By Sam Parsons
The Pella Community School Board met last night and heard their Career Academy Report. The district has been facilitating apprenticeships and other work-based learning through WorkSMART Connector in recent years, with much of the funding coming from private, educational, and corporate donations until July 1, 2023, at which point the district will assume financial responsibility. The district will continue to receive approximately $50,000 annually from partner financial support to help funding and they also hope to bring in dollars from sharing the program with other districts. Superintendent Greg Ebeling characterized the operation as a success, but said that it will continue to take a lot of effort to maintain and improve.
The board also received its audit for the 2021-22 school year, with no reported instances of non-compliance and numbers that were otherwise reviewed in September. They also made adjustments to their administrative structure for the next school year, with particular focus on the newly created position of Early Childhood Director. The district is still fielding applications for the position, which was initially slated to be attached to the Special Education Director Position with one person filling both roles. However, Ebeling said that based on the current pool of applicants so far, the district anticipates that the Early Childhood Director could be someone without prior experience, so he recommended that the Special Education Director position be attributed to current middle school principal Josh Manning. Manning accepted the position and the restructuring was approved.