Six employees were honored for their service to the Oskaloosa district upon their retirements. Honored were, Carolyn Wellings, Dorothy Mich (Meesh), Debra Sullivan, Shirley Ashman, Scottie Moore and Judy Mitchell. Prior to the meeting a reception was held in their honor.
District curriculum director Dr. Mary Cooksley made a presentation on the needs assessment. The assessment was based on feedback from students, parents, and teachers to ascertain school pride. The questions dealt with perceptions by teachers, students and parents. The data was close on most standards. Cooksley said there is room for improvement. She stated that the middle school data is not as reliable due to technological breakdowns, which allowed only nine students’ data to be recorded.
Cooksley said to remember it is perception data. There is also some data on bullying that she said the administrative team needs to look at and consider a direction to address.
Board members approved the applications from three foreign exchange students. The students are from Egypt, Italy and Thailand. They will attend Oskaloosa High School during the 2015-16 academic year.
Board members considered bids from CDW and SHI for the Chromebook project at the middle school. The board had estimated costs to be $215,000. SHI submitted a bid of $195,000. Technology director Shari Hankins-Barnhart investigated the company and asked the board to accept the bids and issue a contract for $195,500. The board approved the contract.
The board considered and approved the purchase of the Reading Wonders Curriculum for $170,000. Superintendent Russ Reiter said most if not all of the cost would be paid through categorical funding. The contract will be a six-year subscription to all the online tools. Board members and the superintendent said in meetings the elementary teachers were very supportive of the curriculum.
Superintendent Reiter requested an increase in the fees paid for full day and half-day substitute teachers for the 2015-16 year. Currently the district pays $105 for full day and $52.50 for half day. Reiter told board members that even with recent increases the past couple years the district still lags behind other districts. He said a higher level of pay is needed to attract the better instructors.
Reiter said some districts are paying $120 and $70, but recommended an increase to $110 and $65. Board president Carl Drost asked if the better move might be to increase to $120 and $70. Reiter said he wasn’t sure and the board settled on $115 and $70. Board member Tom Richardson abstained from the vote. He has a family member who substitutes in the district.
The board went into closed session for an employee evaluation at the request of the employee.
In other business:
Heard presentations from the district leadership team
Heard a presentation from the KinderPrep professional learning community
Approved three-year contract with Van Maanen Accounting firm in Pella to provide the annual district audit
Held public hearing on budget amendment for the 2014-15 school year and approved the amendment. No new tax dollars are needed for the amendment.
Set June 8 for a hearing on the sale of the student constructed house on South M Street
Approved the resignations of Scottie Moore and Casey Bisher