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Administrators and trustees thank patrons for vote of confidence

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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Aberdeen School District superintendent Jane Ward, the school administrators and all the trustees present, Herb Bohrer, Todd Lowder, Mike Shackelford and Elaine Blik, at the regular school board meeting on Wednesday, March 18, thanked the school district patrons for passing the supplemental levy Tuesday, March 10. Braden Driscoll was absent from the meeting.

Bohrer said he was happy the levy passed. Some people said they wondered why the district thought the levy wouldn't pass and others wondered why it would pass.

"People were saying the teachers make enough money for the work that they do, but people don't realize just how much work the teacher do. They work very hard and deserve the respect of the community and their students. With this passage, the kids are the winners in the end," Bohrer said,

He added he recognizes the roll of the school patrons on how successful the school disstrict is and he is thankful for them.

Ward said the passing of the levy will allow the teachers to be placed on the salary schedule where their credentials indicate they should be. She appreciated the support of the patrons and reported the teachers said it made them feel valued and appreciated as teachers in the community. They were overwhelmed by the vote of confidence they got from the community through the levy.

She said this is the first time that a levy has passed in Idaho that has been strictly for salaries so Aberdeen has a spot in Idaho's history for that.

Principals Robi Jo Colton, Ann Mennear and Travis Pincock each thanked the patrons for supporting the teachers and staff in the elementary, middle and high schools by passing the levy. Mennear said the passage went a long way for morale.

Trustees Lowder, Blik and Shackelford also thanked everyone for passing the supplemental levy. Lowder said it showed appreciation for what teachers do. Some patrons are happy and some are not. Blik said she hoped everyone is happy with the passage and hopes this will be the start of things to come so teachers will want to come to Aberdeen to work.

Superintendent's report

Ward reported they have hired a new business manager. His name is David Burke. He will be moving his family to Aberdeen from Alaska. He has a degree in Business Administration with options in finance and accounting. She looks forward to working with him.

Betty Enriquez will be taking the place of Connie Cornfoth in the middle school. They have hired Aaron Spence as the data specialist/registrar. He has a degree in business education.

The seclusion and restraint training has been completed for this school year. Ward thanked David Vaughn for providing the training to the staff.

She thanked Simon Bercier for transferring the district Internet from one system to the other withoiut any noticable downtime at the schools. The district was paying $6400 a month for 60 mg of service and they are now paying $1900 for 100 mg of service.

She reported that the high school fire alarm monitoring system installation was complete and operating, the tree removal project at the high school was complete, and three French drains will be installed, two in the bus yard and one in the middle school blacktop area. Administrator reports

Special services director David Vaughn was absent but provided a written report. He reported they recently completed giving the Idaho English Language Assessment (IELA) to students who have limited English proficiency. They received help in testing from Kim Leland, Heather Clark, Elbia Palacios and Ronda Wheeler. Testing went very smoothly at all buildings. Tonja Selman helped extensively in managing the testing.

The district is preparing for the ISAT which will begin March 30. Neal Cassell, Debbie Ellis and Ann Mennear attended training in Idaho Falls as building test coordinators. Vaughn received his training online. He reported this year the results will count towards adequate yearly progress. Next year's scores will be compared to this year's scores.

Ward reported that the special education/Medicaid secretary was leaving and that her job has been posted.

Elementary principal Colton reported that 79 students and parents attended the Family Math Night held Wednesday, March 18. Families played math games and learned effective ways to help students with math at home.

There are 111 Faithful Attendance student for the first semester (from Aug. 18 through Jan. 15) in grades Kindergarten through fifth.

Representatives from the University of Idaho presented the "Fabulous Fruits and Vegetables" nutrition class for all students K through 5 on Monday, March 2.

The testing window for ISAT/SBAC for the elementary school is March 30 through May 22. In the elementary building grades 3 through 5 will complete each test in math and ELS. The students have been using computer time to practice the tests. All students will need headphones to take the tests. Colton said she encourages families to make sure students get plenty of sleep, nutrition and encouragement at home.

The theme for rotation times in March has been "responsibility". All students have discussions and activities with Cassell about being responsible during library rotation.

Parent/teacher conferences will be held Thursday, April 2.

Middle school principal Mennear reported she attended the GEAR UP coordinators spring meeting in Twin Falls. During the meeting they discussed the summer Youth Summit in Moscow, different ways to involve parents in planning for their child's future, successes in other GEAR UP schools and she and Pincock began planning for the 2015-16 school year.

She passed on to the board a complement received from a patron in appreciation of how well the grounds are looking. She reported how well the middle school front door area looks where maintenance personnel have filled in a sunken drain and removed the posts which used to surround the area.

