The USD 273 Board of Education met last night for a regular meeting in which a wide range of topics were discussed. New officers were elected for the 2013-2014 school year. Jason Johnson was nominated and elected as the new board president and Brenda Krone was nominated and elected vice president both in unanimous votes of 6-0. The meeting was called to order and the first official order of business was to announce the retirement of Custodian Maggie Harr.
Administrators' reports were given starting with Beloit Jr.-Sr. High School Principal Daryl Moore. He noted that summer school was a success this year with 14 of the 16 students finishing the program and that 46 of 48 students taking drivers' education completed that program. Principal Moore reported that the gym project is moving along as the bleachers have been removed and the floor has been painted. No problems were reported during this process and the new bleachers will be coming soon. Two new teachers have been placed at the high school. Katie Cox will be teaching Jr. High School Science and Matt Thieroff will be teaching Social Studies and will also be coaching. The high school is undergoing some changes in the way of security and starting this fall all doors will be locked at 8:00 AM. The south doors coming into the Commons Area and the west doors near the office will be the only ones that will allow entry by way of a buzzer system after all school doors have been locked. Parents of students who will be juniors or seniors this coming school year will have loan agreements and responsibilities to review during enrollment August 1st and 2nd for iPads that will be issued to them this school year. These new devices will be the responsibility of the parent and student when they are not on school property and each device will have a filter and apps in place when the student receives their device. Finally there was also discussion about service learning hours and how they could possibly be changed or updated to work better for the school and the students. The Board decided they would form a special committee for further discussion on this topic and report back at the next meeting with their findings.
A report was also heard from Special Education on meeting State Performance Plan Indicators 9 and 10 Disproportionate Representation and IDEA VI-B Allocations for 2014 in which the special education cooperative will receive over $450,000 in federal funding, down 1% from last year. There is also staff training and a director's leadership conference upcoming in August.
The BES PTO report included the establishment of "Kate's Corner" in the library as a memorial corner for Kate Kindscher where there will be three chairs and a book display purchased with funds designated in Kate's memorial. The PTO will also be hosting a welcome back breakfast for faculty and staff of BES on August 14th and a family fun night on August 16th. The PTO also discussed fundraising projects, in which they have been asked to include no food or healthy food. When the current contract runs out with the fundraising company they currently use, this will be reviewed. STUCO at the high school level also has two events set up for July - attending camp and a lock-in at the high school.
Karen Pahls reported that the CB CAP Grant had been received in the amount of near $400,000 for Mitchell, Lincoln, and Jewell counties. This covers classes for parents of very young children and at-home child care providers along with Jennifer Eilert being able to continue as social worker for the area and play therapy sessions. She also announced the need for a PAT data entry clerk and health and safety educator that could hopefully be filled by one person on a part-time basis.
The report from the Beloit Elementary school covered the summer school program, which included a focus mainly on reading for younger kids, and the new security doors to be installed that will be locked and require the use of a doorbell for entry to the school. BES is also working on removal of the current tables in the lunchroom for new tables to be installed. The removal and installation will take place this coming September.
In other action the Board approved by a vote of 6-0 unchanged Board of Education Appointments and Board of Education Designations, meal prices (lunch prices increasing by $.10 for students and $.40 for adults), milk prices, reimbursement rate for mileage, driver education fees, textbook fees, and activity fees for the 2013-2014 school year. The Board also reviewed the preliminary budget for the upcoming school year and approved the addition of another full-time technology technician to be funded by funds already in place due to the work load of the current employee in that position, which was approved 6-0.
The Board meeting concluded with executive session before adjournment.
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