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|2/20/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
|Central school board changes course on equipment disposal policy
By Jeremy Huss
The Central Community School Board has altered course on a proposed policy revision that would have authorized the superintendent to dispose of school district equipment valued at $5,000 or less without school board approval.
The board approved the first reading of the policy change Jan. 9. At its Feb. 13 meeting, board member Jim Irwin said he was having second thoughts about the $5,000 threshold after community members raised concerns.
Irwin said one scenario that worried him was the possibility the superintendent could estimate the value of an item at under the $5,000 amount only to have it sell for more than the limit at an auction site like e-Bay, which would result in the district violating its own policy.
"I thought I was OK with the dollar amount, but I'm not sure," Irwin said.
Board member Steve Fuglsang said he sees two sides to the issue. On one hand, the board is elected to make such decisions, but on the other hand, it's inefficient to require school board approval before the district can sell equipment, such as old track hurdles recently sold by the athletic department.
In the end, Fuglsang sided with Irwin in favor of lowering the dollar limit in the policy.
Board member Jennifer Naeve said she was OK with the $5,000 limit and said it's wasteful to require school board action for every equipment sale.
Board member Kurt Rickard agreed. He pointed out the policy still requires the board to be notified prior to any equipment sale and the superintendent still must answer to board members.
"He's not going to sell something that gets him in hot water with the board," Rickard said.
Peterson commented a limit between $1,000 and $5,000 doesn't make much sense because equipment sales that could be controversial would likely fall in that range, such as an old bus valued at $2,500.
Following the discussion, board members agreed to alter the policy to allow the superintendent to dispose of equipment valued at $1,000 or less. Items valued at $1,000 or more require school board approval to be sold.
In either case, the policy requires the school district to publish notice of the equipment disposal in the newspaper for at least two weeks.
A public hearing is required before the school district can dispose of equipment valued at more than $5,000.
Board approves completion of facility addition project
The school board formally closed its facility addition project by approving the completion and final acceptance of the middle and high school addition at the recommendation of FRK Architects and Engineers.
The board approved a final payment of $100,000 to general contractor Kraemer Brothers Inc.
The final payment brings the total project cost to $21,359,638, which is $374,238 over the original contract amount.
Policy limits student drivers
The board approved the first reading of a new policy on student use of motor vehicles. The policy lists requirements for students to drive to school on a special school driver's license.
The policy requires students to have completed eighth grade, to have demonstrated maturity consistent with a grant of unaccompanied driving privileges, to have no other viable alternative for transportation and to show the lack of a permit would deprive the student of a specific educational opportunity.
Peterson said some eighth-grade students who participated in jump-start kindergarten would be old enough to obtain a school driver's license, but he was recommending the policy to prevent eighth-grade students from driving unaccompanied to school.
District overspent on school resource officer
Under the monthly financial report, business manager Cindy McAleer noted the district is overspent by 33 percent on its line item for the school resource officer.
She said the district has an agreement with the city to split of the cost for the police officer, but the current agreement doesn't specify the cost.
Central paid $4,700 for the service last school year but has already paid out $6,255.97 this year, McAleer said.
Asked about the fluctuation in the rate, Peterson said the police department is trying to make the cost split more equitable.
He noted the district paid $13,000 per year when it was receiving grant funds to pay for the officer.
McAleer said the district is working on an agreement with the city under which the school would pay a portion of the base pay of the officer.
She noted the revenue report includes $29,715 received this year in federal Medicaid reimbursements, double what was estimated. She also noted the receipt of $2,454 in box top contributions at Ekstrand and an autism grant of $2,006.78 from Alliant Energy for Craig Reuter's science class.
In other business, the board:
Heard a report from activities director Kurt Kreiter on approval of the Tama school district to join Central's athletic conference in the 2014/15 school year.
Heard an update from Kreiter on a pre-concussion screening program for football players from Genesis Medical Center. The screenings will establish a baseline for comparison in case a student suffers a possible concussion. The cost is $1.50 per student for 75 students or more, he said.
Approved a resolution asking the legislature to approve a 4 percent allowable growth rate before considering a major education reform package and to uphold its statutory requirement to approve an allowable growth figure within the first 30 days of the legislation session.
Approved a request for a high school band trip to Chicago for a Broadway show April 6.
Approved the appointment of Katie Danner as assistant varsity girls track coach with a stipend of $2,506.61.
Accepted the resignations of Alyssa Maher as assistant varsity girls track coach and Lori Frick as assistant varsity volleyball coach.
Approved the appointment of Chase Bennett as a substitute bus driver.
Accepted the resignations of Jimmie Clark from the position of bus driver and Deb Bauer from the position as part-time high school custodian.
Approved open enrollment into the district for Julian Arndt, fifth grade, from Delwood Community Schools; Reece Westphal, ninth grade, from Delwood Community Schools; Mitchell McCombs, 11th grade, from North Scott Community Schools; Brandon Snowbarger, 10th grade, from Calamus-Wheatland Community Schools.