The Pella Community School Board of Directors held another meeting in September on the 30th. Superintendent Greg Ebeling served as temporary president for the meeting and members answering roll call were: Greg Gustafson, Timothy Tripp, Gary Coppock, and Michelle VanMaanen. First on the agenda, the Board made a unanimous decision to re-elect Joan Corbin as Board President and Gregg Gustafson as Vice President.
The Board began by reviewing payment invoices, previous board minutes, and the monthly financial reports. The following personnel changes were also reviewed and approved by the Board:
Allysa Stephens- Middle School Special Education Associate & Middle School Girls’ Basketball
Karen Overgaard- Lincoln Elementary
Kelly Carlson- Jefferson Intermediate Special Education Associate
Charles (Mitch) Foster- Madison Elementary Special Education Associate
Jackie Gielau- High School Assistant Girls’ Soccer Coach
Carrie Blommers- Middle School Special Education and Media Associate
The progress on the DMACC Career Academy continued as the Directors reviewed updated plans and specifications. Construction contractor Jackson Den Herder was present to present the plans for the building, as well as to answer any questions. The Board received a budget document showing the overall estimated cost of the project to be $5,640,633.
Next, Directors received and addressed Reports from Principals and the Director of Instruction for the Pella Community School District. Instruction Director Lowell Ernst informed the Board on the work that is being done with the Literacy Committee, involving a new four step approach to help impact students the most. These efforts are parallel to the new C4K program, an acronym that stands for Collaboration for Kids. On the report, Lowell stated, “The focus on what to do for those who don’t learn has some exciting components that should lead us to be able to help students better than we have ever done.”
Lincoln and Madison Elementary Schools are also implementing new plans and ideas to best benefit our students. Through study guided groups, teachers are able to help students that are struggling with content. Math is one of the particular focuses for the elementary students, as well as Language Arts.
At the Middle School, changes include new entry exterior lights, and much-needed updated bleachers. With these modifications, the school will be able to host larger crowds without maintenance issues. Principal Josh Manning also expressed that the 1:1 Laptop program is going well. Teachers are being trained to monitor and control the devices in the classroom, which improves accountability, collaboration, and demonstration abilities. The High School is also having success with the 1:1 rollout.
In new business, Roger DeWaard was re-elected as Board Secretary and Treasurer for the 2013-2014 school year. The Pella Chronicle has been designated as the official publication for the school, and Ahlers & Cooney, PC Law Firm as the legal counsel for 2013-2014.
With the school year in full swing, the Board took time to review the numerous fundraisers for this year. Some of the upcoming fundraising events include: tulip time stands, FFA fruit sale, Band parent craft show, Christmas wreath sales, Book Fairs, various shirt sales, and Meals for the Heartland (going on now through the 20th).