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STC 5th grade classes shifted to Toledo Middle School

Potential IPB opening a facotr

March 26, 2014
By Joyce Wiese - Chronicle Correspondent , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

South Tama 5th grade students will attend classes at the Middle school in Toledo beginning this fall. STC School Board members voted 4-0 on Monday night, March 17, to move fifth grade classes from the Elementary School in Tama to the Middle School starting with the 2014-2015 year.

Voting in favor were members Mark McFate, Alan Kline, Jackie Dvorak and Anne Michael. Member Michelle Yuska was absent.

This past year the board has discussed restructuring the grade level configuration of the middle school to include fifth grade. The basis for the recommendation includes reducing the overall size of the elementary and improving the overall delivery of academic services for the students. There are now more than 700 students in the elementary building.

Article Photos

The South Tama Middle School in Toledo is shown on March 20. The main building opened in 1915 with the four-classroom addition to the south completed in 1956. Chronicle/John Speer

Making this transition helps the district in the event there would be an influx of new students if the Iowa Premium Beef packing plant in Tama would open.

IPB management has indicated they have secured the funding to proceed and are on target with their plans to open. South Tama Superintendent Kerri Nelson said she would acknowledge that IPB may or may not open during the anticipated timeline, however, planning accordingly will prevent a mid-year transition if enrollment would increase.

Other alternatives have been considered such as portable rooms. Nelson said this is the most viable option at this time.

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Feedback was solicited from staff, parents and the school board in the planning process. Some concern was raised about 5th graders socializing with the older middle school students. Eric Townsley, Middle School principial and Brian Petullo, dean of students and activities director, have addressed this concern to the extent possible by identifying different areas of the building where fifth grade students will be served and where they will have free time or recess.

Some consideration will be given to structuring some student activities specifically for fifth and sixth grade students. It has been recommended that some playground equipment be purchased for the middle school.

Current 5th grade teachers are Kris Collins, Kelli Smith, Liz Weitzell, Jon Huebner and Ashley Raue.

Fact Box

South Tama

2013-14 Enrollment


Kindergarten 103

1st Grade 1002nd 114

3rd 98

4th 108

5th 104

6th 93

7th 105

8th 109

9th 99

10th 89

11th 116

12th 103

Source:?South Tama Official enrollment- compiled in Oct., 2013.

Note: Student numbers fluctuate in the course of the school year.


The transition will require some additional time in the middle school for music, art and physical education. It is anticipated they will need to increase elective staff by a total of 1.25 FTYE to accommodate this need. Also some additional instructional materials will be needed at the middle for guided reading instruction and media resources at the middle school.

The fiscal impact anticipated would be $60,000 for elective staff salary benefits, $12,000 for Instructional Materials, $35,000 for minor facility renovations including playground equipment, storage areas and restrooms, and $60,000 for technology including iPads, Carts, Cases for the 5th Grade.


Contracts were approved for Dustin Peska. 7th Grade Boys Track at a salary of $1,626; Tonia Rodriquez, Elementary Title V11 Aide at $9.37 per hour; Garrett Kubik, bus driver, $39.72 per route.

Resignations were accepted from Deb Raue. elementary special education aide effective May 30; and immediately effective are the resignations of Lon Wilkerson, 7th grade boys basketball coach , Kris Collins, middle school

softball coach and Daniel J. Westoff, 7th grade football.

In other business Monday the board:

set Monday April 7, at 5:30 p.m. for the FY 2015 budget hearing, at the Partnership Center in Tama. This is done due to a law stating the board needs to authorize the publication of the budget and set a public hearing date. The Budget Estimate shows a total budget of $23,145,720, and a total levy of $15.98 per $1000 valuation.

also set April 7 as the date for a public hearing which is required if the starting date for the school is prior to Sept. 1. South Tama has started classes the middle of August for some time, so will continue to hold the hearing in order to continue starting classes before Sept. 1.

heard Jeremy Jones, assistant high school principal and activities director, present interest in starting an archery class for students who do not participate in several of the other activities. It was also suggested possibly starting an after school archery club. Most likely a grant would be applied for to fund such an activity. No decision will be made till at a future meeting.

Roy Frakes, high school principial, suggested a Technology Literacy Class be considered as an elective for High School students for the 2014-2015 year. Additional discussion is expected.



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