The Alta School Board had a great deal on its agenda at the monthly meeting held last week.
The board heard from Alta Library Board members Joan Curbow and Gigi Nelson on updating the automation system at the library. The school district will help in this endeavor by contributing $3,225 for the new system, a one-time fee of $399 to clean up the records and a $495 fee for cable, slip printer and scanner. The library board will pay $621 for the yearly license. The city council will also be asked to contribute.
The updates are necessary, Superintendent Fred Maharry said, and will be good for the library. The new system will allow for patrons to go online to check on such things as what books are available at the library.
Jeff James, treasurer of the Alta Community Education Foundation, also met with the board to discuss the finances.
"The Foundation continues to be an asset to our district," said Supt. Ma harry. Funds from the Foundation have been used to make improvements to the buildings and improvements at the Roxy Theatre.
"They have been a lot of help to us. I ask that people continue to keep the Alta Community Education Foundation in mind when they make their year-end contributions."
A great deal of work has been done to meet the goals that have been set up by the board. "We are continuing to work in several of these areas," Maharry said.
These are some of the areas that are being worked on:
* Improve student achievements in science, math and reading and to educate the whole child
* The before and after school programs
* To make sure all students are welcome and safe
* Working on anti-bullying program
* The Harkin Fire Safety grant will be applied for. If received, the grant will be used to pay for the many fire safety concerns, mostly at the high school. If the grant is not received, these areas of concern will still be completed but dollars to pay for these improvements, many of them quite costly, will need to be taken from the general budget or from the PPEL account
* Promote the strength of the families
* School promotion
Discussion will continue on steps to be taken to fill the PK-8 principal's position. Several options will be considered. The first is to advertise for a part-time principal. A second option would be to fill the position internally by assigning duties to current administrators. Another option is to share this position with a nearby district. It is hoped that a decision can be made by the December meeting.
Sharing opportunities are still being discussed. As there were only three board members at the meeting, the discussion was put on hold. It is important, Supt. Maharry said, to keep those lines of communication open.
The Alta School board has hired an architect, after interviewing three firms, to complete a high school facilities study.
FEH Architects of Sioux City was hired to do the work. The study will be completed in the next two months and will cost $6,000 and is being done to determine the best ways to improve high school classroom spaces to meet the needs of students.
If anyone is interested in serving on the High School Facilities Committee or have questions or suggestions, contact Superintendent Fred Maharry at 200-1010 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
In other business the board:
* approve the transfer of Runae Brake to the first grade associate position, replacing Lauren Lichtenberg who has resigned. Runae has been an associate in the 4-year-old program.
* hired Ronda Harrington to be the new associate in the 4-year-old program.
* approved Pedro Perez for graduation at the semester.
* approve the manditory Iowa Drug and Alcohol Testing Program participation agreement for all bus drivers. The cost is $45 per driver and an annual district participation fee of $50.