by Marlys Kruger
During the new business portion of the Colfax school board’s monthly meeting Sept. 17, several motions were passed, one of which gives fans of Colfax athletic events a chance to buy a season pass to attend all home games.
There are 34 regular season home games in football, basketball and volleyball for the Vikings which require an admission fee, with adult tickets costing $4.00 and students $3.00. This tends to add up when parents want to bring their kids to the games.
Board members recommended offering season passes for $72.00 a year for adults and $25.00 for students in the Colfax district. A family pass would cost $150.00 and senior citizens (age 62 and over) would still be free. Staff members would also be free, and their spouses would pay the adult $72.00. The pass does not include any tournament or playoff games.
“The money we receive from the gate sales helps keep our athletic program going,” district administrator Bill Yingst said. “But we want to encourage people to come to the games and it can get rather costly for a family to attend, especially when there can be more then one game in a week.”
Because the season has already started, prices for this year will be pro-rated with an adult pass costing $60.00 and a student pass $20.00. A form will need to be filled out while paying for the pass and will be available at all home games.
In other action, high school math teacher Vicki Seston was approved for the dance team coach position, and after the board approved to accept a federal grant for an AmeriCorp position, former Colfax student Abby Johnson was approved for the job. Johnson is now a graduate student working on a masters degree in counseling. She will work in small groups and one on one with students who need academic assistance.
This is the eighth year Colfax has received the grant, and they have always had a licensed teacher in the position. Elementary and middle school guidance counselor Roxanne Close takes care of all the paper work for the grant.
Board members Joel Hilson, Jodi Kiekhafer and Michael Lee will serve on a policy review committee to review, update and/or develop policies for the district. One of the policies that will need to be developed is the on-line course instruction program.
Yingst presented an update of capital/buildings and grounds projects showing many of the projects have been completed including new carpeting to replace the 17 year old stuff, and new tiles in the middle school and high school, the fifth layer of rubber added to the track, cracks in the tennis courts repaired and roof repair, to name a few.
There are still some things that need to be done like adding some electrical outlets for additional computers, bleacher and basketball backboard inspections and making the women’s bathrooms handicapped accessible in the high school lobby and the football field.
During a discussion on the Strategic Planning Process for the district, board member Ken Neuburg asked what was actually being done to address the components of the plan which are: Where are we? What do we have to work with? Where do we want to be? How do we get there?
Neuburg volunteered to spend some time on a possible marketing strategy to draw students to the district, and board members discussed preparing a community survey to determine what they support in the future.
The district’s census was submitted to the Department of Public Instruction, showing 1,126 students ages 4-20 enrolled in the district.
A list of all staff, part-time and full-time, was presented, showing 20 instructors at the high school along with a guidance counselor and a library/media specialist, and 28 elementary teachers and a guidance counselor, library/media specialist and two speech/language instructors. There are also six middle school teachers. The district also employs nine teaching assistants, four administrators, six clerical staff, seven food service workers, six custodians, 12 bus drivers, a technology technician, a bus mechanic and a safety patrol person. There are 23 different coaches for grades 7-12 athletics and 11 advisors for various clubs and activities.
The 2011 District Equalized valuation was $295,275.011 while the estimated 2012 valuation is $287,750.327, a decrease of 2.5 percent.
The new fiber optic route is getting closer to Colfax and should pass by the school soon, hopefully by December, which should help with communication access, according to Yingst.
Grades 7-12 principal John Dachel updated the board on several activities by the FFA and gave a tentative homecoming schedule for the week of Sept. 24-28. There will be a bonfire at the fairgrounds Tuesday night after the home volleyball game and a dance will take place Friday night after the football game against Elk Mound with coronation at 10:00. There will be other activities Friday afternoon at the school.
Dachel wanted to remind everyone about a change in the time of the home football game against Stephenson on Oct. 5. Because it is over a four-hour trip for the Michigan team, the starting time has been moved to 6:00. Also, the game scheduled at Mondovi for Thursday, Oct. 11 has been changed to Friday, Oct. 12 because of the conference cross country meet in Mondovi on Thursday. (That certainly would have made the sports reporter ‘s job a little easier if they had kept it the same!)
The 7-12 fall concert will be Tuesday, Oct. 30 and there will be no school on Oct. 26 due to teacher inservice.
Credit requirements for graduation for the class of 2016 will change as one more credit in both math and science are being required by the state. Classes like Food Science and Veterinary Science could be offered to meet these requirements but the board will have to approve which classes will be accepted.
Elementary principal Trevor Hovde reported 490 students in early childhood-grade six which is six more than his last report. After four meetings with bus drivers in the last few weeks, he believes the bus routes are now settled after a few adjustments were made.
Students have started using the Accelerated Reader program again, making it the seventh year of the program in the district. The STAR math assessment program is being used for students in grades 3-5 to identify any who may be struggling in math, and Hovde will be meeting with staff to review progress on Response to Intervention, which is mandated at the federal and state levels.
Assessment and special education director Polly Rudi, reported on the many new testing programs that will be implemented this year and in the future. Kindergarten students will be tested using the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening program, which will be given by their own teacher, so teachers will attend a training program along with Rudi Sept. 24 at CESA 11.
The WKCE assessments will be given for two more years then will be replaced by another assessment plan through the DPI.
Part of that plan’s proposal includes ACT testing for all 11th graders which will be paid by the state. Rudi stated that the laws concerning assessments continue to change, and it is very hard to keep up with them. She will know more about the changes in the next few months.
The board moved into executive session with nothing new to report from it.