Board Highlights
June 10, 2002

Received a report from Cindy Riedemann, Reading Recovery teacher, and Becky Banks, AEA 5 Reading Recovery liaison, regarding the implementation the Reading Recovery Program in the South Hamilton Schools and the student achievement progress made by students in the program this year. Eighty-eight (88%) of the students in the program this year met or exceeded the target of reading at or above the average level of their peers. All of the 2nd and 3rd grade students who have successfully graduated from the program in the past maintained and/or exceeded grade level performance this year.

Received a report from Julie Ullestad, 5th and 6th grade math teacher on the progress made by students in the Accelerated Math program. Ninety (90) percent of the 5th graders and 86% of the 6th graders showed academic growth through their grade equivalent score. The fifth grade class demonstrated an average of 1.8 years growth in their skills, while the 6th grade class demonstrated an increase in performance of 2.3 years as measured by their pretest and posttest scores. Mrs. Ullestad indicted that she is examining some new ways to implement and manage the program next year to promote continued student growth.

Received an overview of the staff development plan for 2002-03 school year and received a request from the administration and the district's staff development team to increase released time for staff development next year to support the identified goals outlined in the plan. Those goals include curriculum development and articulation, lesson planning, a study of the research and best practices being used to assess student learning, and the development of assessments that align with the district's curriculum standards and benchmarks. The board approved the proposed schedule for Early Dismissals and Late Starts for 2002-03.

In personnel matters the board took the following action:

  • Approved the hiring of Kathi Fisher as head girls basketball coach for 2002-03
  • Approved the hiring of Kirsti Place as K-12 media specialist, filling the vacancy created when Cathy Stakey transferred to a 5th grade teaching position.
  • Accepted the resignations of the following employees:
    • Amy Barquist: varsity cheerleading coach
    • Julie Grove:  assistant varsity cheerleading coach
    • Shelly Hespen: classroom associate in the Early Kindergarten/DLC program
    • Jamie Olson: junior high cheerleading sponsor
Approved the elementary and secondary school student handbooks for 2002-03.

Approved the K-6 Staff Handbook for 2002-03.

Approved the renewal of the Cooperative Student Teaching Agreement with ISU for the 2002-03 school year.

Agreed to change the Fall Teacher Workshop Dates by moving the start of fall teacher workshops up one day to begin on Tuesday, August 20 and continue on Wednesday and Thursday, August 21 and 22.

Received an update on several projects being completed this summer with the use of PPEL funds:

  • Carpet replacement and installation in the MS/HS rotunda, front hallway, and auditorium is scheduled to begin on July 8.
  • New student lockers to be installed in the south hallway are scheduled to be installed in July; exact time yet to be determined.
  • Repair and remodel work on the bus garage should begin shortly.  Materials have been ordered; work may begin this week.
  • Baseball/softball fields: The concrete pad for the baseball bleachers is scheduled to be poured on June 10-11, weather permitting. Replacement valves for the softball field watering system have been installed.
  • Spraying; The following areas have been fertilized and sprayed for broadleaf weeds: baseball, softball, and football fields, football practice areas, front lawns of MS/HS and elementary schools, and elementary playground area.

The board also reviewed proposals to replace the wall mats in the middle/high school gymnasium and discussed the installation of a "welcome sign" to be posted at the athletic complex. These items were tabled for further study. 
The board held discussion regarding the future ownership of Iowa Communications Network Fiber Optics Cable. The board recently received information from the Iowa Telecommunication and Technology Commission indicating that the ownership and maintenance of the fiber optic cable connected to the ICN is to be donated to the district at the end of the current 7 year lease (2005). The board has been asked to make a Declaration of Intent regarding this ownership in the future and considered three options.
The board voted NOT to accept ownership of the fiber optic cable and desires that the ICN accept ownership and all responsibilities associated with fiber ownership to the school.

The board rescinded a decision made at the May meeting regarding a snack fee for students in grades K-1, removing this fee from the list of approved fees for 2002-03. The board recommends that prepackaged treats and snacks be provided when they are intended for distribution to students at school.

Supt. Kinley shared information he has gathered regarding school policies pertaining to student health issues and homemade snacks and treats. Student dietary and allergy considerations are two of the major concerns related to this issue. No action is planned for the immediate future.

Mr. Kinley reported that the district has been contacted to participate in a feasibility study to be conducted by Eric Heitz and Lois Irwin from the Iowa Department of Education. The purpose of the study is to gather information about the district and explore and develop options to consider in planning for future educational opportunities and programming with neighboring districts.  The visit to the district will be held on Wednesday afternoon, June 19. The study will include conversations with the board and administration, community members and members of the teaching and support staff. A tour of the facilities will also be included.

The board approved rescheduling the spring elementary parent-teacher conferences to April 1 and 3 next year to coincide with the conclusion of the third quarter.

The board agreed to move the July board meeting to Monday, July 15 to allow more time for the June bills to be processed in order to close out he 2002 fiscal year.

Elementary principal Paul Hemphill reported on a reading fluency study he completed this year. Students in grades 2-4 showed increased gains in reading fluency if parents spent time each day listening to their child read aloud. Results in 5th and 6th grade were difficult to determine due to the small number of participants in the study in those two grade levels.

Secondary principal Steve Gray reported that a planned Early Bird PE class would not be scheduled next year due to insufficient enrollment at that time. Other scheduling options have been developed. Mr. Gray also indicated that students are enrolled in nine (9) classes next year for dual enrolled credit (high school and college credit). Those classes include: CISCO training, health occupations, building trades, welding, CAD, Western Civilization, English 101, and accounting. CISCO training will be held at Ames High School, health occupations and building trades classes will be offered in Webster City and the remaining classes will be offered at South Hamilton.

Curriculum Coordinator Carroll McLuckie reported that the district's Phase III plan for 2002-03 will be due to the state in September.  He also reported to the board that the district's state technology funds have evaporated over the past year and will no longer be available due to state budget reductions. The district's replacement schedule for technology and additional technology that is needed to support curriculum efforts and other district needs will still need to be addressed in some fashion. Mr. McLuckie and Mr. Kinley will bring a proposal and purchase request to the board in July that will indicate the technology needs and the funding streams available to support those needs.

Superintendent John Kinley shared a resolution adopted by the City of Stanhope recognizing the board for its contributions as part of School Board Recognition Week. 
He reported that the middle/high school math and science departments recently received $6000 in new equipment as part of a grant in collaboration with Iowa State University.