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Nelson to finish high school at UI

By Staff | Jun 15, 2010

Trisha Nelson will finish her last year of high school in a little different place – the University of Iowa.

Nelson came before the Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District Board of Education Monday night to request that she be permitted to attend her final year of school at the University of Iowa through the NACE program which gives select students the rare opportunity to take college classes for dual credit and finish their high-school program at the same time.

ELC High School Principal Frank Christenson said at Monday night’s board meeting that the program was open to talented and gifted students. Christenson said the students are housed with other high-school students in the program.

Superintendent Dick Magnuson observed that both the student handbook and board policy state that students need to have attended ELC during their senior year in order to be considered eligible for activities – and for valedictorian or salutatorian designation.

Christenson agreed that most districts have a policy addressing student attendance for activity eligibility. He said if the policy were changed for one person it leaves the board open to having to approve another request that was not as legitimate as Nelson’s.

Magnuson agreed that if the policy were changed for Nelson that would open the board to having to approve other requests. The board approved her request.

In other business, the board approved the consent agenda of hires and resignations.

Christenson noted new lights were being installed in the high-school gym. He said preparations are under way for relocating the alternative school to the former Rohlin building where the district also has its new bus barn. Christenson also said attendance rates were down for the year which he attributed to absenteeism due to H1N1.

Elementary Principal Kris Schlievert reviewed work on playground equipment at Demoney. She said 125-130 preschool students have been processed with a few slots remaining. Schlievert said there is an art program at Demoney over the next two weeks.

In his report, Mike Peterson, middle-school principal, said Becca Lair was one of 14 finalists in the national history competition in Washington, D.C. He said Lair would compete again Tuesday.

Peterson thanked the board for the new middle school on behalf of students, teachers and himself. “Thank you and what a treat,” Peterson said.

Regional Wellness Center Director Bob Grems said memberships were up 4 percent and summer activities were well under way. Grems did note some damage after the power outage a week and a half ago.

Magnuson said the timetable for Demoney roof repair was not yet known. He said work is continuing on the alternative school, tuck pointing, the alarm system and final adjustments on the middle-school project. He said the district still awaits results of a claim for the FEMA disaster declaration after the Christmas 2009 blizzard. He said the district will also ask FEMA to pick up the difference after insurance covers the cost of repairs to the ICN room in the high school after heavy snow collapsed the roof.

The board agreed to continue to look for a half-time music person. The board had planned on reducing the music department by one-half position. However, Kim Godtland, who was a full-time middle-school vocal instructor, took a position with Armstrong-Ringsted.

In other business:

n The board discussed possibly filling in a technology position after a resignation.

n Magnuson noted a visit the board made to Armstrong-Ringsted two weeks ago to see that school’s programs.

n The board approved a 2 percent increase for support staff salaries.

n The board approved a 2.3 percent package increase for custodial employees.

n The board will meet noon Wednesday, June 30 to pay year-end bills.

n The board tabled a 28E agreement with Armstrong-Ringsted for business services until the July meeting.

n Kate Woods, business manager, noted the upcoming Iowa Association of School Boards 2010 district meeting, legislative priorities for board designation and the fall 2010 IASB conference.

n The board went into closed session to discuss a personnel issue for the superintendent’s evaluation.