Oskaloosa School Board moved through a routine agenda Monday, which included acceptance of a resignation and approval of four teaching positions. The board also heard a presentation from Betty Latchaw about the use of an emotional support dog at the high school.
First grade teacher Danielle Franswah tendered her resignation. She will be leaving the district to move to the St. Louis area.
The board approved the following teachers:
Katie Topal for first grade at a salary of $35,723
Shelby Lucas for fourth grade $38,139
Steve Overbergen for third grade $34,165
William Pester as middle school special education $36,931
Superintendent Russ Reiter asked Betty Ann Latchaw, who works in the life skills room at the high school, provided the board with information on the use of an emotional support dog to assist students. Latchaw stated that there are 20-30 students in the two rooms during the day with additional students in the room at various times.
Latchaw owns the dog and would remain in her control throughout the day and covered under her family’s homeowner’s insurance policy. Zena (ZEE-Nuh) will have a bed in each classroom for her comfort.
Board members mentioned the use of therapy dogs in other settings and asked if there were districts in Iowa utilizing the dogs. Latchaw said Bettendorf has five dogs in their district.
Following approval of board policy 606.3, which allows a dog to be used in the classroom, the board approved the use of the dog. There were no noted costs to the district since the Latchaw family owns the dog.
Board members approved contracts with Twin Cedars Community Schools to share transportation Director Dale Nelson and maintenance director Allan Tolles. Reiter said this contract would allow both districts to participate in a reimbursement program that will be in play next year. It could mean about $30,000 to each district during the 2016-17 year.
In other business:
· Approved elementary parent/student handbook
· Approved contracts with five partners at Webster
· Approved agreement to allow seventh and eighth grade students from Oskaloosa Christian to participate in Oskaloosa Middle School activities that are not offered at Oskaloosa Christian