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Policy updates dominate STC school board meeting

April 1, 2011
By Charley Townsley, Staff Writer
TAMA NEWS-HERALD -Although there were some additional action items dealt with, the STC School board spent the majority of their Monday, March 21 meeting updating policies and procedures, that according to Superintendent Keri Nelson were somewhat over due for attention.

“I tried to make this as easy and painless as possible, but it is something we need to work through,” said Nelson. “As near as I can tell, these district policies have not been updated since 1981,” she said.

There were no significant changes made, but there were some additions and deletions to make the wording more compliant with today’s state and national standards.

The meeting started with Nelson recognizing retiring staff members Jeff Barker, Denise Fletcher, Jim Hall, Vicki Hoskey, Lana Judge and Jerry Bisher, who all received the superintendent’s excellence in education award. Judy Sawyer was also recognized, but not present at the meeting.

Board members Ron Hala, Mark McFate, Jacki Dvorak, Ann Michael and Michelle Yuska voted 5-0 to approve the STC Affirmative Action Plan as prepared by Equity Coordinator Jim Bugge and Nelson. The 27-page document identifies the districts policy for hiring staff. There were minor changes made to that document.

Approve Forming Gay Straight

Alliance Student Club 4-1

The formation of a Gay Straight Alliance Student Club was approved on a 4-1 vote. This was a student initiated request that had met all the criteria for a student club. It was the recommendation of Nelson to approve the club in keeping with the district’s policy on state and federal civil rights laws.

Ruth Sjostrom, high school art teacher has agreed to be the staff sponsor for the club, which meets in the morning, before school starts.

McFate, Dvorak, Michael and Yuska all voted yes. Hala voted no.


The board approved several changes in personnel-

Transfers: Michael Bradley, girls varsity volleyball coach 2011-12; Teri Knapp, high school language arts, 2011-12; DaLon Hammond, high school science, Justin Jacobs, middle school special education 2011-12; Karen Mixdorf, middle school special education, 2011-12; Dianne Bidwell, elementary special education aide, immediately.

Resignations: Ashley Denbow, assistant varsity volleyball; Jeff Niedermann, junior varsity football; Patrick McAlpine, high school language arts, end of 2010-11 school year.

Terminations: Joel Gummert, custodian March 15, 2011.

The board reviewed a lengthy district evaluation process for teachers and administrators. The primary purpose of the performance-based evaluation is to facilitate and improve classroom instruction, leading to enhanced student learning.

The board acknowledged how difficult it can be for administrators to evaluate teachers when there is such a broad range of subject matter. “It’s a tough job,” said Nelson.

Adding two full-time special education teachers at the middle school and one half-time ESL teacher at the elementary were approved. “This will address some of the areas the state thought we needed to look at,” said Nelson. Some of the funding for these positions will come from the two teacher-coaching positions which are being discontinued.

Nelson told board members she believes they are in a good position for the upcoming site visit from the state. She said they still had some work to do with district policies in the 700’s and 1000’s sections, but had a good start on them with what the board did at this meeting.

Changes in course offerings at the high school were approved for Physical Education, 21st Century Skills, Health 9, Computer and Employability Skills, Health 11, Personal Finance and Science 9.

In other action the board:

•approved early graduation requests for two students.

•reviewed changes in the Library Policies in regards to instructional materials and appropriate use of the internet.

•approved membership for the Career Tech Education advisory committee.

•approved monthly bills.

Article Photos

Kerri Nelson
South Tama School sSuperintendent



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