TAMA NEWS-HERALD - By Joyce Wiese News Correspondent The South Tama Schools budget for 2010-11 totaling $21,363,227 was adopted on a 5-0 vote with board members Ann Michael, Ron Hala, Jackie Dvorak, Mark McFate and Michelle Yuska voting in favor on April 5. The action followed a public hearing. The budget is increasing only $20,000 over the 2009-10 amount. A drop in funding source amounts has occurred. Property tax assessment will be $13.96 per $1,000 taxable valuation, up 6.2 percent over the current rate. Only one was present for the hearing to urge some money be directed to the fine arts department. An explanation was given as to the condition of the Little Theatre and the necessary things to be done each time the stage is being used. Questions were asked by board members what they could do to cut back. Board members reiterated they hoped to be in a position to reduce the levy later on. Action Plan For Middle School Improvement Board members continued to evaluate the middle school which has been identified as among 35 low achieving schools in Iowa. The STC Education Association and the school board have agreed to implement the transformation model. As part of the transformational model the district is required to implement an instructional program that is vertically aligned from one grade level to the next as well as aligned with state academic standards. It also must promote the continuous use of student data such as formative and summative assessments, to inform and differentiate instruction in order to meet the academic needs of individual students. In response, the district has worked on a draft of framework for developing an academy structure in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. At many grade levels the academy would appear quite similar but the curriculum would be tightly aligned in specified grade level spans and PK-12. There are several schools in Iowa and across the nation that have implemented similar structures. STC school improvement teams from each of the school have met to discuss the concept. The district has formed a team of administrators, teachers and consultants to continue working on this plan. It will be imperative that the final plan is aligned with the Iowa Core Curriculum and provides differentiated learning experiences for students to accelerate and remediate their learning. Four taskforce work dates have been set. Contracts, Resignations Contracts approved were for Brent Bagwell, high school - middle school talented and gifted program, $31,680; Alisha Kapayou, 3d grade, $27,456; Paula Miller 6th grade science teacher, Steven Spicher half time Tech Pathways, $18,084; Nathan Van Dyke, physical education, $28,512, and head varsity wrestling coach, $4,224; Tiffany Thiessen, middle school family and consumer science position, $36,168; and Jay Hoskey, head varsity football coach, $5,280, who resigned as head wrestling coach. Internal transfers include Marilyn Popelka, middle school kinthcen manager and Debra Lenhard, high school kitchen manager. Serena Eichhorn as high school vocal music teacher. Harkin Grant Joanna Hofer, director of finance, told board members South Tama would be receiving the $100,000 Harkin Fire Safety Grant. This will put South Tama at the competitive bid threshhold amount. Hofer aske the board to authorize the administration to advertise for sealed bids for the Harkin Fire Safety Grant Project. The bids are to be opened at 1 p.m. on May 3, setting a five percent bid security requirement and setting 5:30 p.m., May 3 as a public hearing regarding the project. Also before the board: •Superintendent Nelson said she had a request for diplomas to be issued for two students from the class of 1960 for who did not graduate. Board members did not feel a diploma should be issued unless the requirements for a diploma was met, this could be a GED course and passing all requirements. However, they agreed with Mrs. Nelson that an Honarary Award could be considered. •The next meeting will have the request for school to start before the regular calendar year of Sept. 1st. This is brought up each year. •State Representative Lance Horbach was present to explain where the funding from the state was at and how this would hurt some of the schools. •A request for an open enrollment for two students to the East Marshall school system was turned down by the board. By state law open enrollment requests must be submitted prior to March 1. After March 1, good cause must be established. This request was received on March 15, and does not qualify for any of the defined good cause rulings.
Superintendent Awards To Four
Four retiring South Tama staff members received the Superintendent's Award at the April 5 meeting of the STC School Board. Those receiving the awards from Superintendent Kerri Nelson were middle school teachers Steve Roland and Larry Fletcher, middle school kitchen manager Judy Struve, and Barb Walz, middle school library secretary.
The four have a combined total of 105 years of service to South Tama School system.