A list of fees and charges for the new year was approved, insurance increases discussed, some personnel matters handled, board policy reviewed and building updates shared when the Mount Ayr Community school board held its regular August meeting Monday night, a week ahead of the normal schedule.
Fees and charges
A list of fees and charges, including new higher prices for school meals, for the 2012-13 school year were discussed and approved by the school board Monday night.
The list included a registration fee, athletic fees and charges, drivers education fees and increased meal prices.
New meal prices will see a 10 cent increase in all costs for the coming year.
Breakfast prices for K-6 students will increase to $1.35 from $1.25. Breakfast prices for 7-12 students will increase from $1.40 to $1.50 a day. Adult breakfasts will increase from $2 to $2.10.
Lunch prices for K-6 students will be going up from $1.75 to $1.85 and prices for 7-12 students will increase from $1.85 to $1.95 a day. Adult lunch prices will increase from $3 to $3.10 for the new year.
The fee for registration will remain at $35 and the fee for drivers education will be $250 for the new year, both of which are not changed.
A list of athletic fees and charges were also reviewed by the school board.
The Pride of Iowa conference has set admission to all conference athletic events at $5 for adults and $3 for students. Football district games will also be $5 for adults and $3 for students.
A charge for middle school and junior varsity contests was set at $3 for both students and adults.
There are some passes that can be purchased to make the costs less, however.
For the first time, a student pass for $35 to get into all regular season sports activities throughout the year has been set. This is a request that came up at the district study committee.
Adult season passes will be $65 for basketball, $30 for volleyball, $25 for wrestling, $25 for football and $60 for baseball and softball. These prices will allow an adult to attend any varsity, junior varsity or middle school event of that sport.
In discussion of the fees it was noted that board members had heard complaints about fees, but the board approved the fees as presented. It was noted that students that can’t afford the drivers education fees can fill out a waiver form.
Bill French from the Wm. French Agency, the district’s company for the EMC Insurance coverage, attended the meeting to bring word of an increase in costs to the district for the property, liability and workmen’s compensation plans for the coming school year.
Last year the district paid $85,152 for its insurance and the same coverage will cost $100,047 for the coming school year.
Most of the $15,000 increase in costs is coming from a big jump in workmen’s compensation insurance for the district. That cost will be increasing by almost $12,000 for the coming year.
The district has had $313,000 paid out in workmen’s compensation claims over the past five years while paying in $217,000 in insurance. It was noted that it takes about three years for increases in workmen’s compensation to come back down if there is a decline in claims.
Board president Rod Shields asked if safety training could be increased to try to reduce the risk. French noted that training sessions could be held to help employees make the work place a safer environment.
There were two personnel items acted on at the meeting.
Hired to be a special education associate was Heidi Albaugh at the probationary rate of $9.40 an hour for $14,307 for the year.
Also approved was the hiring of James Smith as an assistant football coach at a rate of $2,584.
It was also noted that the district is still trying to get a visa for Gilberto Castreje, the Spanish teacher from Spain that the district has hired for the coming year. It is hoped that the paperwork will be approved for him to be here by August 14.
The district has to pay the fee for an employee from another country to come with a regular visa and this cost $5,000. Since the regular visa application was denied, the district is now trying to get a teacher exchange visa, which costs a little over $800. This would be a three-year program.
Board member P. J. Munyon asked what plan B was if the teacher exchange visa is not approved. Superintendent Drake noted that working with another district to share a teacher would be an option.
Board policy discussion
The board reviewed the 200 series of board policies as well as a proposed wellness policy and a tobacco free environment policy. The 200 series of policies is about the school board and its rules.
The 200 series review is part of a plan to review all of the board policies over the course of several months, taking one section of policy at a time.
The board approved the review of the 200 series of policies, making changes where suggested by superintendent Drake.
The board adopted the tobacco free environment policy which expands the ban on tobacco products to include dissolvable, spitless, snus and electronic cigarettes and notes that employees who desire to quit tobacco use will be referred to the 1-800-QUIT-NOW line for counseling.
The board also reviewed the policy for smoking, drinking and drugs to reflect similar changes.
The wellness policy suggested for the district was tabled for more discussion.
Updates on the parking lot project and the tornado/safe room project were made by superintendent Drake as well.
He noted that the parking lot is nearly completed. The LED lights for the parking lot will be installed soon. Because of the hot, dry weather, the seeding will be put on hold.
A final work through with the architect and Absolute Concrete was planned for this week.
The lot will provide parking for more than 100 vehicles on hard surface and links the west parking lot with the south parking lot around the middle school-high school building.
Inspections have been passed for the wrestling room, weight room and storm shelter addition on the southeast corner of the building that has been under construction for a long time. The addition was funded with the help of a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant.
The architect is working with Jim Hymbaugh to schedule a time to certify that the project is complete. Then the final payments will be made on it. The backup generator for the building is waiting to be fired up until the LP tank comes, a step that needs to be completed before the certification is made.
Derek Lambert is in the process of installing the flooring in the weight room part of the facility and the weight lifting equipment will be moved in soon, it was noted.
In other action the board
-- approved the bread bid from Hy-Vee to provide the bread for the school lunch program for the coming year.
-- decided that the district will continue to do its own snow removal from parking lots for now.
-- noted that staff return to work August 14 and that the principals have been putting in a lot of work to prepare for the new school year. A meeting with new teachers will be held August 17.
Other reports for the meeting are shared in a separate story.