Oskaloosa School Board 9-28

Members of the Oskaloosa School Board met Monday evening to close out business from the previous board and organize with new members. Nik Rule, Neal Hadden and Shawn Moyer were honored for their service to the board during the opening session.

The trio received a plaque and lifetime admission to Oskaloosa school events in honor of their service from superintendent Russ Reiter.

Members of the old board received a presentation on the annual report and a request to send budget to the School Budget Review Committee. Following those measures, board secretary and business manager Chad Vink formally announced the results of the school election held Sept. 8.

Sharma Parlett, Erik Edgren and Nathan Hansen were added to the board replacing Neal Hadden, Moyer and Rule. Kraig Van Hulzen was re-elected to the board.

Vink presided over the meeting as chair pro-tem until the directors were sworn in and the board officers named. To open the organizational meeting was the swearing in of new members Parlett, Hansen, and Edgren, and Van Hulzen by Vink.

Prior to opening the board, president Carl Drost said he would not have his name in as president of the next board. Tom Richardson was selected as board chair. Shelly Herr was selected by the board as Vice President.

The board cited problems preparing an agenda as the reason to change the meeting day back to the second and fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m. from the current second Monday. Vink said the board policy will need to be changed, but is purely procedural.

Cathy Drost and Sharon Ferguson made a presentation to the board about progress on the school healthy community initiative. The duo serve as co-chairs of the project last year. They cited the walking school bus success where students and adults walk. Drost said a student wore a pedometer one day during the walk and marked 3,500 steps.

Ferguson said elementary principal Mike Dursky had provided information that spending time celebrating a birthday once a month has added more instructional time to the classes throughout the year.

Beth Danowski provided the board with information of the Mahaska County YMCA and child care facility. She shared a master plan and needs assessment plan. Danowski stated it is a conceptual plan and many stakeholders will need to be involved in the process.

Danowski unveiled a concept that would place a recreational facility in the Lacey Complex area. The working facility size is about 12,000 square feet including gym space, eight-lane pool and other recreational areas.

Danowski emphasized these are concepts only. She said the concepts consider recreation only and recreation with early childhood. The concepts also included renovation of multiple facilities including the existing YMCA.

The combined facility would include space for expansion. There are currently waiting lists for 2- and 3-year old early childhood education. The estimated cost for the combined facility is $24 million. Possible funding sources could include the local option sales tax.

Tim Oswald with Piper-Jaffrey, who has worked with the school district on a number of funding projects in the past. He talked in generalities as to how the school district could interact with the entities. The board will use work sessions to ascertain the direction the board wishes to take with
the development group.

The next board meeting will be held Oct. 20 due to superintendent Reiter attending an international conference in She-Shuh-Schwann China. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

Story provided by RD Keep


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