New issues for board
The state has recognized that there are many teaching positions that are becoming more difficult to fill and so as an incentive, extra dollars are being made available to schools, based on enrollment, to help bring in and keep these specialty teachers.
Market Factor Pay is a one-year commitment made available to the districts. Storm Lake School District received $13,000 which was divided among three teachers - Korey Cantrell, Talented and Gifted program; Norma Williams, Level II special education and Nicole Krager, a late hire for high school business.
This is the first year these funds have been made available in a legislative appropriation.
The district will use any market factor pay for recruiting or retaining staff in hard-to-find positions, improving staff diversity and so on.
The school board has also approved a contract for $115,785 to allow Kuehl and Payer Ltd. of Storm Lake to serve as the new elementary site engineers. Having a local site location engineer will be expected to be a cost savings to the district in the long run, it was pointed out.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Tedesco and the board members recently returned from the state school board convention where they said they had gathered a great deal of useful information.
President Mark Schultz pointed out that the physical education issue was a hot topic. Whereas many schools provide p.e. waivers for those students involved in sports, some schools require students, even those involved in sports, be required to participate in physical education.
Schultz said he would like the SL school board to take a closer look at the issue and decide "what's best for the kids."
Board member Leslie Cutler said she attended a session at the state convention dealing with transportation. She said it is important for students to sit closer to the front of the vehicles as a winter safety measure.
Board member Dan Douglas said one of the sessions dealt with the loss of schools in the state. He said he is proud of the fact that Storm Lake continues to grow in numbers. The connection with neighbor Iowa Central Community College, he said, "is tremendous. I am very pleased with what our district has to offer."
The school board approved the At-Risk application for the 2007-08 school year. The total budget is projected to be $535,273.21; 25 percent of that budget must come from the school district ($133,818.31).
Three contracts will be offered:
* Wendy Estrada, instructional aide in ELL, $7.75 per hour.
* Leah Weiland, early childhood special education at Gingerbread, $7.75 per hour
* Jean Garcia, level I special education at South Elementary, $7.75 per hour
Resignations were received from
* Ed Urban, ELL/reading
* Jim Baker, custodian at South Elementary School
The board also approved mid-year graduation for nine students who will have completed their requirements.