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A-R holds last board meeting

By Staff | Jun 27, 2014

ARMSTRONG – The Armstrong-Ringsted Board of Education held its last – and shortest – meeting Tuesday night when it convened at 6 p.m. and adjourned at 6:03 – forever.

The meeting consisted largely of approving the agenda and superintendent Matt Berninghaus thanking the board for its dedication and hard work in moving toward consolidation with Sentral School District – which becomes official July 1.

“I see this like the end of a good book,” said board member Jen Von Bank.

When the North Union board convened a half hour later, Berninghaus discussed director appointments and operational sharing incentives from sharing transportation, maintenance, curriculum director, counselors and the business manager. Under the arrangement, Berninghaus said North union will pay 60 percent of the salary of business manager Erin Rogers or $37,900 while North Kossuth pays 40 percent; North Union will pay 40 percent of the human resources director’s salary while North Kossuth pays 60 percent; North Union will pay 80 percent of the transportation director’s salary with North Kossuth paying 20 percent; North Union will pay 80 percent of the maintenance director’s salary; and North Union will purchase 20 percent of the salary of curriculum director Julie Runksmeier’s salary with North Kossuth paying the remaining 80 percent.

Berninghaus said sharing will result in supplemental weighting from the Iowa Department of Education amounting to 21 full-time equivalent students, or $129,500 with incentive money amounting to $650,000 for five years.

Regarding the proposed addition on the south side of the Armstrong building, Berninghaus said architects will be ready to let bids July 7. Business manager Erin Rogers said bid opening will be 2 p.m. July 24. The goal is to finish construction by basketball season, Berninghaus said.

Berninghaus said Iowa Association of School Boards staff had assisted in combining policies of the Armstrong-Ringsted and Sentral boards. The board later approved first reading of the new policies with final reading coming during the July meeting. District members may view the new policies on the district Website.

The board approved the appointment of Gene Miller to fill the at-large vacancy of board member Ron Dacken, representing Sentral area patrons, who resigned earlier. The slot will be up for election September 2015.

The board approved fees for 2014-15 with no change in fees from last year except for a 25-cent increase for high-school breakfasts and a 10-cent increase for elementary lunches.

The board approved operational sharing agreements with North Kossuth and a $7,500 raise for Rogers who will have additional duties since she will be also serving as North Kossuth business manager.

The board also approved a contract for Sarah Graf who is replacing Andrew Robinson as vocal music director.