Colfax school board sets 2013-14 calendar

by Marlys Kruger

The Colfax school board took care of a few business matters at the regular board meeting June 17 in the high school library before spending the last part of the meeting prioritizing the list for the Energy Efficiency Project. (Information on the list is elsewhere in The Messenger).

The board established July 15, 5:30 p.m. for the Audit Review meeting with the Budget Review meeting to follow. The regular July meeting will then take place at 7:00. The 2013-14 school calender was approved indicating the first day of school will be Sept. 3 for students with the last day June 5.

“We are ending the year on a Wednesday so we can use June 6 and 7 along with an April 17 in-service day for make up days if we need them,” District Administrator Bill Yingst said. “We start swimming lessons the week after school is out so we don’t want to run into that if we have snow days to make up.”

With the retirement of a bus driver this spring, the board reviewed hiring a replacement.. Jon Suckow, who already drives bus for the district has expressed interest in transferring in to the job.

The board approved using Earthgrains (formerly Sara Lee) as the bread vendor for the upcoming year.

With the resignation of the school nurse along with Nancy Finley as an office worker in the high school, the board discussed in closed session filling the positions, and also looked at  the possibility of hiring a 40% school psychologist, a guidance counselor (either full or part time), a library/media specialist and a middle school language arts teacher. No action was taken on any of the positions.

High school principal John Dachel did triple duty as he read his report along with the elementary principal’s and special education director’s reports. Dachel congratulated all of the spring high school athletes for their successful seasons along with Ellie Verdon for receiving the Academic Excellence Scholarship. He also stated the first session of driver’s education will end June 28 and the second session begins August 5. The gym floors will be refinished from July 15-26 and will be unavailable for use during that time.

In the grades EC-6 report, there were a total of 502 students when the year ended, 12 more than last year. Summer swimming lessons were in progress with 247 kids signed up, an increase of 15 from a year ago.

In a final report on the Accelerated Reading Program, 522 students were enrolled, passing 37,639 quizzes. 117 students read over 1 million words during the school year and as a group 322,331,914 words were read. The summer AR program began June 10 and students in kindergarten through eighth grade are encouraged to continue reading throughout the summer. Students who achieve the goal of 90% or higher on the quizzes will have a chance to win prizes when they return next fall.

In the special education report in accordance with the new Restraint and Seclusion Guidelines, it was reported the district had six instances of seclusion/physical restraint during the past year, with five of them involving the same student and one involving another one. Both students were students with disabilities.