School board of directors consider school violence prevention training

Friday, October 18, 2019
Alta Elementary teacher, Amelia Werner, addresses the board

The Board of Directors for the Alta-Aurelia Community School District met Monday night to address a full agenda. The night began with Spotlight reports from directors of schools in the district presenting progress reports from their facilities concerning lesson plans from their staff. Buena Vista School Superintendent, Bill Walters, then addressed the agenda for the night.

Walters suggested to the board that it is time to consider Relational, Impactful, Preventative Leadership (RIPL) training. This is training given to teachers and staff as a proactive way of preventing school violence. Walters explained he has been conferring with Scott Doss, a former middle school principal and now a RIPL trainer, about possibly coming into the Alta-Aurelia schools and taking an assessment of what he thinks needs to be addressed and changed.

“I waited a long time before I made a decision on who I wanted to come into my building,” Walters said to the board. “There’s a lot of good training out there as far as relationship builders and preventative verses reactive, these guys fit the bill.”

Walters explained to the board that the initial bill for the training, approximately $15,000, would be a one time payment which covers their assessment, training and travel costs. Any follow-up visits after that will be by piecemeal and will be priced out individually at a significantly lower price.

Among the other agenda items covered was the proposal for new copy machines and printer restructure for the entire school system. Access Solutions Copier Service spoke to the board and made a proposal concerning leasing and maintaining the school system’s copiers and printers.

After the proposal, the board decided they would like to present the offer to the local copier service that has been the school system’s supplier for several years to see if they could match the price. It was unanimously decided if the board could stay with the local company they would like to do that.

“My folks were local vendors and dealt with schools a lot,” said Walters. “At the end of the day though, you have to do what’s best for your district.”

Should the board decide to switch vendors they must cancel their current contract at least 60 days in advance. This means if they do decide to go in a different direction, a special meeting will have to be called in early November in order to pass the resolution in time for the contract to run out in January. As of press time that meeting has not been scheduled.

As the meeting ran to a close the board was asked to make a decision concerning the softball coach for the varsity team. Walters explained to the board that he would like to be considered for the softball coach position in the spring. Athletic Director, Grant Peckenschneider, clarified to the board that there were other applicants not in the board room who were vying for the softball coach position in addition to Walters. He went on to say that he and Walters had discussed the dynamics of the position concerning supervisor verses subordinate and that they were both fine with how it will work out.

The board voted to bring on Walters as the new softball coach. Walters stated he is anxious to get started.

“I’m glad to be working with the kids,” said Walters. “I’ve coached softball before in southern Iowa, I’ve coached my daughter and my nieces. I’m looking forward to it.”

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be Nov. 11 at 6 p.m.