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Glenwood City School district sidetracked by track error

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY — It was quite the heated discussion in the board room during the Board of Education meeting Monday night after members of the Board were told a portion of the new track was wrong.

 When the decision was made to create a new track, the Board agreed they wanted one of the best, which meant on the inside of the track there would be a 12 inch “maintenance” stripe/apron of asphalt.

The problem was discovered in the northeast corner of the track where there is a significant amount less of asphalt where there should be 12 inches.

Upon further discussion, the Board came up with three solutions that they are waiting to make a decision on.

The first solution is to remove one to one and half inches off the top of the two inside lanes and pour new asphalt over them and the additional 12 inches.

The second solution is to instead of removing the one to one and a half inches, make a saw cut at a 45 degree angle by the last stripe on the track and add the asphalted maintenance stripe.

The last solution is to again make that 45 degree cut on the track, but use concrete to make that 12 inch maintenance apron and then asphalt over the top of it.

Board member, Kevin Bonte made the motion to table the decision until the Board can hear what Monarch’s opinion about a solution is considering they are the company who is and has been doing the paving work.

Drain Pond

There was also discussion about the drainage pit/pond that was constructed and the fact that the culvert that is supposed to drain the water from the pond to the creek has been dammed up because of an unexpected silt build-up.

The solution is to raise the drain pipe up nearly six inches as it currently sits about three inches too low.

A frustrated Board President, Charles Rasmussen, questioned the representatives from Cedar Corp and SDS Architects about why the drain pond was placed where it was in the first place.

Rasmussen’s concern was with the fact that the pond was extremely close to the running lanes and pole vault pad. He expressed that an athlete could fall in, hurt themselves or even event workers could injury themselves as the pond is so close.

Rasmussen and Bonte both spoke out saying that they each remembered drawings from earlier in the year that showed the drain pond to be at an entirely different location. However, there is a natural flow that tends to build up at that end and the discussion basically ended with that.

Capital Project update

The discussion then turned back to the capital projects as a whole. It was shared that the city will be placing no-parking signs along both sides of 320th Ave before the first football game.

Also volunteer work continues in full force with groups of people and students working to complete the pavilion through the guidance of Jim McCarthy and Justin Kuehndorf. The metal roof is to be put on soon and the electrical work is in progress with the help of Matt Main.

Old cabinets from the science labs and FACS rooms are being reused in the building process of the concession stand.

Lastly, the school district is in the process of finding alumni service men and women as they are going to be recognized with their names on a brick paver. The school will be paying for the cost of the etching for this special recognition with the help of donations.

Items approved

Just a handful of items were approved by the Board in absence of John Logghe, including the approval of a $10,000 grant donation from the Donaldson Foundation, a $1,000 donation from the Glenwood City FFA Alumni for the concession stand and a $2,000 anonymous donation for recognizing alumni service men and women via engraved brick pavers.

Also approved was the posting of the position for a part-time media aid due to the resignation of Joyce Booth.

The Board also approved the overnight trip to Orlando, FL so the cheerleading squad can perform at the Capital One Bowl.

Washington D.C. Trip

On a lighter note, Elementary Principal Betsy Haltinner and six teachers presented a slideshow to the Board about their recent trip to Washington D.C. for a Model School Convention.

Representing the elementary were Nicole Brite and Tristan Kittilson, who each felt strongly about the “flipping of a classroom” concept.

This means that instead of teachers teaching for 80 percent of the class and students applying what they’ve learned to a lesson for 20 percent of the time, this flips.

The idea is to use more technology in video and voice recordings by changing instruction time to minimal talking and more time for application.

Both teachers presented an example of a lesson that they recorded, which in turn will be available to each student so they can take that 80 percent of class time to work individually or in a small group on the lesson.

The concept of making learning into more of a “gaming” idea was mentioned as well.

“Playing games has an 80 percent failure rate, but kids love games and they keep playing them until they find a way to pass a level,” expressed Kittilson.

With that said, the teachers are trying to find a way to make teaching subjects like Mathematics a more game type idea. Instead of students getting a math problem wrong and then assuming they are forever terrible at math, they need to get the mindset that it is just like a level in a game, it may be difficult, but it can be passed.

In the middle school, Jake Score shared what he took away from the convention was the need to increase writing and have a true block of time in the school day where students only work on their literacy.

In the high school, Tina Rasmussen, who will be teaching sixth grade literacy this year for the first time, shared her new idea of vocabulary pyramids and finding creative ideas to incorporate into lesson plans so students learn a broader vocabulary range.

Those on the trip brought home eight main points they felt were the most significant; culture trumps strategy, rigor/relevance/relationships need to raised, need to lead for a change, create an action plan for change, technology is crucial, data must drive instruction, create quadrant D classrooms and students must be career and college ready.

As a group, the ten members who went on the trip brought home a great deal of excitement and new ideas they plan to implement into their classrooms.

Special Meeting

Several items were discussed and a handful were approved during a special meeting held last Wednesday, August 7 in regards to the capital projects.

The Board approved the recommendation to re-stripe the upper parking lot so that is has angled parking with the one-way flow, rather than the current straight line.

“With the addition of the loop road to the south, we are trying to create a safer traffic pattern at both entrances. As discussed before, buses will not have to turn around to go back out onto 170, but continue south from the high school entrance, go on the loop road, drop off the elementary, and then loop back down to the bus garage in the morning. A backward, but similar route, will occur at night,” explained Middle School/High School Principal, Tim Johnson.

It was decided that the upper lot on the high school end would be one-way traffic, eliminating u-turns. Cars will still be able to enter the lower lot from the upper lot, but the road that goes to the lower lot will be lined to separate two directional traffic.

The elementary end will stay pretty consistent as the changes made last spring to the traffic pattern, but because of the loop road for buses back down to the bus garage, there will be some changes to the visitor parking and drop off area,

The Board members approved the purchase of a stripping machine for $1,500 to remove the wax from the floors.

Accurate Construction was approved for the contractor on several items including the concrete baseball pad for $5,704. They will repair/replace the concrete by the High School entry way ($1,880) as well as repair the loading dock stairs behind the school ($2,125).

Also approved for the baseball field was the sodding of the outfield as well as using the existing fence that was around the track to build bullpens. Also the existing fence around the field will be repaired and the purchasing of new fence to go around the outfield was approved.

Lastly, the Board approved brick pavers around the flag pole area, which is to not exceed $6,000 and mulching the remaining area around the flag pole as well.