Terri Guenther-Mayer, Agricultural Science teacher at the South Tama High School, met with the South Tama School Board Monday night, May 6. Mayer told the board the STC facilities for the agricultural department has grown and has changed.
The current greenhouse has been up and running for four years which has been a great asset to the agricultural program, she said.
The greenhouse gives the students real-life experience in running and managing a business. Horticulture and Agriculture two classes take care of the plants while Agriculture three classes takes care of the business side of the greenhouse.
Record keeping is one of the most important things covered in the classroom, but it becomes difficult without practical application.
Mayer said she needs to expand on the base that is here so students will get a better education in the Agriculture program.
Currently the greenhouse is used all school year with bedding plants and vegetables in the winter - spring and poinsettias in the fall and winter.
In 2010-2011 the greenhouse netted $1,756. This is due in part to the community becoming aware that the student-grown plants are for sale. The greenhouse at the present time is open from 3:30 -5 p.m. weekdays, and is located on the west side of the high school.
Some of the plants available are marigolds, hanging baskets, petunias, sweet potato vines, coleus, grasses, spikes tomato plants, cucumber plants, chili pepper plants, dahlias and more.
Mayer says she primarily is looking to expand the traditional greenhouse growing system to include hydroponics, which involves growing plants in a soilless growing medium enriched with mineral nutrients. With this system they will be able to grow lettuce, tomatoes, pepers and strawberries for eight months of the year in the greenhouse.
Mayer is asking for the following improvements to be made: a new cement floor, cooling system, watering system, hydroponics system, hydroponic crop system and tables.
The projected cost for this improvement would be $11,511.
Revenue on hand for the agricultural department is 1,971- bushels of corn sold at $7.44 per bushel for $14,642 1162 bushels of soybeans sold at $14.24 a bushel for a total of $31,109.
The improvements were approved for the 2013-2014 year.
Mayer also proposed having a sign installed by Nesper Sign Advertising Inc. out of Cedar Rapids. The sign would most likely be a 4x8 foot wooden sign with printing on both sides, at a cost of $1,500.
Contracts approved were for Jaime Becket for Middle School ELL/Spanish effective August 2013 at base pay of $27,100 plus TSS amount; Chelsea Ahrens has a contract for 9th Grade Girls Basketball for the 2013-14 season at the rate of $2,276; and Shane Manfull will be technical director for the high school play and musical for a total of $1,762.
Internal transfers include Jill Sturtz(Miller) from Kindergarten to Preschool; Jeremy Jone from Middle School Dean of Students/Activities to High School Assistant Principal - Activities Director with a change of salary now being $81,000 for 234 days; Steve McAdoo will transfer from maintenance to Maintenance and Transportaton Supervisor for $65,000;
Lynne Clancy will transfer from Kindergarten to Transitional Kindergarten; Rhonda Shaw will transfer from 6th grade Social Studies to Reading Intervention; Vicki Riha will transfer from Preschool to Kindergarten; and Nate Doran who was previously 9th Grade Boys Basketball coach to Varsity Boys Basketball coach at $5014.
Volunteer coaches for the Girsl Soft ball team are Mike Wedmore and Ron Hala, effective May ,2013.
Resignations accepted were for Teri Knapp, High School Language Arts, Speech and Spring Play effective April 25, 2013 and Lon Wilkerson as 8th Grade Boys Basketball coach, effective April 23, 2013.
In other business the board approved:
an agreement for participation in the Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing cooperative purchasing program for school food service.
the Supplemental Resolution allowing the district to be eligible for short term cash advances during the next fiscal year from the Iowa School Cash Anticipation Program.
The Iowa School Cash Anticipation Program (ASCAP) requires the school to have a Financial Solvency Plan to address the negative fund balance. The actions necessary for this plan have been addressed by receiving funding from the ISL, increasing the cash reserve and reducing the expenditures.
A hearing date for an amendment to the budget has been set for May 28, at 5:30 p.m. at the Professional Learning Room in the Partnership Center, the old Tama High School.
They will be amending the current budget for increased expenditures due to salaray coding correctdions, increased food costs, construction projects (heating and cooling system) and bond payments.
Superintendent Kerri Nelson presented the School Calendar for the 2013-2014 year. This shows the first day for classes for students would be on August 26, and the last day of school would fall on May 29, 2014.
A summer food service program applicaton was approved. The school plans to offer a summer food service program for only 15 days from June 10 through June 28.