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Board Meeting Minutes 2/26/13

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Graettinger-Terril Community School Board of Directors

February 26, 2013

Regular Board Meeting


All votes are unanimous unless otherwise noted.

The Graettinger-Terril Community School Board met on February 26, 2013 in the Board Room in Terril with Vice President Chicoine calling the meeting to order at 5:01 p.m. President Norris was absent. Other members in attendance included Roger Schmitt, Kevin Jensen, and Mat Hanson. Administration in attendance was: Superintendent Jesse Ulrich, Principal Teresa Alesch, and Board Secretary Heidi Skattebo.


Schmitt moved to adopt the agenda. Seconded by Jensen. Motion carried.



Spotlight was provided by Mrs. Diane Benjamin, Title I Teacher. She explained the DIBELS comprehensive standardized test scores for the elementary. She provided the board members with the scores and graphs from the testing taken at the beginning and middle of the year. Mrs. Benjamin explained how the DIBELS testing results are used by the teachers for reviewing and revising curriculum for students to become more proficient in certain skills.


Schmitt moved to approve the minutes from January 21, 2013. Seconded by Jensen. Motion carried.

Jensen moved to approve the bills and claims. Seconded by Hanson. Motion carried.

Hanson moved to approve the financial reports. Seconded by Jensen. Motion carried.



Item 9.1 Building Improvements

Ulrich spoke about a possible projected ending date of construction for the Multi-athletic building around March 30th. He stated that things are going as planned now. Ulrich spoke about a preliminary building and grounds walk thru with Gary Edwards, Director of Maintenance. There are some items that will need to be fixed including the phone system at Terril, carpet in Graettinger, preparation for Industrial Arts courses in the Graettinger Shop building, and a need for a new scoreboard for the Terril softball field. Ulrich has spoken with some businesses that are interested in donating towards the scoreboard. The cost was approximately $5,000. He mentioned that he has communicated to the Fire Marshal about the plans to address the issues and requested some extra time to fix them as funds would allow. He has not heard back as of this meeting but will notify the board when he does. He and Gary will comprise a list of summer projects and costing at the next meeting.

Item 9.2 Curriculum Update

Alesch gave an update on the continued research for new Science and Social Studies curriculum. The plan is to have recommendations made in April for the curriculum. The team attended Core Academy at the Spirit Lake High School where they are applying a cross curriculum learning and a standards based grading system. Students are graded based on skills applied and competency based. Alesch also talked about the AEA sending herself and Mrs. Nelson to Chicago for a training on a college and workplace readiness program. She desires to implement this program at GT.



10.1. Activity Calendar

Jensen moved to approve the activity calendar so that dues and fees may be timely paid. Seconded by Hanson. Motion carried.

10.2 Buena Vista Student Teacher Contract

Hanson moved to approve this standard contract with Buena Vista University to place student teachers in our school per administrative approval. Seconded by Jensen. Motion carried.

10.3 Allowable Growth Resolution

Ulrich explained the need to support this resolution asking for adequate funding from the state. The School Administrators of Iowa in conjunction with the Iowa Association of School Boards has drafted this resolution and requested that the state school boards consider approving the resolution at their meetings. Jensen moved to approve the Allowable Growth resolution asking for adequate funding from the state. Seconded by Schmitt. Motion carried.

10.4 Conference Alignment Appeal

Ulrich explained that GT was denied membership into the Twin Lakes Conference and that the next step is to appeal the decision to the Department of Education. The IHSAA and IGHSAU will investigate our appeal and situation, making a recommendation to the Department of Education for placement into a conference. Ulrich explained there are really no other options but to appeal. Hanson moved to approve the letter of appeal for the purpose of conference alignment. Seconded by Jensen. Motion carried.

10.5 RA Part Day Sharing Agreement

This was tabled until next month’s meeting.

10.6 Request for Proposal (RFP) for Auditing Services

Ulrich explained that our 3 year contract with our current auditor is up. He also noted that Mr. Frink is not eligible to continue providing auditing services to GT. Jensen moved to approve the RFP process for an auditor. Seconded by Schmitt. Motion carried.

10.7 Request for Proposal (RFP) for Health Insurance

Ulrich informed the Board that it has been several years since we put our health insurance needs up for a bid. With the Affordable Health Care Act, there will be a definite impact on our insurance and costs. Skattebo has been doing some research and talking to different health insurance reps. With the possible changes, we may be required to provide insurance to all employees working more than 30 hours a week along with other complicated variations. Schmitt moved to approve an RFP process for a health insurance consultant/representative. Seconded by Hanson. Motion carried.



11.1 Personnel Contracts

Ulrich presented the following for approval for hire: Chris Goodchild – HS Track ($4695); Lucas Hough – JH Track ($2076); Stephanie Hanson – HS Softball ($4695); Dave Determan – Asst HS Softball ($3334); Corey Boe – HS Baseball ($4695); John Fulton – JH Baseball ($2076); and Cheryl Harris – JH Softball ($2076). Jensen moved to approve the listing of personnel for hire at the stated rates. Seconded by Hanson. Motion carried.


No policies for consideration at this time.


Alesch wanted to express a huge thanks to the Board, staff, students, parents, and community members that assisted with developing and expanding the initial “open house” idea into Feb Fest 2013. She said that it was a great success and a lot of people attended the celebration. Staff relayed to her that several people were impressed with our school and the festival that we put together. Alesch gave an update on several programs including the Vocal & Band trip to Orlando coming up in March, FFA Quiz Bowl winners as well as District competitions; Student Council Exchange with Osage CSD; NHS volunteering at a local nursing home; and PBIS is offering a school pride video contest. Alesch gave a shout out to our Guidance and Student Services department as they have been working hard preparing students for college visits, students completing Iowa Assessments, CWRA for seniors coming in March, Tonderum, Akridge, and Westegard completing their CNA certification, and sending Juniors/Seniors to ILCC college day in March. Alesch mentioned that sports banquets are being planned and our 1st Annual GT Talent Show will be March 5th.


Ulrich expressed his thanks to everyone involved in Feb Fest and said that he heard lots of positive things about it. Ulrich stated that the elementary celebrated the 100th day of school by engaging in numerous activities for the day. Ulrich explained about a couple of programs that he wanted the Board to know about including the “Break-Fix Insurance” and bus lease program. He explained that these programs would allow us to increase the general fund with use of dollars from the management and PPEL funds. Ulrich mentioned that the next step in Destination 2025 is to review comments from the surveys. He will be forming focus groups to hold in depth conversations about the wants and needs of educational stakeholders. After that, we as a district will review our mission and vision to see if it aligns with our needs. Ulrich also explained that next month we will be presenting and asking for approval of our certified budget. Some conditions that were needed in figuring the certified budget included decreasing the amount of money requested for management as there is no need for as much this year and that according to the DOE, we have been phased out of receiving the operational sharing incentive money. We originally thought we would be receiving this for one more year and that is no longer true. This will have a negative effect on our revenue as well as spending authority.



Skattebo stated that she attended the ISFLC conference with Mr. Ulrich in Des Moines in February. They focused mostly on the certified budget and creating a line item budget. She mentioned that the conference was very helpful and provided a lot of information. Skattebo notified the Board about a line item budget that she and Karen Olesen have been working on. She explained that there is some tweaking that needs to be done, but for the most part, is finished. She needs to upload it into the software program and then become familiar with the reports.


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