Vol. 13 | Issue 19

3 Jun

Suspensions, expulsions down in district

Suspensions and expulsions decreased in 2012-2013 according to data compiled after the close of the school year.

Human Resources Director Lisa Koester presented the numbers Monday night as part of a regular report on Strategic Action Plan progress.

In 2012-2013 there were 2,609 in-school suspensions, down from 2,839 in 2011-2012. Out-of-school suspensions decreased from 424 in 2011-2012 to 263 in 2012-2013 and there were no expulsions.

The decreases in these three areas meet and exceed the projected decreases in the district Strategic Action Plan.

Schools strive to create safe, supportive learning environment

Student Support Teams are just one component of the work district-wide to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.



Matt Tullis, director of equity and learning supports, presented an update on this component of the Strategic Action Plan Monday evening. Some of the work related to this strategic was implemented a few years ago, such as a safety and security audit. That initial work at evaluating district needs provided the baseline information to implement future work.

Current work includes Student Support Teams in each building. These teams meet regularly to identify students who are experiencing barriers to learning, communicate with families and connect them with appropriate services. They also follow up with students and monitor progress.

Connection to those services is also a key component of this strategy, which includes maintaining strong partnerships with community-based agencies that provide counseling and mental health services.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is also being implemented in every building with training and support from Area Education Agency 267. Tullis noted the recent Department of Education site visited cited this as a strength.

Tullis reported results from the Iowa Youth Survey that showed an overall decrease in instances of students being bullied in 2012 compared to 2011.

Much of the work in this area has been facilitated through the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, a four-year, $5.6 million grant awarded in July 2009. Next year the district will be in a fifth extended year of the grant, which will officially end June 20, 2014. After that time the District will no longer have Learning Supports Specialists employed in every school. Tullis says at that time other District staff will need to take over the work done by LSS. Much of the work completed by LSS through the grant has been establishing the infrastructure for services, which will aid in the transition. The District will continue working with community partners and service providers to make sure student needs are met.

Board rejects construction bids

The Board rejected several construction bids Monday night that came in significantly higher than expectations.

The cost for re-roofing the Roundhouse received one bid from Academy Roofing and Sheet Metal for $709,000, nearly $300,000 over the estimated budget. The cost for Project Lead the Way classroom remodeling came in near $1 million. Construction estimates were $335,000.

Architect Dave Schulze told the Board he will work on new plans to cut costs and hopes to bring the cost of the PLTW project down to $400,000. The Roundhouse roof will either be packaged with other components of the renovation of simply bid again at a later date.


By Sherm Welker, Board President

Tonight the Board was presented with data for our discipline issues for the past school year. We have achieved the goals outlined in our strategic plan and commend the staff for their diligence. Part of our success must come by having a successful environment for student achievement and discipline is one of the major factors.

Last week we had storm events that caused some of our students and families difficulties due to transportation issues caused by road closures and regional flooding. This has happened 3 times in the last 20 years but twice in the last 5 years. The District will be working on an emergency plan that can be enacted for future events such as this. When this happens in the future, the plan for closures, delays, and instruction on what we will be doing will be posted on the District website, and released to the local radio stations as early as possible. We will also contact the regional TV stations, but have very limited control on how and when they may announce those plans. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Have a great summer!

PersonnelClick here.

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