EACSD Board of Directors holds work session and regular session as calendar year comes to a close

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Board of Directors met in a pair of sessions during the month of December. Coverage of both meetings appears below.

Wednesday, December 13, the Eastern Allamakee Community School District Board met at Kee High School in Lansing for a work session. Board members present included Bobbie Goetzinger, Tony Becker, Melanie Mauss, Joe Manning and Arla Wagner. Also present were EACSD Superintendent and Grades 7-12 Principal Dr. Sarah Murray, New Albin Elementary School Principal Donna Thomas and Board Secretary Michele Martin. Visitors included Allison Fitzwater, Ian Zahren, Andrew Boddicker and Betsy Whitlatch.

Brett Nitzschke, attorney with the school district’s law firm, Ahlers & Cooney, joined via Zoom web conferencing to talk about recent legislation and to give the board members an overview of their rights and responsibilities as board members. He answered questions the board had previously provided to him.

Allison Fitzwater spoke about the timelines and history of prior negotiations with the board. Superintendent Murray discussed the forecast of new monies for negotiations. Board member Arla Wagner suggested ideas for negotiations and early retirement packages.

The  EACSD Board of Directors met in its regular monthly session Monday, December 18, with Board President Bobbie Goetzinger calling the meeting to order. Board members Tony Becker, Bobbie Goetzinger, Joe Manning, Melanie Mauss and Arla Wagner were all present, as were EACSD Superintendent and Grades 7-12 Principal Dr. Sarah Murray, New Albin Elementary School Principal Donna Thomas and Board Secretary Michele Martin. Visitors at the regular session included Marian Verdon and Alex Galema.

The board gave its approval to an overnight trip scheduled for February 22-23 of this year for music students to attend the Chanhassen Dinner Theater in Minnesota. Approval was also given to a contract for Terry Ely as junior high girls basketball coach and the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Drop-Out Prevention At-Risk Program.

Five board policies, numbered 106, 401.06, 401.14, 402.05 and 504.06, were read and adopted by the board after additional readings were waived. The board also reviewed two options for the 2024-2025 school year calendar, noting that a survey will be sent out for feedback on the suggested options.

The board reviewed an Attendance Proposal that will be added to the district handbook prior to the next school year. Superintendent Murray will keep the board informed of any further changes made prior to the start of the next school year.

Board members had several additional questions regarding the December 13 work session. Superintendent Murray will contact the school district’s attorney with those additional questions and report back to the board.

Principal Thomas reported the Winter Concert at New Albin Elementary went well for students and staff. She noted that New Albin Elementary was scheduled to have a Positive Behavior Intervention & Support (PBIS) celebration later that same week of the board meeting. She also said progress monitoring is going well.

Superintendent Murray said that Haley Harms, the district’s guidance counselor, is working on class scheduling for next school year. She said she will also share performance review standards with the board for the superintendent review.  In January student and financial data will be provided to the board.

Dr. Murray said she will be attending a budget writing session at Keystone Area Education Agency (AEA) in January. She noted that former Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier will act as a consultant for any budget questions  that she may have.