By Marcy Knaack
Central Iowa Press
The Gladbrook-Reinbeck School Board, like many other school districts, are faced with across the board cuts and are looking at ways to reduce expenses for the next several years in order to balance the budget. At Monday night's meeting Supt. Tim Kuehl presented a financial picture for the next five years that showed new money projections that included spending authority and cash. The total over five years would be $(501729). Cash reductions in FY 10 include Phase 1 $(18,000) and across the board cuts of $(323,122). Total loss of revenue anticipated over five years is $(842,851).
At their work session held earlier this month they looked at possible reductions over the next five years. Some of these included an early retirement package with seven teachers eligible, reducing a music position, reducing K-8 art to .63 FTE, reducing all but 2 kitchen staff to 5.5 hours, reduce all custodians to 8 hour days year round, reduce TAG position to .5 FTE, eliminate or reduce 2 associate positions, reduce extended contracts and reduction of administrative position. These reductions would save the district $453,058. This is half of what is needed over the next five years.
Other possibilities include sharing high school positions with neighboring districts to receive supplemental weighting, fewer games on athletic schedules, having custodians mow all grounds, share coordinator positions with neighboring districts, also for supplemental weighting and invest in more efficient HVAC, using SILO money to lower general fund expenditures.
The board did approve an early retirement package to those teachers who have taught in the district 15 years and are 55 years or older.
The package includes $10,000 cash and five years of insurance, capped at a rate of $7,000 per year. The first four applicants would receive the benefit. Open enrollment period is from 7:30 am on December 4th to 4:30 pm on January 4th.
A public hearing will be held at 6:45 on December 17th for an early start waiver for the 2010-2011 school year.
The board voted to continue in the Iowa Drug and Alcohol Testing Program for the transportation department.
High School Principal Garrick Teckenburg reviewed the revised high school attendance policy that he would like to implement at the start of the 2nd semester. The District limits the number of days a student can be absent from a class to five school days during a semester. The District has identified three types of absences: verified, excused and unexcused. Verified absences will not be counted as part of the five day policy per semester. A verified absence could be for death in the family, medical illness or appointments that are signed and dated by doctor within 24 hours of visit, court appearances, participation in school sponsored events and religious holidays. Excused absences that will be counted as part of five days are personal illness that are not verified by doctor's office, family vacation or parent notification for pulling a student out of school for reasons not stated in the verified category.
Unexcused absences that will be counted as part of five days include absences that occur when a student leaves without permission to leave or the office is not notified. An accumulation of five or more unexcused absences will result in the loss of credit for the affected class periods.
When a student has missed four excused or unexcused school days or class periods, parents or guardians will be notified as an alert to the possibility of going into no-credit status upon receiving a sixth absence. A student will have an attendance make-up contract and will have 10 school days to make up the missed day.
Every accumulation of three unexcused tardies for a class period will equal an unexcused absence for the class period affected. The absence will count toward the five day total. An excused tardiness would be a pass signed by the office or teacher or an emergency situation. An unexcused tardiness is oversleeping, arriving at school late for reasons other than medical appointments, loitering in the halls or arriving late to class with no signed pass from a teacher or office personnel.
Teckenburg said attendance and tardiness is taken seriously and said the more students are in the classroom, the more opportunities they have to be successful.
The District is requesting modified allowable growth to replace the Phase I funding of $18,000 cut for FY 2010.
The bid of $10,551 from Standard Glass Company to replace the sliding doors at the Gladbrook pool was approved. The sliding doors will be replaced by two walk-out hinged doors with 1 inch insulated glass. Sandblasting and painting is being done at the pool as well.
The board approved a lease agreement with the G-R Daycare, d/b/a Reinbeck Daycare. Services and general maintenance/repair and lawn care and snow/ice removal were agreed upon between the two parties. The Daycare shall be responsible for routine janitorial services, supply purchases, food services while the G-R District agrees to maintain appropriate landscaping and provide lawn care services for the areas outside of the fence on the leased property. The Daycare will maintain appropriate landscaping and provide lawn care services for the areas inside of the fence on the leased property. The Daycare shall carry liability policies that have limits not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 annual aggregate. The goal was to have the building completed by the end of November but the end of December may be more realistic.
An update was given on the Gladbrook Daycare and their goal is to have the building enclosed by Christmas so work can continue on the inside during the winter months. $128,000 has been raised and a fund-raising dinner held Sunday was a success.
Kuehl said plans are to put shallow tile on the sidelines at the football field with three on the home side and two on the visitor side.
The board approved the $300,000 zero interest USDA loan and submitted invoices for over $300,000 to Consumer Energy.
Jeff Charley was hired as head baseball coach at a salary of $3,858. Three additional post secondary classes were approved, they are art appreciation, world religions and fundament oral communication. The Sports Booster Club donated a John Deere Gator to the District.
Principal Bill Parker said 154 middle school students went to the movies for receiving zero or only one checkmark for behavior over the first quarter. He said P-T Conferences were well attended. Winter sports started on the 16th and winter concerts at the elementary and middle school are set. The Reinbeck Elementary concert will be December 7th at 7 pm in the high school gym. The Gladbrook campus concerts are December 8th. K-2 and 5th and 6th will begin at 6:30 with the 7th and 8th grade concert to follow at 7 pm.
A letter of apology was received from the parent involved in the confrontation of officials after the Grundy Center football game. Kuehl said the parent has been notified, in writing, that they will be excluded from attending G-R activities through the end of the 2010 football season.
Meghan Sullivan talked about her Entrepreneurship class. The class has started their own business, known as Rebel Sellers and made Rebel bags that sell for $8. Sullivan is Yearbook sponsor and said the staff is currently selling ads. Estimated cost to print a yearbook is over $10,000. Yearbooks sell for $40. Other options that are less costly are being looked at.
A work session will be held December 2nd and the regular meeting will be December 17.