|School board prepares for 2015-2016 school year|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 23 July 2015 00:00|
By Sheri Hink-Wagner
The Wauneta Breeze
The Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools board met last Wednesday for their July meeting. Much of the meeting centered around preparations for the 2015/2016 school year, which will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
An increase in the cost of meals purchased at the schools was one of the items addressed. The board voted to increase meal prices by $0.10 across the board.
Meal prices for the new school year will be $1.70 for breakfast (all ages), $2.35 for preschool through sixth grade lunches, $2.70 for seventh grade through high school lunches and $3.45 for adult lunches.
It was noted the board needs to increase meal prices so that they equal more than the Federal reimbursement rate.
Last year meal prices were raised $0.10 for students and $0.25 for adults.
Policy review/student handbook
Preparations for the new school year also led board members to review three of the school’s policies.
First, they held a public hearing to discuss, and ultimately approve, the parent involvement/community relations policy (policy 1030).
The policy defines ways parents and district patrons may file comments with the superintendent. It states comment forms, “intended to help resolve issues, arbitrate disputes, facilitate understanding, recognize achievements and commend success,” are available in the office of each attendance center.
The policy goes on to lay out procedures for handling comment cards received by the superintendent, especially those which involve a specific staff member.
No members of the public attended the meeting to comment during the public hearing.
Second, board members reviewed the district’s hazing and bullying prevention policy, which is included as part of the handbook.
The policy currently begins with a sentence stating, “No form of hazing or bullying shall be permitted by any pupil attending the Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools.” Board secretary Allison Sandman recommended the policy be amended to include cyber bullying at the August meeting.
No action was taken on the policy, which will be addressed at the August meeting as part of a larger Student Handbook discussion.
Lastly, the board reviewed the student fees policy. This policy states if a student wishes to participate in a school sponsored activity but does not have the funds to purchase needed supplies the school will work to provide those supplies.
The policy covers sports, woods, music, etc. It also states supplies purchased belong to the school after the student finishes with them. No action was taken at the July meeting, the board will address this policy again and will hold a public hearing regarding the policy at their August meeting.
The board also discussed adding an integrated science class to the student handbook. Superintendent Randy Geier explained the class is currently being offered to students who do not wish to take chemistry.
He explained the class allows those students to fulfill their science requirements for graduation.
Geier recommended adding the integrated science class as a requirement for students who do not wish to take chemistry.
The board agreed to add the class to the handbook at the July meeting, but did not take any official action. The student handbook will be reviewed and approved at the August meeting.
Financial reports for the July meeting included a $25,000 payment to ABC Companies. Board member John Jutten questioned the payment. It was explained by Bill Bischoff to be a down payment on the repairs being completed on the district’s two coach buses by the Minnesota company. The buses were taken to the company for repairs last month.
Bischoff stated the $25,000 payment is a parts deposit. He said repairs for the larger bus will cost approximately $47,635. It is not yet known what the repairs to the smaller bus will come to.
Bischoff noted the busses were originally purchased for $65,000 three years ago. He said the repairs being completed now are “catch up” from the past three years.
The board approved the financial reports, including payment to ABC Companies.
Geier began his report to the board by providing additional information on the previously discussed need for a new cooling system in the Wauneta Attendance Center’s kitchen.
The board previously discussed seeking bids for the project, which will include an overhaul of the exhaust fan over the oven and new cooling system.
Geier noted the estimates have come in for less than previously expected and that the work should be completed before the beginning of the new school year.
Geier also noted the new overhead door at the former ag shop will soon be installed. The new door will allow the district to store both coach busses in the former ag shop.
He also noted the district is considering incorporation of a new intervention period during the next school year. The class period would be held once per week during alternating class periods to allow students one-on-one time with teachers if they are struggling with certain subjects.
Geier also asked the board for permission to research the costs and benefits of installation of a greenhouse for the ag program. He said other schools in the region have them and that there may be grant funds available to help build a greenhouse. The idea is still in its preliminary stages, but Geier would like to discuss the idea with the ag instructors and students.
Lastly, Geier told the board he attended the July Wauneta Chamber meeting to talk about developing a new curriculum piece for WP students called Career Pathways. He said Career Pathways would ask business leaders to come in and talk to students about their various businesses with the idea of finding ways to draw students back to the area after graduation. The class may also include alteration of the current work release program.
Elementary Principal Roger Reikofski provided an overview of the Bronco Academy, which will be offered from July 20 through July 30. The elementary academy will be held in Palisade and the 7-12 grade academy in Wauneta.
He stated teacher referral, NESA and Terra Nova scores are used to determine which students are invited to the academy.
Reikofski also said the Palisade Attendance Center has been busy with summer maintenance projects including a new coat of paint and new curtains in the Palisade gym.
He said he expects the painting project to be completed and the curtains to arrive soon.
He also reported the No Child Left Behind school wide plans for elementary and middle school have been approved. Reikofski stated the plans will allow Title 1 funds to be used to help the entire school, not just individual students.
He noted the school recently ordered 40 iPads for elementary students, the cost of which will be reimbursed from Title 1 funds.
Reikofski also briefly noted the schools’ technology plan for the 2015-2016 school year has been approved. He said the plan is necessary for various funding sources and programs.
The next regular meeting of the school board will be held Monday, Aug. 10.
The public is welcome to attend school board meetings.