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IV considers extending school day for 2010-2011

By NICK NARIGON

The Iowa Valley School Board will consider making the school days longer next year for the junior and senior high in order to set aside time for students to have time for special activities at the end of the week.

IV High School Principal Shawn Kreman proposed the change in hours at the May 24 school board meeting. Kreman suggested expanding the school day by 10 minutes and varying the length of each class periods.

His recommendation is for the school day to start at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3:17 p.m.

Currently, the school day starts at 8:28 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m.

Kreman also suggested that class periods be 47 minutes long Monday through Thursday, then on Friday the class periods would be 44 minutes. Then on Friday from 2:55 to 3:17 p.m. the students would have a special seminar or activity, Kreman said.

“This is another way we can develop relationships with the kids,” said Kreman.

School board member Dennis Roberts said he liked that Kreman was “thinking outside the box.”

IV Superintendent Alan Jensen said the school board can think about the proposal and take action at the next school board meeting.

EMPLOYEE RESIGNATIONS AND CONTRACTS

The Iowa Valley School Board accepted the resignation of Faythe Roberts from her position as elementary school secretary. Roberts is retiring after 37 years of employment at the Iowa Valley Elementary School.

• Marcia Kilgard was hired as the agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor for the 2010-2011 school year. Kilgard will replace Andy Rowe, who opted to take early retirement at the end of the school year. Kilgard is a graduate of Iowa Valley High School and earned her degree in ag ed from Iowa State University. She has taught at Iowa Mennonite for the past seven years. Her salary (including TSS) will be $51,937.61 for a 226-day contract.

• Vince McGee was hired as the junior high boys baseball coach. McGee is also the IV head football coach, head boys track coach and junior high girls basketball coach. McGee will earn a salary of $1,687.95 to serve as the junior high baseball coach.

• The school board voted 4-1 to pay John Bowlin $1,125.30 for serving as the assistant golf coach for the boys and girls team. The school district has a policy of hiring an assistant golf coach if the total number of participants exceeds 30, said IV athletic director Ray Cooling.

Cooling said Iowa Valley had a total of 31 participants in golf this year. He said he did not bring Bowlin’s contract before the board for approval earlier because he did not know if the total number of participants would drop below 30 during the course of the season.

“The reason why we didn’t do it ahead of time is in April, we could have 35 kids signed up, but when they actually go out, what happens if 20 kids go out and we’ve already signed a contract with the coach?” Cooling said.

He said next year he will have the school board approve the contract prior to the start of the season.

School board member Mark Swift said he doesn’t see why the school should pay Bowlin, who was listed as a volunteer, retroactively.

“My question is why didn’t we know about this a month ago,” Swift said.

The school board approved paying Bowlin, with Swift voting opposed.

STUDENT HANDBOOK

The Iowa Valley School Board approved the following changes to the student handbook:

Elementary school

IV Iowa Valley Elementary Principal Cindy Miller said the school will recommend that students not wear flip-flops during recess. She said they have had a problem with students being injured while wearing flip-flops at recess. She noted this is just a recommendation.

• Miller also said cell phones must be turned off at all times during the school day, or else they will be confiscated and returned at the end of the day.

High school

IV Junior-Senior High School Principal Shawn Kreman said beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, students in grades 11 and 12 will be eligible to receive a “personal” day that can be used during the second semester. To receive a personal day, a student must have perfect attendance during the first semester, no office referrals due to classroom incidents, no unexcused tardies and has no grade less than a C at the time of the request for the personal day. Students are asked to plan ahead for their personal day and have a parent/guardian call in at least 24 hours prior to taking the day.

• Starting in the 2010-2011 school year, cell phones will be allowed to be used in the multi-purpose room during the student’s lunch period, and only in this location and during this time. Also, cell phones (and other electronic devices) are not to be used or seen in rest rooms, locker rooms or classrooms.

• If a student breaks the good conduct code for extra curricular activity, the punishment will take effect with the first scheduled contest or event.  Previously, Kreman said the good conduct code took effect immediately after the offense took place. For example, he said a student could be caught in possession of alcohol on New Year’s Eve, and if it was their first offense, the four week punishment would expire before any school activities take place. Now, the punishment takes effect with the student’s first official contest or event.

The length of ineligibility will also change. For a first offense, a student will now be ineligible for extra curricular activities for six weeks as opposed to four weeks. However, Kreman said a student now has the opportunity to have their ineligibility to three weeks if the offending student contacts and successfully completes professional counseling service and/or “self reports” an incident. Self-reporting is when a student contacts the school prior to 9 a.m. the next business/school day following the infraction.

The new good conduct policy goes into effect Aug. 24.

The School Board approved the changes to the handbooks with a vote of 4-1 with school board member Dale Slaymaker voting in opposition.

BLEACHERS

The IV School Board hired Iowa Direct at the cost of $9,500 to upgrade the bleachers in the high school gymnasium. According to the bleacher inspection and safety report, the bleachers are in need of service to maintain full operation as required by code.

The end rail system of the bleachers do not meet code and need to be replaced to meet the 4-inch gap and rail codes. In addition, the aisle system does not meet the egress codes and the aisles need to be widened with intermediate steps and center handrails added.

The school received three bids for the project and Iowa Direct had the lowest bid.

AUDITORIUM

Bids were opened for the auditorium renovation project Tuesday, May 25. The board will take action on the bids following a public hearing June 2.

A note from architect Roger Worm stated that six to seven general contractors are looking to bid on the project.

SALARIES

The Iowa Valley School Board approved the 2010-2011 salaries and benefits for administrative and classified staff May 24. The board approved a 2.27 percent increase, which was the same increase given to certified staff.

UPDATED June 1, 2010 11:39 AM

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