The Alta School Board and administrators have considered the possibility of making eighth hour at the middle school an activity period.
Superintendent Fred Maharry recommended that the schedule continue as an academic period. "If this is not done," he told the board, " a subject such as physical education will be compromised or not taught at all. This is a violation of state code and does not meet the needs of our students."
Board members and the administrators commented that they have heard comments from parents on both sides of the issue but the majority of the comments showed concern for cutting out academic time.
When decision time came, the board agreed to leave the schedule as is.
Elementary/middle school principal Maxine Lampe requested that a third section be made available to split up the large class of fifth grade students. "This is an exciting problem to have," she said of the growth of the school. Though it will cost the district some dollars to bring in another certified teacher, board members agreed that it would be a "positive use of the money."
The board approved the request. Students will be divided up at the beginning of the second semester.
Lou Howell, who has been hired by the district to conduct staff development sessions on reading, was at the school last week to work with the teachers on vocabulary in the content areas. The staff is excited to work with Howell.
Superintendent Maharry has received preliminary proposals on grading the recently purchased farm land for the use of football and soccer practice areas. Northwest Iowa Community College proposed to move 24,815 yards of dirt at 95 cents per yard with a total cost of $23,574.25. The work would include stripping the black dirt and then putting one foot of it on top of the fields. After some discussion with Muryl Korver of NWICC, he estimated the amount of dirt moved could be reduced to 18,000 yards of dirt at a cost of $18,450.
Eldon Lichtenberg earlier proposed for Schoon's Construction to move 16,000 yards of dirt at a cost of $1.50 per yard.
"It should be noted," Maharry told the board, "that we do not have the money to do the grading for a while because we are still paying off expenses from the middle school."
The topic will be presented again at a later date.
The board agreed to the submission of two grants. The first is for fire safety and will include items such as a hood extinguishment system for the elementary kitchen and the high school kitchen. Fire rated doors are also needed for the custodial storage area for two refrigeration areas near the high school kitchen. Alta Fire Chief Gary Molgaard is working with the school district on the since the state fire marshal has 16 counties and has little time to work with the Alta district.
The other application to be submitted will be to seek funds for updating the Roxy Theatre. Projects being considered are a new roof, new lights, wall work near the entrance and possibly opening up some windows in the front and updating the downstairs restrooms.
The applications must be in Dec. 10.
Retainage fees for the middle school project of $2,640 to Johnson Specialty Sales, $3,367 to Smith Concrete and $5,930.50 to Septagon Construction were approved.
The board also agreed to offer a contract to Carrie Hepola to direct the spring play production, at a cost of $675, and to hire an assistant coach or coaches for speech contests, with the cost not to exceed $1,000.
Superintendent Maharry congratulates the cross country, volleyball and football teams for their excellent seasons.