The check is in the mail! The planning for the new charter school designed to give all students the opportunity to continue on with their secondary education will move forward quickly, according to the Storm Lake School Board.
This week it was reported that preparations will begin as soon as promised funding is delivered.
Storm Lake High School is teaming up with Buena Vista University and Iowa Central Community College to offer this new and unique form of education known as the Early College High School program which will be implemented this fall. Students will be able to earn credit toward a high school degree and collegiate associate degree at the same time.
A check from the state for $50,000 will be sent soon to pay for staff development, mailing, marketing, rental fees for office space and equipment, and supplies.
High school principal Mike Hannah responded to Laurie Phelan, manager of Iowa Public Charter Schools, in a letter stating, "We hope that the Early College High School charter program can be an important transition experience for all students at Storm Lake High School, encouraging and supporting each student to experience the rigors of post-secondary level work while still in high school. While many of our students are already enrolled in a number of dual-credit course offerings, the expansion and focus of the charter school program is designed to attract even larger numbers of upper classmen to a planned program of transition from high school to post-secondary educational opportunities and experiences.
"We are hopeful that a greater number of our minority and low socio-economic students, in particular, will find the charter programming of benefit to their educational and career goals."
The charter school program is a new concept and officials involved in the Storm Lake project as well as the state officials, are excited about the projected outcomes.
The high school will get a new roof soon. Greg Brown of Garland Co. was present at the meeting to share preliminary drawing of the finished project. A pre-bid meeting will be held Feb. 25 with actual bids due by March 8. The school board will award the project at its meeting March 15 with work to begin by April 15. Completion of the roof is expected to be Aug. 1.
The school administrator is still awaiting word on whether or not the school has been selected to receive a grant that could pay for a portion of the project.
The School Board discussed in length the implementation of a new telephone system in the district's buildings with Steve Scarbrough.
The technology director had commented it is becoming more and more difficult to locate replacement parts for the older phones.
Three bids were received - from Professional Electronics of Alta, Iowa Telecom of Pella and MTC Systems of Des Moines.
Professional Electronics turned in the lowest bid for the specifics that the district is requesting at a cost of $58,479, with other bids ranging as high as $67,924.92.
A discount is being offered to bring that low bid down to $17,543.70.
The board questioned the administrators in attendance if they felt the new system was necessary. The elementary administrators said they could get along with the current system. The high school administrators said though their phones are old, they still do work. The middle school administrator cited numerous problems.
Because the discount, or E-rate, is available only for a short time, and won't be available again for the year, the board decided to accept the bid from Professional Electronics.
Scarbrough said the middle school has been experiencing a great deal of problems with the wireless system which controls the internet system there. Originally, it was thought a wind/ice storm was the culprit of the problems but it turns out that is not the case.
Scarbrough introduced some figures to the board that were not so appealing. A previous bid received during the 2002-03 school year, to bring fiber optics to eight buildings was $200,000. He estimated a link to just the middle school could now be $120,000 and that figure could be knocked down to $80,000, he estimated, if Buena Vista Regional Medical Center would splint into the fiber. BVRMC were contacted but did not say they would agree to the proposal. He added that a telephone system could be run through the fiber optic system.
He also introduced leasing bids which could total up to $30,000 per year. The board agreed to make repairs only to the fiber system at this time.
The school board looked at bids for a new bus. A recommendation from Superintendent Bill Kruse was to choose an International conventional bus at $65,615, including the trade in of a 1983 bus. The board approved the recommendation.
Resignations were received from:
* Jeremy Cook, swimming coach.
* Amanda Weber, ELL instructional assistant.
Contract recommendations were made for:
* Maria Bravo, ELL instructional assistant.
*Keri Schulke and Teysa Fymbo, disability services.
* Julio Zeledaon and Jeff Nolder, head and assistant boys soccer coaches.
* Cole Amaya and Jason Stoltzfus, head and assistant girls soccer coaches.