponsor, Melissa Cota as Senior Class Sponsor (50%) and Kathleen Block as Senior Class Sponsor (50%), Ann Wagner as bus driver, and Martha Haugerud as Spanish Club sponsor.

The board also approved increasing the Certified Substitute Pay to $125.00 per day. The Series 600-Education Programs of the Board Polices was approved as presented.

The board entered a  closed session at 7:42 p.m. under Code 21.5(a) to discuss placement of a student within the district. After the closed session, the board returned to open session and approved the recommendations of the administration to  enroll the student, and place the student in complete online and homebound instruction.

Principal Updegraff reported that she is working on a transition to using MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports), a framework used to provide targeted support to struggling students. She also stated that Homecoming Week was underway in the district and looked to involve a fun week ahead.
New Albin Elementary School Principal Donna Thomas advised that she is working on individual professional development plans and enhancing the Google classroom system. The elementary school is also reviewing MTSS and will get it implemented soon. FAST testing is almost complete.  New Albin Elementary was planning its own pep rally for Homecoming this year and the sixth grade was planning to have its own float in the Homecoming Parade in Lansing.

EACSD Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier reported that the updates to the New Albin Elementary School are almost complete and look great. The Driver Education program with NICC is working on another time slot to accommodate students involved in sports.

Dr. Crozier noted that the district’s unspent balance is up, and this is mainly due to COVID-19. He said EACSD has many new hires and the cost of all of those comes from either Special Education, Kee Connect, or replacement of retiring and exiting staff, which allowed overall costs for staff to be reduced slightly.

He advised that a bus needs to be replaced and the bus lease is up next year, so a new bus will need to be leased. His HVAC update included information that staff would monitor the  system until any other updates are made. Repairs and maintenance will be ongoing as the district’s school buildings continue to age.