ACSD Board of Directors hires new girls basketball and volleyball head coaches, approves bids for work on new high school sports complex entrance at special session; Board advised of registration online for upcoming school year

by Brianne Eilers

The Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) Board of Directors met in a pair of meetings this past month. Coverage of both meetings appears below.

The Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) Board of Directors met Thursday morning, May 25 for a brief special meeting. In personnel matters, the board approved staff for the 21st Century After School Program.

Greg Criswell was hired as Middle School Physical Education teacher ($59,947) and head girls' basketball coach ($5,568). Andrew Turpen was hired as a fourth grade teacher ($33,304) and Bridget Dolan was hired as a sixth grade teacher ($33,304). Randy Nordheim was hired as head varsity volleyball coach ($5,714). Virginia Kurth was hired as the Middle School 21st Century Site Coordinator ($15 per hour). The board also accepted the resignation of Jackie Rubendall from her paraprofessional position.

In other business, the board approved Sunday open gyms for wrestling, as well as Sunday open gyms for girls basketball. A bid of $6,400 from Winona Controls was accepted for roof top unit repairs. The board also accepted several bids regarding the Sports Complex Entrance at Waukon High School, including the following: G & S Machine for the Richard Hermeier Sign/Arch, $11,843; Moe Fencing for fencing, $8,940; Van Meter for two light poles and ticket room lights, $6,184; Ken Kerr for three light pole bases for ticket stand area, $5,250; and Jed Hemann for ticket booth roof, windows, door and other finishing work, $7,119.18. The board also approved a fixed asset consulting agreement with Duff & Phelps.

The board met Monday evening, June 26 for its regular monthly meeting. During his report, ACSD Superintendent Dave Herold thanked Sue and Danny Schlitter for volunteering their time to weed the flower beds around the High School, Junior High and West Elementary schools. He also noted that the summer projects are going well.

Waterville Elementary Principal Julie Askelson noted that the Postville Elementary summer school students were at Waterville Elementary due to construction within the Postville School District facilities. She noted that the Waterville students were making new friends and that there will be a presentation in September of the things the Waterville and Postville students learned and did together.

East and West Elementary Principal Joe Griffith noted that they have finished up their reports and teachers have been hired to fill any vacancies in their staff. Waukon Middle School Principal Jennifer Garin reported that 45 middle school students participated in summer school, and they averaged 20 per day. She noted that students were able to participate in field trips and academic and enrichment activities.

Principal Garin also noted that a new meningococcal vaccination will be required for students entering seventh and 12th grades, and a letter will be sent to students and parents with information on that. She noted that this is required by the Iowa Department of Health. She also noted that the Middle School schedules have been released.

Waukon High School Activities Director/Assistant Principal Brian Hilsabeck noted that schedules have been released for the high school as well, except for baseball and softball schedules for next season. He noted that the high school had hosted the annual Jeff Houg Tournament Saturday, but the championship game got rained out. He also said that there is a good possibility ACSD will host the first round of postseason baseball games in coming weeks.

Dr. Mike Hardy, Waukon High School Principal, updated the board on the effect of the closed campus policy instituted during semester tests last year. Students who are failing a class were not allowed to have the open campus privileges during semester tests. There were 37 students who were not allowed to leave during the first semester and 26 the second semester. Dr. Hardy noted that initially going into April 2017, there had been 55 students who would have been affected by this rule, but they were motivated to improve their grades or pass the class, which is the goal of the rule. He also briefly discussed the CTE plan, which was later approved during the meeting.

Buildings and Grounds Director Bill Hennessy reported that summer projects are moving ahead. He also reported that a water pipe leak had been discovered on the baseball field and they were able to fix it, but more repairs could be needed in the fall.

Technology Director Shawn Gordon reported that they are moving into the East Elementary computer lab. He also noted that the East Elementary camera project is completed. He then informed the board that the district has received a letter on the FCC Funding Commitment. Gordon said they had asked for a 70% discount on internet and video services and did receive that. It will save the district $17,228. The district has saved about $500,000 since the funding commitment began.

Gordon noted that the district is working on e-registration, and a letter will be sent to parents to let them know it will be live August 1. Walk-in registration dates will be August 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., August 9 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and August 10 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Food Service Director Julie Magner reported that the Summer Feeding program fed an average of 225 students for lunch and 120 for breakfast. She noted that the Waterville/Postville numbers were 37 for breakfast and 40 for lunch. The district had a site review at Waterville and she said it went "great."

Transportation Director Randy Nordheim noted that his department is still busy with buses transporting students to various activities. When that winds down, they will be concentrating on cleaning up the buses, repairs and checks.

Barb Winters-Kelly, 21st Century Coordinator, reported that the summer school session went "very well." She said that one of the younger students had told her they didn't know summer school was "this much fun."

During the information portion of the meeting, the board members were reminded that in July they will set the 2018 IASB Call for Legislative Resolutions. They also touched on the IASB Fiscal Management Conference to be held July 19.

There was no old business to discuss. Under personnel matters, the board approved salary increases for the 21st Century staff. Jack Regan was hired as seventh/eighth grade wrestling coach ($2,001). The motion to approve Brian Ahlstrom as girls basketball volunteer coach died for lack of a second.

Under other new business matters, board member Patty Nordheim was re-appointed to the Park and Rec/Wellness Board. The fundraising calendar for 2017-2018 was approved. Changes to the coaching handbook were also approved.

The motion regarding changes to the student and teacher handbook was tabled. Board member Tom Baxter questioned the change regarding Commencement Exercises. The change in question was the request to add the following text under Commencement Exercises: "If a student does not attend commencement practice he/she will not be allowed to participate in commencement. All school sponsored activities will be excused."

Baxter's concern was if extenuating circumstances would be considered. He gave the example of a student having to take a parent to radiation treatments, and asked if they would not be allowed to then participate. Dr. Hardy replied that the school would consider the circumstances of the absence before making that decision. However, the motion was tabled because the board would like to see language reflecting that in the change before approving. The change to language will be presented at the July meeting.

The board then moved on to the next item, approving staff policies and administrative rules handbook for 2017-2018. The NICC contract for contracted classes for 2017-2018 was approved. The music department's Sunday event schedule for 2017-2018 was also approved. The board approved a revised plan with Mid-America.

A fundraiser was approved allowing the use of high school and middle school locker room showers during RAGBRAI® Friday, July 28. The funds raised by allowing bike riders to shower for a fee will help supplement athletic funds. ACSD coaching staff will supervise in two-hour shifts the use of the showering facilities at the school. It was noted that RAGBRAI riders will supply their own towels, and Hilsabeck also noted they would be selling freeze pops to riders while they wait.

The final order of business, before adjournment, was the approval of a change order for West Elementary Soffit Replacement and Remove Intake Obstruction.

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