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home : news : news Friday, April 29, 2016

4/3/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Kristy Weiss
Weiss hired as Northeast business manager

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

Kristy Weiss of Bellevue will be the new business manager for Northeast Community Schools after the school board approved her employment at its regular monthly meeting March 20.

Weiss previously worked as a senior audit associate at the McGladrey auditing firm, where she was hired in 2010.

She graduated form the University of Dubuque with a major in accounting and human resource management in May 2010.

In other personnel business, the board:

•Accepted the resignation of Steve Farrell as head varsity wrestling coach.

•Accepted the resignation of Michele Jacobsen as fourth-grade teacher. She has accepted a position with the AEA.

•Approved the appointment of Jennifer Huling, Kathryn House and Mary Frazier as co-coaches for boys and girls golf.

•Approved the appointment of Joel Allen as head middle school football coach.

Audit report

The board approved the annual audit report for the 2011/12 school year completed by the Bahnsack and Frommelt auditing firm of Overland Park, Kan.

The firm issued an unqualified opinion and found no instances of non-compliance in financial statements, but it did note material weaknesses in internal controls over financial reporting and major programs.

The majority of the material weaknesses relate to segregation of duties for financial reporting due to the small number of personnel involved, but the district also was cited for deficiencies in account reconciliation procedures, deficits in student activity accounts and award of scholarships from the activity fund rather than a trust fund.

Cox said the district already had begun addressing most of the issues prior to the start of the current school year.

Outgoing business manager Tina Bartels said the district has made progress in recent years in improving segregation of financial duties, and she believes steps can be taken to remove the deficiency entirely.

Public meeting on school security set April 9

Staff at Northeast are being trained in new school safety procedures after administrators attended a mid-March workshop on the ALICE response protocol.

ALICE, which stands for "Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate," trains teachers and students pro-active techniques to respond to an active shooter scenario.

It differs from standard training procedures by encouraging students and teachers to distract or fight back against a threatening subject if they are unable to escape.

Alternative school principal Bryce Bielenberg and assistant middle/high school principal Phil Bormann will give a presentation on the ALICE program for parents and community members at the board's April 9 meeting, immediately following a public hearing on the 2013/14 budget proposal.

The presentation will take 30-45 minutes, Bielenberg said. The district will send informational letters to parents prior to the meeting.

In related business, Cox said he will be preparing proposals for security improvements once a review of school buildings has been completed by Seven Citadels Consulting of Omaha.

At a cost of $5,000, the security consulting firm will analyze Northeast's security needs and make recommendations based on a site visit and interviews with teachers, administrators, custodians and other staff.

The analysis will look at access control, cameras and alarms, exterior and interior doors, after-school event security, emergency response procedures, threat management protocols, communications and notifications and policies and procedures.

Cox said he will put the information together with a security assessment conducted by the Department of Homeland Security and present a plan in the fall.

"This will be hardware we might need to make our school district safer," Cox said.

Cox said he expects recommendations will include installation of web-based cameras and implementing a "keyless door" system that utilizes a key card entry system in lieu of traditional locks.

Board approves facility maintenance agreements

At the superintendent's recommendation, the board approved three agreements with Northwest Mechanical of Davenport for maintenance of mechanical equipment in at a total cost of $11,149.

Agreement No. 1, at a cost of $7,439, is for the maintenance of 28 pneumatic stats, an air compressor, an air dryer, replacement of parts as needed and support and testing for the building control system for the new addition.

Agreement No. 2, at a cost of $1,926, is for two visits per year to back up the system, verify network communications and review any other issues at the elementary school.

Agreement No. 3, at a cost of $1,784, is a one-year agreement for testing and maintenance of four hot water boilers.

Other business

In other business, the board:

•Approved open enrollment into the district for 43 students from the Bellevue, Camanche, Clinton, Delwood, Easton Valley and Maquoketa school districts. The majority of the students are from Easton Valley and Clinton school districts.

•Tabled action on a proposed policy that amends provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 because the recommendation did not come from the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB). The board will allow more time for IASB to prepare a policy primer, though Cox said the board must approve a policy prior to the start of the 2013/14 school year.

•Approved renewal of an agreement with Timberline Services for Medicaid reimbursement. The district has recouped approximately $200,000 from Medicaid for services provided to level II and III special education students since it began applying for reimbursement of eligible Medicaid costs.

•Authorized the IASB to conduct a long-range school needs assessment at a cost of $1,200.

•Authorized the Northeast FFA to attend the 2013 FFA leadership conference April 21-23 in Ames.

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