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South Tama Superintendent Nelson tells of enrollment, improvements

September 2, 2014
By Joyce Wiese - Chronicle Correspondent , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Superintendent Kerri Nelson presented the Superintendent's Annual Report to the South Tama School Board on Monday, Aug. 18.

Highlights included:

Nelson noted the enrollment trend for the district has recently stabilized. Official K-12 enrollment for funding purposes was 1552.58 students for the 2013-2014 school year. Enrollment tends to fluctuate to some extent during the school year.

Article Photos

Kerri Nelson
South Tama Schools Superintendent

There was a larger increase in January of 2014. The district will have an increase in official enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year if these students remain in the system.

Nelson noted Iowa Premium Beef is aggressively working to reopen the meat packing operation at the former packing plant by mid-October.

It is anticipated that student enrollment will steadily increase as a result of this occurrence. The district has extensively planned for the possible influx of new students, however, there are some unknown factors involved. The district has taken action to relocate classroom space to avoid any unnecessary mid-year transitions for students.

Present enrollment data shows 52.59 % males and 47.91 % females in the elementary building. 9.58 % are Native American, 0.16% Asian, 28.57% Hispanic, 0.78% black, 57.4 % white and 3.45 % multi-racial. 13.66 % are special education, 17.90% English Language Learners and 62.79% SES (low).

Middle School enrollment shows 48.56 % Males and 51.44 % females with 11.82% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 29.07 % Hispanic, 0.64% Black, 57.19 % White and 0.32% Multi-racial, 16.93% special education, 13.74% English Language Learners, and 53.99% in SES (low).

High School enrollment includes 48.66% males and 51.34% females with 13.38% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 30.90% Hispanic, 1.46% Black, 53.53% White and 0.24% Multi-racial. 16.79% Special education, 7.06% English Language Learners and 48.66% SES (low).

Nelson told the group the PPEL10 levy is set to expire in 2014. The district made two unsuccessful attempts to gain voter approval to renew PPEL at a set rate for ten years. The South Tama board retains the authority to include PPEL in the budget on an annual basis at a rate no more than 33 cents. PPEL was not included in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

Negotiations resulted in an overall increase of 4.5 percent for the certified teaching staff. Administrator and support staff received a 4.0-4.5 increase on base pay. Administrators and support staff with insurance benefits received a 4 percent increase. Support staff members who do not qualify for insurance benefits received a 4.5% increase.

n the student achievement area during the 2013-2014 school year the district received accolades for improving student learning opportunities including STC Middle School was removed from the Iowa Department of Education's persistently lowest-achieving schools list.

STC Elementary received the Breaking Barriers Award for reducing the achievement gap for Native American Students.

STC Middle School was selected as a PBIS Honor School Status.

STC met 100 percent compliance for the district-wide Special Education compliance review.

STC met AYP for "all other indicators" including participation, attendance at each attendance center, graduation 4-year co=hort and the graduation 5 year co-hort. Additionally the district significantly reduced the dropout rate between 2012-2014.

The district did not meet AYP in reading and math. The NCLB AYP trajectory point now requires over 90% of the students are proficient in reading and math. Unless the state of Iowa obtains the NCLB waiver, the district will not meet AYP for reading and math other than through the safe harbor provision.

The district met AYP for all other indicators including attendance at each attendance center, graduation four year co-hort and the graduation five year co-hort.



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