Mennear said she attended the Region V Idaho Secondary School Administrators meeting in Pocatello. During that meeting she learned about the different programs and opportunities available through the College of Vocational Technical programs at Idaho State University. She is letting the students know that Vo-Tech is a great schooling experience for those who aren't looking forward to regular college.

High school principal Pincock reported they are preparing for testing IELA, ISAT, ACT, APSIRE and SAT that will be given this spring.

He and Mennear are trying to choose five freshmen and sophomores to participate in the GEAR UP Youth Summit in Moscow. Students will learn about the various college opportunities in Northern Idaho as well as learn leadership skills to prepare them for college.

The senior projects went well this year, he said. He judged some of the presentations and was impressed.

Pincock congratulated Rylan Beck and Kyler Maxwell for placing at state wrestling. Beck took second and Maxwell took fifth. All of the wrestlers did well and representd the school well, he added. He thanked Jordan Johns and all of those parents and community members who helped with wrestling.

He congratulated band students, Tony Lemos, Scott Shipley, Jonathan Park and Jarom Hall, who were selected to attend the upcoming state solo competition. Lemos is going with his clarinet, Shipley with the trombone, Park the alto saxaphone and Hall for a tenor solo.

He also congratulated the FFA students who took first and second place in Ag Sales competition, students earning second place in the parliamentary procedure competition and a finalist in the state star farmer competition. The first place team included Lexi Lehman, Kyler Maxwell, Klae O'Brien and Sadie Nugent. The second place team included Patricia Gonzalez, Angie Rangel, Christian Bravo and Alondra Villa. The Parlimentary Procedure team took second place and included Russell Feld, Stetson Nielson, Cesar Cerna, Karlene Foster, Makenzie Rucker and Chris Funk. Nicole Goss took fourth place in Creed. Sadie Nugent is a finalist in the State Star Farmer Award.

Pincock said they recently held a GEAR UP service project where ninth graders read to elementary school students. They did well and the young students received a book to take home.

High school track has started and they have 40 students participating. He was asked if Aberdeen would host a track meet this year but reported the school still has some things to purchase and replace before they can.

Consent items The consent items were presented and approved. They included the Feb. 18 regular meeting minutes, the March 10 special board meeting minutes, the February claims, the February financial report, the February building budget reports, the February Bingham County tax report, and overnight trip requests. The trip requests were for FFA members to attend the State FFA Leadership Conference in Twin Falls on April 8 through 11 and the band to attend the Western Colorado Invitational Music Festival in Grand Junction, Colorado on April 15 through 18.

Business items

The board policies given for review last month were approved. They included Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Sick Leave, Evacuation/Fire Drills, Adolescent Relationship Abuse and Sexual Assault, School Wellness, Increase in Fees, Electronic Signatures and Records, Acquisition and Sale of Real Property, Tobacco Use on District Property, and Registered Sex Offenders.

During the discussion, Lowder asked who oversees the abuse cases. He was told the school counselors do. He also asked if the district has allergy lists for the students attending classes and controls what those students eat. Ward said the disstrict doesn't have a list and they don't control what the students purchase out of the vending machines. They also don't have any say on what the students eat. That is up to the students to control themselves.

The school calendar was approved. It is basically the same calendar they have used this year. Harvest can change from this calendar. It is adjusted as to the farmer's needs a few weeks before it takes place. Trustee input

Trustee Lowder said he sat in on a number of senior project presentations and said it was a good experience. He was happy to be able to do that. He was glad the wrestlers did as well as they did at state and he is always glad to hear of the success of the music program, adding that students doing well in all activities programs builds character.

Trustee Blik said she is happy with the extracurricular programs success. She thanked Ward for promoting the levy and being up front with where the money was going. She said the honesty was huge. She wished the cheerleaders well at the state competition.

Trustee Shackelford thanked the Becks and the Johns families for their support of all ages of students in the wrestling program. That requires a lot of time and money.

Chairman Bohrer said the supplemental levy will last only two years. After that the increase in staff salaries will have to come out of the school district budget.

"Hopefully by then the state will step up with the money to make up the supplemental levy dollars but we will have that liability," he said. "We need to be thinking of ways to fund these salary increases after the levy expires."

He said he attended the wrestling matches and continues to be impressed with those that wrestle and the dedication of them and the coaches.

Bohrer said the next vision committee meeting will be April 7.

A board member will be needed for negotiations that will start in just a short while. Lowder has represented the board for the past couple of years. He thanked him for that. Executive session The meeting was recessed from an open meeting into executive session to discuss personnel issues. Following the closed session trustees reconvened in public session. No further business was conducted so the meeting was adjourned until Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Springfield Fire Station and Community Center.

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Original Publication Date: March 25, 2015

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