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STC School Board reviews, adds policies

January 25, 2011
By Joyce Wiese, News Correspondent
TOLEDO CHRONICLE - For the past few meetings, board members have been reviewing policies of the South Tama District and the 600 Section was reviewed Monday night, Jan. 17. Several sections needed revisions due to mandates by the Iowa Department of Education. Some new policies were added for the same reason. Each year after Aug. 31 and prior to the organizational meeting of the board, an annual meeting will be held so the board can examine the financial books and settle the secretary’s and treasurer’s statements for the fiscal year preceding June 30. The first reading of all the changes in policies were read and approved. The statement of Guiding Principles states the goals and objectives of the district are designed to achieve the philosophy statement of the school district. An advisory committee of representatives of the school district community and the school district is appointed to make recommendations for the goals and objectives of the education program. Annually the board will report to the committee regarding progress toward the achievement of the goals and objectives of the education program. The basic instruction program will include the courses required for each grade level by the State Department of Education. The instructional approach will be gender fair and multi-cultural. The basic instruction program of students enrolled in grades one through six will include English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, physical education, traffic safety, music and visual art. Basic instruction for students enrolled in seven and eighth grades will include English, language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, family and consumer, career, technology education, physical education, music and visual art. Grades nine through twelve will include English-language arts (6 units), social studies (5 units), Mathematics (6 units), science (5 units), health (1 unit), , physical education (1 unit), fine arts (3 units), foreign language (4 units), and vocational education (12 units). The board may, in its discretion, offer additional courses in the instruction program for any grade level. The Infusion of Curriculum content policy was deleted and replaced with Career Education, Global Education and Multi-cultural Education as mandated by the Iowa Department of Education. Because of the growing interdependence with other nations in the world, global education is incorporated into the education program for grades kindergarten through twelve, so students have the opportunity to acquire a perspective on world issues. Career Education is preparing students for careers in one goal of the education program. This will be written into the education program for grades kindergarten through twelve. This education will include but not be limited to awareness of self in relation to others and needs of society, exploration of employment opportunities experiences in personal decision making and experiences in integrating work values and work skills into their lives. Multi-cultural/Gender fair education gives students an opportunity for a quality education without discrimination regardless of their race, religion, creed, socio-economic status, color, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Students in grades one through twelve are required to participate in physical education courses unless they are excused by the principal or school nurse of their attendance center. Students may be excused from physical education courses if the student presents a written statement from a doctor stating that such activities could be injurious to the health of the student or the student has been exempted because of a conflict with the student’s religious beliefs. Students in grades 9-12 may also be excused from physical education if the student is enrolled in academic courses not otherwise available or the student has obtained a physical education waiver for a semester because the student is actively involved in an athletic program. In the event a child of compulsory attendance age, over six and under sixteen, does not attend public school or accredited non-public school, the child must receive competent private instruction. The board, recognizing alternatives to education outside the formal public school system, authorizes the establishment of a home school assistance program. A complete reading of the policy manual can be seen at the administration office or if there is a particular question you can call the administration office for an answer. Three requests have been received for early retirement. They include- James Hall, high school special ed teacher, Jeff Barker, librarian, and Denise Fletcher, instructional coach in math. Applications for early retirement must be received in the Administration office no later than Feb. 1, 22011. South Tama is eligible for federal financial assistance because some of the students meet the following criteria. •Students with disabilities who reside on eligible Indian lands. •Students who reside on eligible Indian lands, and / or students who do not reside on federal property but reside with a parent employed on federal property. While the amount of funds available is not currently known, usually Impact Aid has been in the range of $400,000 per year for the District. This is designed to replace property tax which is not collected.

A memorandum of understanding for Nursing Facility Emergency Mutual Aid between Carrington Place in Toledo and the South Tama County School District was approved. In this agreement Carrington Place and STC agree to work cooperatively to transport residents to temporary housing sites in the event of a disaster. South Tama Schools will furnish two to three buses, one of which will be handicap assessable if available, to Carrington Place at the earliest possible response time and driver availability. Carrington Place of Toledo shall pay for actual costs incurred by STC schools during an actual event.

C. J. Cooper & Associates Inc., an Iowa TSB corporation in Marion, Iowa, and the South Tama Schools have an agreement for Cooper & Associates to provide alcohol and drug testing complying with federal alcohol and drug testing regulations. This agreement will continue until one of the two above cancel the agreement in writing.

In 2008-09 South Tama County School District raised the driver’s education fee to $250 per student. As per the Iowa Department of Transportation report, the actual cost per pupil for last year was $273 per student. Board members discussed several plans to be considered since at the present raises in buying a new vehicle, gas prices going above $3, and other expenses, the cost will be considerably higher. Board members must decide if they want to run the class in the red or if they want to increase the cost per pupil. Also being considered is contracting with Drive Tek who provides the service for several schools and the company charges $350 per student. No action has been taken. Four Radio System bids have been received, Communication Engineers- $50,224, Fairwood Communications, Boone- $26,228, Racom Radio Equipment, Marshalltown- $23,251 and RC Systems, Waterloo- $20,586. The board chose the low bidder - RC systems.

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