New superintendent Abbotts attends first Greene County school board meeting
By Rick Morain
The Greene County Community School Board on Wednesday, July 20, on a recommendation from new superintendent Brett Abbotts approved a three-year contract for a Measures of Annual Progress (MAP) Growth Assessment program.
Total cost of the program is $46,655. It is furnished by Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). The first year cost of $17,955 could be covered with federal emergency school relief funds.
The board meeting was the first under the direction of superintendent Abbotts, who assumed his position July 1. That date also began the current fiscal year of the district. He introduced himself and spoke on Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) legislative action priorities, new legislation affecting schools, Coffee and Conversation meetings, back-to-school plans, and an IASB financial focus meeting held earlier in the week.
Board president Steve Fisher welcomed Superintendent Abbotts to the district and introduced special guests Jim and Joan Abbotts.
On other matters, the board approved a number of items in preparation for the new 2022-23 school year, including proposed meal prices, books fees, and activity pass prices.
One change is in school meal prices. For the past two school years all student meals were free through the federal funded American Recovery Plan. This coming school year students not qualifying for free or reduced meals will need to pay for meals. Student lunch price will be $2.55 and student breakfast $1.20. Reduced priced lunch will be 40 cents and reduced priced breakfast 30 cents. Adult lunch will be $4.15 and adult breakfast $2.50. Extra milk will be 40 cents.
Books fees will be as follows: kindergarten $30 ($12 for reduced fee qualifiers), first to third grade $40 ($16 for reduced fee qualifiers), and fourth to twelfth graders $45 ($18 for reduced fee qualifiers).
Activity season tickets will be $50 for students, $100 for adults, and $25 for senior citizens over age 55. Paton-Churdan season passes, for shared sports only, will be $25 for students and $50 for adults.
The board reappointed Mumma-Pedersen Law Firm as its legal counsel, Sid Jones as treasurer, and Brenda Muir as secretary.
Most 2022-23 handbooks were approved: the middle school and high school student and parent handbooks, the employee handbook, the coach and director handbook, and the bus driver handbook. The elementary student and parent handbook will be presented for approval at the Aug. 17 board meeting.
The joint 28E agreement and food services agreement with New Opportunities Head Start for the 2022-23 school year was approved, as was the 2022-23 sports medicine coverage contract with 21st Century Rehab (the physical therapy service offered at Greene County Medical Center).
The 2022-23 depository resolution for district funds was approved with the following depository limits: Heartland Bank $1.5 million, Home State Bank $10 million, Peoples Bank $10 million, and Iowa School Joint Investment Trust $1 million.
The board approved nutrition bids for the 2022-23 school year. Successful low bidder for milk and dairy products was Anderson Erickson Dairy, with Kemps Dairy also submitting a bid. Current provider of bread and bakery products, Pan-O-Gold Banking Company, was the only bidder for those products, and that bid was also approved.
The board approved a request from FFA adviser Raelyn Harris for a trip by FFA members to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 25-28. Students will travel by charter bus with FFA members from Glidden-Ralston, Ogden, Ames and Roland-Story.
The board approved fundraisers for Ram football cards and the annual Ram Football Classic golf outing, and IJAG program fundraisers Home for the Holidays gift sales and Snackin’ in the USA food sales were also approve.
Staff resignations were approved from cook Judy Kolbeck, home school assistance program coordinator Cindy Herman, and elementary secretary Heather Davis.
The board placed on second reading and approved a revision to its policy on certified employee contract release. The revision strikes the phrase “may be required to pay for expenses incurred to locate and hire a suitable replacement,” replacing it with “will be required to pay $1,000 for employee-related time/expense associated with finding a suitable replacement.”
School driving permits were approved for four students: Kacee Pittman, Lila Osterson, Ella Ostrander and Naphthali Hoyt. All four students explained why they needed school permits. Board member Bonnie Silbaugh explained the rules and laws surrounding the permits. Board president Fisher signed the affidavits for minor school license forms.
The board placed three of its policies for first reading on revisions. With the open enrollment deadline removed by legislative action, IASC had recommended changes to meet the new laws. Those policy changes will be finalized for board approved at the next regular meeting.
Board policy on administrative voluntary retirement benefits was presented with a revision to clarify the administrative positions that are eligible for the policy.
As part of the completed superintendent search process, the McPherson & Jacobson consulting firm will work with the board and superintendent Abbotts to establish performance objectives. The board has tentatively scheduled a special meeting for that purpose on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
The board was reminded that its voted physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) will expire at the end of the 2023-24. To renew the levy would take an election.
Brief reports were heard from members of the district’s administrative team members.
The school board meets regularly the third Wednesday of every month at 5:15 p.m. in the board room at the middle school (former high school) on Ram Drive at the south edge of Jefferson.