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Glenwood City Community Task Force speaks at Board Meeting

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY — Present at the Board of Education meeting for the first time as a group were the members of the Community Task Force; Trynette Gross, Chase Rasmussen, Dean Fayerweather, Tom Klatt, Ed Gabbert, Chad Lee, Todd Petersen and Beth Davis.

Over the course of a few months now, the District has sent out letters to parents in the district, inviting them to take a tour of the building’s structure inside and out.

This task force was asked to take a good look at the school and categorize what areas needed attention the most.

All together over 20 people were present at the Task Force meetings, but on Monday the eight presented the Board with a completed survey/prioritization list.

The number one concern was safety for the students and staff inside the school. Safety went hand in hand with the number one item on the survey, relocation of offices.

This was the number one priority along with the repair/upgrade to the HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning).

This list of upgrades to focus on continued with a technology server and networking, the roof, fire alarm, technology in every classroom, the softball field, elementary traffic flow, batting cages for the new shed, etc.

The first two items alone (offices and HVAC) have a very rough estimate of around $3 million to complete.

The Task Force mentioned a referendum in order to help fund such items on their list.

The Task Force did agree collectively with the idea of a referendum and they encouraged the Board to be active in participating with each other so the community would support the idea.

Petersen and Fayerweather both agreed that it would make a big difference if the community heard from not just the Board, but the Task Force of parents.

Those in the District have been encouraged to take a tour of the school and see for themselves exactly what needs to be done and where money needs to be spent.

The Task Force has in a sense completed their portion of the job for right now. The list of priorities now is in the hands of the Board and they will decide how to move forward.

In other reports, Elementary Principal Betsy Haltinner shared the fall assessments and data with the Board.

The data showed that a number of students were at a high level in the spring, but once school resumed in the fall, the data had dropped due to the summer break.

“What prohibits us from having year round school,” questioned Board President Charles Rasmussen. “Summer school is only a week or two and then there is still a big gap… We could have more break periods, but shorter ones and maybe that could eliminate some of those fluctuations (in the data).”

That topic was held off to a further time, but it was still acknowledged by the Board that something does need to be done to keep those assessments more level throughout the course of time from the spring to the fall.

In High School/Middle School Principal Patrick Gretzlock’s report, he shared that there are two new organizations that have been started this year; the National History Club and the Academic Decathlon.

They are both in a trial stage right now with no funding to them, but attendance wise there are over 20 students participating in both. The Academic Decathlon will be doing some competitions as well.

And lastly, Superintendent Tim Johnson spoke to the Board. He shared that the Equalized Value is in and it shows a decrease as a resident district of .5 percent, which is just over $1 million dollars in terms of a money figure.

Wednesday, October 15 is when the final numbers will be ready so those figures will be available at the next meeting in terms of the levy.

Johnson did state that the budget is currently balanced.

Items approved included the hiring of Jenny Stoiber as a substitute support staff/paraprofessional aide and Nicole Johnson as a substitute teacher.