|School board reviews calendar, hears complaint, accepts teacher resignations|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00|
By Sheri Hink-Wagner
The Wauneta Breeze
The Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools board met for their regular April meeting Monday evening. The bulk of the time at the April meeting was spent discussing the 2014-2015 WP school calendar.
Superintendent Randy Geier presented board members with a draft calendar which listed Tuesday, Aug. 18 as the first day of school for students and Thursday, May 21 as the last day of school for students. The proposed calendar also included a two-week break over Christmas and New Year’s.
Board president Jon Anderjaska asked board members to consider adding four minutes to each of the school’s eight class periods, which would make each class 52 minutes long and allow the school to shave a week off the school calendar.
Anderjaska said his calculations predicted that reducing the school year by a week could lighten the school’s budget’s by as much as 3.5 percent, or roughly $90-100,000.
The 52-minute class periods would add roughly 30 minutes to the school day for WP students. Board members were concerned about the longer days, especially for younger students.
It was mentioned that younger grades are not required to have as many instruction hours as older students. Therefore, it was felt that perhaps the younger grades could maintain the current class length while older classes would have the 52-minute periods.
The school calendar discussion was tabled and no decision was made as board members would like to spend more time discussing different solutions concerning the calendar and possible longer class periods.
A community member asked to speak during the school board meeting. She was concerned about speeds driven by a school bus driver on Thursday, April 10.
She stated she observed the WP activities bus traveling at 65 miles per hour and 70 miles per hour and felt it was unsafe for students riding on the bus.
She also informed the board she had made two calls to WP Superintendent Randy Geier to complain about the excessive speed, but had not received a call back.
Geier told her he had addressed the excessive speed issue with the unnamed bus driver. He also apologized for not calling her back, explaining that he did not realize she wished to have a call back.
Adams, Hurtt resign
The school board accepted resignations from two of the district’s teachers. John Adams, who teaches social science for the high school, and Jill Hurtt, who sponsors student council and serves as the districts technology coordinator and media specialist, will resign as of the end of the school year.
Hurtt indicated during the meeting that she has accepted a position with the Hemingford school district. Board member Allison Sandman thanked Hurtt for her service to the district. Adams’ resignation letter did not indicate his future plans.
In his report Geier told board members next year’s school aid check would be right around $29,000. Although the figure is lower than what the school was used to receiving until recent years, he seemed positive of the aid level, stating the district is “self-sufficient these days.”
He also reported that 10-11 students have signed up to take drivers education this summer at WP. He’s still in process of hiring an instructor for the course.
Roger Reikofski included information about the upcoming Kindergarten Roundup in his principal’s report. The event is scheduled for the morning of Friday, April 25. He has also scheduled a pre-kindergarten open house for Tuesday, May 13.
He also suggested having a fall open house for all students before school starts.
Reikofski told board members the Nebraska Department of Education will be visiting the district soon to check for compliance with No Child Left Behind mandates.
Reikofski recently completed a grant application that would provide elementary students with fresh fruits and vegetables before and after school. He indicated the school will not hear back on the status of the application until summer. He is also exploring the possibility of applying for a Growth of Rural Education grant from Monsanto.
Reikofski told board members the school is in the midst of completing their NeSA tests. Administrators and school board members discussed the tests and other assessments completed at WP schools.
The next regular meeting of the Wauneta-Palisade schools board is currently set for Monday, May 12. The public is welcome to attend the meetings.