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ELC board OKs pay hikes

By Staff | Jun 9, 2009

Upon recommendation of the negotiations team, the Estherville Lincoln Central School Board Monday approved the following classified/administrative salary increases for the 2009-10 school year:

n Teachers, 3.8 percent.

n Administrators, 3.4 percent.

n Support staff, 2 percent.

In his annual report for the 2008-09 school year, ELC Superintendent Dick Magnuson showed how unstable the economy is with his comparison of diesel fuel costs over a two-year period.

In May of 2008, the district was paying $4.12 per gallon. In stark contrast, the cost of fuel per gallon in May 2009 was $2.06.

In his yearly update, he noted all departments are preparing for the big move to the new middle school. Routine maintenance and cleaning were obvious mentions with emphasis on school improvement and curriculum.

ELC High School Principal Frank Christenson outlined the plan for physical education classes for the 2009-10 that complies with new state guidelines.

He said Ryan Rezac, physical education teacher, will instruct the weightlifting class first period. Periods two, four, six, seven and eight are the class times set aside for physical education classes. His prep period will be third hour. “He will supervise the gym over the lunch where students can play basketball and other games; to burn off some energy.”

By opening up the gym fifth period, it is hoped students will gain that extra 40 minutes as stipulated in the new state guidelines.

The principal also explained the different P.E. exemptions and how they would apply with parental signatures. He also asked the board to consider P.E. exemptions for cheerleaders and drill team members.

He noted that this new state physical education requirement is creating a “logistical nightmare” in keeping track of physical activity.

An additional “new” item for the high school will be the designated staff parking area from the stop sign at the front entrance down past the greenhouse. With the new middle school on site, Christenson said it is anticipated there will be major traffic congestion on Circle Drive, First Avenue South and South 15th Place when school commences at the end of August.

Magnuson added First Avenue South and South 15th Place, in all likelihood, will become one-way streets prior to the start of school. “This will enhance the traffic pattern and be safer for the kids and parents.”

Something new for elementary students and parents this school year is that report cards will be available for pick up at Demoney beginning Monday, June 22.

Elementary Principal Kris Schlievert said this follows the same schedule as the middle school and high school.

She also noted the daily rate for child care will increase on Monday, July 6.

Some good news is that the Innovative At-Risk grant was OK’d for the upcoming school year. The bad news is the amount was cut by 8.8 percent. “We have it for one more year. We already lost Reading Recovery and cannot afford to lose IRIS too.”

In other business, one Estherville businessman approached the board with the idea of publishing the school calendar.

Glen Caron, publisher of the Estherville Daily News, asked the board to consider allowing the newspaper to publish a school wall calendar and also position the monthly calendar on the newspaper’s web site.

Caron said advertisements will be sold for the actual calendars. The revenue would pay the cost of printing. “This would be a newspaper project and not a school project.”

He also asked the board to consider approving the positioning of the school calendar on the newspaper web page.

Also discussed was the possibility of a dual-link between the school’s and newspaper’s web sites.

It was mentioned by the board the post-prom committee does sell pocket calendars. Caron said he would not want to create competition for a school group. The board took no action and will study the matter for further discussion at the July meeting.

In other business, the school board:

n Approved the hiring of Abbi Nitchals at the RWC; Jenny Litchty as .5 vo ag instructor at the high school; Kevin Richardson as three/eighths high school MOC instructor; Rick Gebel as transportation director; and Laura Sidles as special needs aide.

n Accepted the resignation of Joan Ingvall.

n OK’d the early graduation request for three students.

n Received a construction update at the new middle school.

n Set June 30 at 12:05 p.m. as the final bill payment date for the current Fiscal Year.

n Increased the rate of pay for substitute teacher to $100 per day.

n Gave the nod to the summer project list and approved the quotes for remodeling planned at the Roosevelt building. The low bid garnering approval was for $8,030.78, submitted by Loren Anderson.

n Approved the sale of the house located at 1509 South Third Ave. for the sum of $2,000. The approval is contingent upon the public hearing set for Tuesday, June 30 at noon.

n Reviewed the superintendent’s evaluation and goal sheets.

n Gave a nod for the annual contracts for services with Iowa Lakes Community College in regard to the Career Academy, Tech Prep Education Program, the CTE Program and the jointly sponsored (Post Secondary) program for the 2009-10 school year.

In his final remarks, Magnuson prepared the board for possible action if the district overspends the furniture budget for the new facility. The board has at its disposal the ability to request spending authority from the SBRC.

He explained that this is a possible option and nothing will be definite until sometime in August.