April 10, 2023
The Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Community School District Board of Directors met at the district office on Monday, April 10, 2023 for a board work session. Visitors in attendance: Ann Ohms, Logan & Regan More, Randal Maloy, Dimitri Boyer and Richard Lettington.
Board Work Session: Call to Order – Establish Quorum: President Houk called the board work session to order at 6:00 p.m. Roll call: Eric Klyn, present; Rena Shepherd, present; Lara Vandello, absent; Micah Van Mersbergen, present; Doug Brinegar, present; Mark Haselhuhn, absent; and Curt Houk present. Quorum established. Vandello arrived at 6:05 p.m.
Work Session: The Superintendent and board members are all invited to IHCC’s Appreciation Dinner to be held on Tuesday, April 25th. Any board members that would like to attend, please let board secretary know and she will get the number of attendees to IHCC.
Superintendent went over an analysis workbook for the daycare to help the board to decide if they would like to adjust rates for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1st. The board was happy to see that the daycare made money last year but still would like to make a small adjustment to the rates vs waiting a year or two and then having to make a big rate increase all at once.
The board then discussed a policy regarding the transfer between elementary buildings for resident district only students. The board is in favor of having a policy that will allow for in district transfer, but would like clear guidelines on how this is approved. The policy will include a cap on the number of students a class size can have before a transfer is not accepted, transportation will not be provided by the district, and the process of when transfers are accepted. Superintendent Williamson will bring a form that includes protocols to the board to act on with the April 17, 2023 board meeting.
Board policy 111, District Vision and Mission Statement was next discussed by the board. The board had a first reading on the following board mission statement: The mission of the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Community School District is to develop a quality education program and cultivate resolute citizens of Iowa. After the first reading was approved, some staff members asked to have input on the mission statement. The committee’s suggested mission statement is: The mission of the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Community School District is to provide a quality education which prepares Iowa students to be productive citizens of a global society. The board discussed both mission statements and then came up with the following mission statement: The mission statement of the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Community School District is to provide a quality education which cultivates Iowa students to be collaborative and productive citizens. Board policy 111 will be brought to the board meeting on April 17th for a first reading.
New board policy 722A, Nutrition Donations, was discussed. This would be a new policy to address when someone makes a donation to the nutrition account and does not specify how they would like the donation to be paid out. This policy will be the guidelines for how all donations will be paid unless there are specific guidelines from the donor on how they would like their donation paid out. This new policy will be brought to the board meeting on April 17th for a first reading.
2023-2024 School Calendar was then discussed with the board. They were given the results from the survey that was sent out to staff and parents regarding Spring Break and professional development days. A student survey was also held informally with the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th graders after they had completed their ISASP testing. Staff was in favor of keeping the Spring break at 76.4% to 23.6% and for professional development days they were in favor of the Friday PD days at 59.1% over Monday PD days at 40.9%. Parents are in favor of keeping the Spring break with 66.7% in favor and 33.3% against. Regarding professional development days, parents were in favor of Friday PD days with 65.2% and Monday receiving 34.8% of the vote. Students that were surveyed were in favor of the Spring Break, but wanted to keep the professional development days on Monday.
With the completion of Certified Staff negotiations, Subcommittees will be created to look more in depth at the possibility of changing the salary schedule for teachers so there is more equality in pay increases for all teachers, a committee to review the current supplemental salary schedule and supplemental positions and the last committee will be for the research into the need for a second agricultural teacher and/or advisor. Board members are to decide which committee they would like to be included on with no more than three board members to a committee. Other members of committees will be staff and administration.
Superintendent Williamson then went over enrollment and a 5-year projection on finances. If the district continues to lose enrollment, some hard decisions might need to be made by SY27 or SY28. The board is also going to need to address minimum class size and protocol for when this happens.
Board took a break at 7:22 p.m. Work session resumed at 7:25 p.m.
The final topic for discussion at this work session was Capital Projects. There are numerous projects that need to be addressed, but the board decided to have the following projects go to bid for this fall: Roof repairs on all buildings, build a kitchen to the Blakesburg Elementary to eliminate students leaving their building to eat, and the renovation of the current FCS classroom. Once the bid process is complete, the hope is to have the roof repairs to be done in the Fall of 2023 and both the Blakesburg Kitchen addition and the renovation of the current FCS room to take place in the Summer of 2024. Other smaller projects will be addressed this summer, the concrete at the back entrance to the Fremont Elementary needs to be level, as well as a few places at the Jr/Sr High and ventilation for the Wrestling room. Board is still working on narrowing down what future projects there might be with some of the ideas being the building of a new competition gym that will have a stage included, cold storage for band instruments, sports equipment, renovation of the second gym into classrooms with storage above, a new building that would house the weight room, wrestling and maybe choir. The board also needs to decide if they would like to replace the boiler in the West building in Blakesburg. With the kitchen being moved from this building, would it be cost effective to replace boiler if the only classes being held there are for the Explore Academy. Superintendent Williamson has discussed with the other superintendents from the therapeutic classroom consortium and they would like to see us look into finding a cheaper used boiler before they decide if they would be willing to help with the payment of the boiler. The board also must decide how much they are willing to spend on this building. Mr. Crawford from Denovo, is going to get the bid process started regarding our first projects to be completed.
Adjourn: Brinegar motioned and Vandello seconded to adjourn board work session. Meeting adjourned at 8:51 p.m.
Curt Houk Mary McCrea
Board President Board Secretary