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Colfax school board sets teaching staff for 2015-16 year

by Marlys Kruger

Following the annual audit review and budget review, the Colfax school board took care of usual business at the monthly meeting held July 20 in the board office. Hiring a new third grade teacher and reassigning other members of the teaching staff to various positions were a few of the items on the agenda the board approved.

Kirk Secraw, a 2003 graduate of Colfax, was hired for a third grade position. Secraw has been a substitute teacher in the district and has been teaching the 4 Year Old Kindergarten program at a private school in Bloomer the past two years. He holds a degree from UW-Stout in Early Childhood Education and has a background in athletics and is interested in coaching within the district.

With several retirements this past spring, a few teachers were moved from one grade level to another including Nancy Hovde from middle school to third grade, Jeanette Kiekhafer from fourth to third grade, Ryan Krall from sixth to fourth grade, Vince Ross from third to fourth grade and Janice Cox from second grade to special education. With Secraw as the new third grade hire and Deb Larson remaining in fourth grade, both grade levels will have three sections.

The board also approved keeping WEA Trust as the staff health insurance provider with a $16.26 increase on the renewal rates by the employee and Delta Dental as the  Dental Insurance provider with a $9.82 increase. In addition, The Standard will be the long term and short term disability insurance carrier for the district.

Student fees for athletics and physical education will remain the same and the board agreed to keep the Athletic Season Passes for students and adults the same. A student pass for the school year is $25.00, an adult pass is $72.00 and a family pass will not exceed $150.00. Senior citizens age 62 or over will continue to get in free to all regular season athletic events.

Several school policies were reviewed and approved including the first reading of the Philosophy of Education statement and Immunization policy for students.

All of the school buses passed the annual inspection, according to District Administrator Bill Yingst and he commended head mechanic Chad Johnson for his hard work and preparation for the inspection.

The estimated General Aid from the DPI for the upcoming year is $5,137,621 compared to $5,256,772 from the past year, showing a decrease of $119,151 for the district.

Administrators’ reports

Special Education Director Polly Rudi reported the DPI has raised the age criteria for students with Significant Developmental Delay from age six to nine, and beginning July 1,  students who were identified as having a Cognitive Disability will now be considered a child with an Intellectual Disability.

Rudi gave elementary principal Trevor Hovde’s report on the Summer Saunters program stating it was very successful for the third straight year, and there was no high school/middle school report due to the fact there hasn’t been a lot going on this past month.

Audit/budget report

Total revenues in the general fund (Fund 10) for 2014-15 were $9,932,319 while expenditures were $9,073,779. After other assets were totaled, a balance of $2,315,510 was shown. The proposed budget for the 2015-16 school year is $8,694,184.44 and the total school levy is $2,815,691.00.