Board president Cristy Kunz asked where the money for the trip comes from and if insurance was provided. Orris listed costs for the time spent in Ecuador as well as plane ticket costs, passports and shots costs. She said insurance was required. A deposit of $250 is needed by April 30. The decision will be on the April 9 board agenda.
The Iowa assessment results for grades 9-11 were presented by Moly Giese, filling in for Principal George Pickup who could not attend. Giese said there was across-the-board growth in all categories in 111th grade and the report was positive.
In ninth grade, she cited a 19 percent growth in reading, 16 percent in math, and 12 percent in science. In 10th grade, only science showed a slight decrease. When asked why the improvement, Giese said there were many reasons, but the prime reason was the “culture of accountability” emphasized by Pickup.
The board approved purchase of two new school buses at a total cost of $167,988. Low bidder is Hoglund Bus Company of Marshalltown. Purchased are a 65-passenger bus at $79,999 and a 53-passenger lift bus at $87,989.
Operations Director Keith Walker’s request to seek bids for several projects was approved. Projects are the Ekstrand Elementary and high school boiler replacements, the expected $57,000 lighting project at Ekstrand and asphalt/concrete at the bus garage. Walker said there was 8,200 square yards for repair/replacement and the project cost is estimated at $250,000 to $260,000. Asphalt would be about two-thirds the cost of concrete but requires more and quicker repairs. Walker recommended concrete.
The board approved hiring Brianne Beuter as high school speech contest coach at .05 on the stipend schedule, increased the contracts of high school at risk/alternative teacher Jason Lansing and elementary reading teacher Kelly Siegel to full time, and amended the contract of Ekstrand special- education associate Deb Petersen by increasing her hours.