The Pella Community School Board of directors met at the High School’s media center for a regular meeting. Members in attendance were President Joan Corbin, vice president Gregg Gustafson and Directors Timothy Tripp, Katie Peterson, and Gary Cuppock. Beginning with consent agenda, the Board reviewed previous meeting minutes, invoices for the July payment, and monthly financial reports. There were various personnel changes that were addressed at the meeting:
Kelilah Brown: Middle School Band Associate
Allison Limke: Middle School L3 Special Education Associate
Sheila Graham: High School half-time welding instructor
Mary Kooker: Part Time Pre-K Associate at Lincoln Elementary
Mollie Groenendyk: L3 Special Education associate at Jefferson Intermediate
Leah Bokinsky: Level 3 Special Education Associate at Jefferson Intermediate
Gary Konfirst: 7th Grade Boys’ Basketball Coach
Joe Atwell: Middle School Wrestling Coach
Robin Knapp: Varsity Assistant Volleyball Coach
Marv Klein: Bus Driver
Arnold Gritters: Bus Driver
Perry Mendell: High School Custodian
Curt Edwards: Middle School Custodian
In new business, Jefferson Intermediate is receiving a much needed upgrade to their heating and cooling system, as part of the overall facility plan for Jefferson. These HVAC upgrades will provide efficient air conditioning, ventilating, and heating for the entire school. After reviewing the proposal and estimated costs, the Board went over a Form of Contract for the project to continue in moving things forward with the upgrade. The total cost for this work is estimated at $591,742. Students and staff of Jefferson Intermediate can expect installation for the air conditioning throughout the school year. The public hearing time and place for the proposed plans has been set on August 12 at 4:30 , in the High School Media Center.
The next big topic of discussion on the Board’s agenda was the design of the highly anticipated Career Academy building. Pella High School is partnering with DMACC in an effort to provide students with hands-on experiences and relevant training programs for a future career. The programs offered will spike an interest in students concerning their future and help to build a workforce with a quicker-turn around to benefit local business and industry needs. Among the programs that may be offered are: Welding technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Ag Business, Information Technology, Health Occupations, Engineering (through Project Lead The Way), Auto mechanics, Criminal Justice and Construction Trades.
Architects Channing Swanson and Jackson DenHerder from Niewman Monson Architects attended the meeting to update the Board on the progress for the Academy, which will be located next to the High School. The architects provided the Board with site plans showing the location of the building, and a proposed parking and floor design. The building will be a 2 story, 24,000 square foot building. It will accommodate several shops for work space as well as classroom and office spaces. The design is scheduled to be complete by August 1, with specifications being worked out until the end of September. Construction for the building will likely happen late this year or in early spring 2014.
In smaller news, the Board discussed milk bids for the 2013-2014 school year and decided to go with AE Dairy, in the interest of benefiting local business. The Directors also reviewed and approved the Agreement with Central Buying Consortium. This is the agreement for central buying of food, chemicals, and other supplies between the Pella Community School and 14 other school districts in Central Iowa. The agreement was approved as presented. In the next existing agreement addressed by the Board, concerning after-school childcare with Crossroads of Pella, it was decided to amend the motion in order to include specifics about the use of the facility during the summer.
The School Board closed their meeting by examining Iowa School board legislative priorities for 2014. Resolutions the Board aims to focus on are:
1. Improvement in student achievement through various standards and development of assessments.
2. Financially, setting allowable growth at a rate that supports continuous school improvement.
3. Reform of Iowa’s K-12 Education system that: is research based, focused on student achievement, including comprehensive assessments to meet the Iowa Core, maintains oversight by locally elected board of directors and does not repurpose existing education funds.
4. Supports flexibility in the use of modified allowable growth for drop-out prevention and the expansion of the definition of “at-risk”, which will now allow scocial-economic status as a factor.
5. Supports full state funding to encourage local initiatives to comply with professional development program requirements.
Before the meeting was adjourned, the Board was reminded of the upcoming Board Elections, to be held in September. The directors will meet again on August 26 at 4:30 in the High School Media Center, for their next regular meeting.