Friday, January 29, 2016

New Year, New Beginnings

We have reached the midpoint of the 2015-16 school year and as an administrative team we feel that things are going very well.
The transition from the 3 buildings to 2 has been very successful, and our staff has done an incredible job of bringing things together, working as a team, and taking advantage of the opportunities that combining buildings has brought to them. Watching the teachers take advantage of the opportunity to work together and collaborate on our children and their learning has been incredible. I have never seen teachers collaborate as well as our staff is! The reality of this situation is that we have had some growing pains, but there is no way that we could have envisioned this change going as well as it has. I believe thais a testimony to the wonderful board, staff, and administrators that I have the privilege of working with at North Butler Community Schools.
The community turned out in record numbers in September to elect a new board for our district, and the board is doing a fantastic job of working together, asking questions, and holding the district administration accountable. Each board member brings a unique perspective and skill set to the table, which will only work to enhance the culture, climate, and the opportunities we are able to provide our students. We have board members who are taking the time to understand school finance, our policy manual, and to ask really good questions about the direction and future of our district, as well as the decisions that we make. Administratively, with the blessing of the board, we are currently working to explore opportunities to provide our students a larger selection of vocational programs through cooperation with our neighboring districts and NIACC. This would allow better and more career opportunities for the students, as well as opportunities to begin vocational programs through NIACC while still in high school. The board and administration are also looking at exploring and prioritizing building and grounds upkeep and other projects that will allow us to make the best use of our infrastructure funds, where we currently have a balance of over $1 million between our PPEL and SAVE (sales tax).
The financial condition of the district has improved considerably. When I arrived in July of 2014, the district had overspent the general fund. Due to the negative unspent balance, the district was required to go before the SBRC. At the end of fiscal year 2015, we had a positive unspent balance of $281,949, and we are projecting an unspent balance between $400,000 and $500,000 at the end of fiscal year 16(general fund). This will get us much closer to where we need to be as a district (with a 10%-15% unspent balance), and will allow us to begin purchasing updated curriculum materials, as much of our curriculum is outdated. Our first curriculum purchase will be in reading for the 16-17 school year, and will be a district wide purchase. Curriculum purchases such as this could easily run in the $100,000 to $150,000 range.  Managing our budget properly also allows us to make better use and to better manage our staff numbers and assignments.
I have now been at North Butler Community Schools for about a year and a half. During my time here I have gotten to know many of the students, not just as students but as athletes and members of our communities also. I cannot stress enough how impressed I have been with the quality of the kids at North Butler. Our students here are some of the most respectful, well mannered kids that I have ever had the privilege of working with. They are coachable, polite, and know how to enjoy themselves without crossing the line to where they are getting into or causing trouble. Thank you to the parents of our communities for doing such a fantastic job with your children!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Summer Food Service Program

North Butler CSD will once again provide the Summer Food Service Program to our patrons. Although the specifics of the dates when the program will begin and end still need to be worked out, it appears that we will be able to run this program in Greene at the JH/HS once again, and have tentatively qualified to bring this program to Allison at the North Butler Elementary School.

The summer lunch program will allow anyone up to the age of 18 to come in and have a free lunch, and the lunch must be eaten on site. Adults are able to eat for a minimal fee. All expenses from the program will be covered from the proceeds that we receive from government reimbursements. 

We will distribute specifics for the Summer Food Service Program at both sites as we draw closer to the end of the school year. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Board Notes 1-20-16

Last evening the North Butler Board of Education took the following actions;
1. Approved moving bus lease to Lincoln Savings Bank pending clarification of several items.
2. Approved Ag class to attend Barrow Show in Albert Lea, MN in February.
3. Heard first reading of Policy 507.2
4. Approved early graduation requests for 2 students.
5. Set public hearing for 16-17 calendar for February 8th at 6:30 PM at the HS Media Center in Greene.
6. Approved contract for speaker Kevin Honeycutt for August of 2016.
7. Approved lighting project in bus barn-Wedeking Electric.
8. Set February 1st as deadline for students without immunizations. Students not immunized or exempted by this date will be temporarily suspended from school until this is taken care of or a board hearing is held.
9. Approved placing drainage project in Allison out for bid.
10. Approved agreement with Feldman Grain Farms for repeater tower.
11. Approved school on Feb 15th, 2016 as make up day for ALICE training.
12. Passed Board resolution requesting the Legislature set SSA at an adequate level in a timely manner.
13. Approved Early Retirement for Dave Thorne, Contracts for Ross Hawker as asst HS Track Coach, Travis Miller as JH Boys Track Coach, Adam Anthony as JH Girls Track Coach, Gene Chinander for Driver’s Education, and Emily McNeal as a Substitute.
14. Approved student disciplinary Agreement.
15. Held a workshop to discuss goals, future projects.
16. Held exempt session to discuss negotiations.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Board Agenda 1-20-16

Mission Statement
To create a positive learning environment that promotes high achievement, responsible citizenship, and success for all.

North Butler Community Schools
Board Meeting Wednesday January 20, 2016, 5 PM
North Butler Elementary School - Media Center, Allison

1.     Call to Order
2.     Review and Approve Agenda
3.     Review and Approve Minutes from December 9, 2015
4.     Financial reports
5.     Public Items of Discussion
6.     Board Items of Discussion
a.     Board Learning-Video
b.     Update on Bonds/Types of bonds
7.     Staff Presentation-Mr.Huff-Video Surveillance
8.     Staff Presentation-Mrs. Clark-PSEO options, data, offerings.
9.     Bus lease to LSB
10.  Out of state field trip-Ag contest
11.  Update Policy 507.2
12.  Early Graduation Requests
13.  Set 16-17 Calendar Public Hearing
14.  Speaker contract-Kevin Honeycutt August 2016n
15.  Lighting in Bus Barn
16.  Action on student immunization
17.  Agreement on repeater tower
18.  Drainage issue in Allison-Waterproofing out for bid
19.  Calendar Change-ALICE Training
20.  Board Resolution on Funding-to Legislature-Advocacy
21.  Human Resources
A.    Resignations
B.    Contracts
C.    Subs
22.  Administrative Reports
23.  Closed Session-Student Discipline Iowa Code 21.5(1)e. To discuss whether to conduct a hearing or to conduct hearings to suspend or expel a student, unless an open session is requested by the student or a parent or guardian of the student if the student is a minor.
24.  Action on Student Discipline
25.  Board Reflections of meeting
26.  Adjournment
27.  Board Workshop following regular meeting.
28.  Exempt Session-Negotiations

Next Meeting February 8, 2016, 6:30 PM NB HS Media Center, Greene.