The North Tama School Board met in regular session on Monday, April 9 and had a lot of business to discuss. The meeting was attended by Superintendant Bob Cue, School Board President Bob Young, Vice President Trisha Kennedy, Richard Arp, Tiffany Feisel, Judy Robb and Dave Stuart.
The meeting was called to order and the first item of business was the certified budget for the 2012-13 school year. The total budget for the next school year will be in the neighborhood of $8.9 million, with an expected enrollment decrease of just five students over the next five years. There are 521 students in North Tama schools this year.
The budget was approved unanimously and the regular session began with discussion of the funding of the girls basketball team's recent trip to the state tournament. The girls had a chance to visit the Iowa state capitol and other educational endeavors during their trip, which will be paid for through various fundraisers, including an upcoming fundraiser that will allow students to shoot free throws and get sponsors to pay for the amount of shots they make.
The council approved the bills as they were given and also approved a motion to increase the driver education fee to $300 from the current $275 due to increases in fuel costs over the past year, based on current vehicle mileage standards and the rising price of gasoline.
During the Spotlight on Education segment of the meeting, students presented a demonstration on what they learned for Pi Day on March 14th with an activity that involved measuring the circumference of various objects.
Third grade teachers also presented a slideshow on the teaching strategies they have been using to get kids more interested in reading, including a Daily 5 strategy that allows the students to take more initiative in planning and implementing their own learning strategies. The program has been a success, and the kids are seeing marked improvement in their reading, according to teachers.
A short presentation was given on the FCCLA medalists and their upcoming trip to nationals, which will be held in Orlando. The board approved the funding of the trip for the participants and one teacher, contingent upon the cost estimates being correct.
The principal's report was given by Irv Laube, and among the items discussed was the improvement in attendance and the drop in disciplinary reports during the third quarter of the school year. The attendance rate for North Tama rose to 96.75% in the third quarter, and there were a total of just two discipline referrals for the junior high, and 12 for the high school. This is a significant drop from previous quarters, which Laube credited to the new lunchtime detention program.
In addition, 56 percent of junior high students made the honor roll in the third quarter, along with 47 percent of high schoolers.
Spring sports have begun for the Redhawks and the track teams are doing well in their away meets, with three students also joining up with the Union soccer teams.
Following the principal's report, Bob Cue gave the superintendant's report that included discussion of repairs to the school building and athletic complex. There are several items that need to be addressed and the board will entertain more formal motions to make repairs as the need arises. Following the report, the meeting was adjourned.