Friday, September 30, 2016

Proud To Be A Bearcat

Proud To Be A Bearcat!

As superintendent of North Butler Community Schools, I have much to be grateful for this week. It has been a long, and arduous week, but very rewarding for me at the same time.

I would like to thank the staff members and parents who acted so quickly on Wednesday September 21st, when the first tornado warning went off, to ensure that all of our students, parents, and staff who were still at the high school building were safe and taken care of. It is a long list, but I am thankful for every one of you, and the role that you played in ensuring that our students were safe during what was one of the craziest storms I have ever witnessed.

Next, hats off to Sheriff Jason Johnson and his staff, Butler County Emergency Management Director Mitch Nordemeyer, Greene Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance, Allison Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue, Bristow Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue, and the countless other agencies that helped from around the region. That list is also too long to place here (not that I would remember them all anyway)! The amount of communication that I witnessed, and the choreography of your work were incredible. Without the communication and quick response by these organizations the amount of damage to downtown Greene especially could have been much worse. As it is, there were no serious injuries or loss of life due in large part to the quality and number of people responding to this natural disaster.

Starting with the thunderstorm, rain, and tornadoes on Wednesday, then through the massive flooding that ran through Greene, and now the cleanup, I have been amazed at the way the communities have pulled together. The amount of help that people have given one another (some while ignoring their own personal disaster issues) has been incredible. The level of cooperation, teamwork, and understanding of individuals and entities involved throughout this process has been incredible.

The staff and students of our nearby schools have responded incredibly. Two graduates of Greene HS brought students to town to assist with the cleanup, as did my Alma Mater. Eric Gabe (West Fork), Dustin Smith (Osage), and Bryce Conway (Riceville) thank you so much for the assistance on Monday, September 26th. You and your students represented what is best about living in Northeast Iowa, and what true compassion and sportsmanship are all about. Your students represented your communities well, and you are truly good men!

The staff and students of North Butler Community Schools have made me proud. Regardless of their situation and whether they have suffered loss themselves, they have selflessly helped others. I know of at least one staff member who is yet to address issues at their own house, as they have been assisting family members. This is the true definition of family and community!

I greatly admire and respect the things that our communities, staff and students have done over the past week. As a result, it is time for North Butler Community Schools to give back. Please join us this evening as we host RRMR for our Homecoming 2016, #Theresnoplacelikehome and the free will offering dinner being prepared by the Butler County Cattlemen’s Association, and the free will entry to the Bearcats football game. Remember that all proceeds will go to the Volunteer Fire Departments and Ambulance Services within the North Butler School District!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fiscal 16 Finances in Review (projections)

The end of the fiscal year (FY) for school districts is June 30th. After the end of the school year, we are required to submit what is known as the Certified Annual Report (CAR) to the Department of Education prior to September 15th of that year. As I am sure most of you are aware by now, the school district uses several different funds.  The General Fund is usually the focus of attention as that is where the majority of our operating costs including personnel come from.

On June 30th, 2014, the district finished FY 14 with an unspent balance of -$213,773. Having a negative unspent balance is a problem for a school district.  It means that you spent more than the state allows, and that you spent more than you took in.

At the end of FY 15, we were able to raise that unspent balance to $281,949.  We were also able to raise other financial indicators that we follow to determine the financial health of the school district, such as the day’s net cash ratio (measures the length of time a school could operate without any income in case of emergency) and the financial solvency ratio (one of the measures the state looks at).

On June 30th, 2016, or the end of FY 16, North Butler Community Schools had an estimated Unspent Authorized Budget (unspent balance) of $618,912. This moved us to a day’s net cash ratio of 88 days (close to the target of 90), an unspent balance ratio of 8.42% (within the target range of 7.5%-10%), and a financial solvency ratio of 8.71% (within the target range of 5-10%).

As you can see by the figures above, North Butler Community Schools has improved our financial situation over the past few fiscal years as a result of some very difficult decisions that have been made by the board of education.  It is clear that the board’s decisions are moving us in the right direction to recover from the past financial problems and will also ease the pain of a large loss in student population over the last several years.

When we measure our future revenues, we will receive roughly $6591 per student for FY 17 (the current FY). Over the past two years, North Butler Community Schools have seen a decline of roughly 55 students, 39 for FY16, and roughly 15-17 for the current year (count day is October 1st). If we multiply that, we are looking at a decrease in funding of roughly $362, 505. Due to what is called a budget guarantee, we will not lose all of that money at one time. The budget guarantee is a mechanism in the Iowa school finance formula that helps lessen the impact of declining enrollment in schools.

What does the declining enrollment mean for North Butler Community Schools? First, it means that we will have to continue to carefully monitor and code expenditures. Secondly, due to the way that we are currently operating, we have aligned ourselves to be in a much better position to absorb the loss of students.  We have built some cushion or cash reserves to ease that blow, but we will need to cut some costs and continue to carefully monitor spending.

Even though we will be losing large amounts of revenue, the sky is not falling.  We now have a secure financial footing, and North Butler will be financially solvent into the future. We will be able to support the things that our magnificent teaching staff is doing and the many opportunities that we are able to offer our students in academics, athletics, and the fine arts due to the many talents of our staff.

I am VERY PROUD of who we are and what we do at North Butler Community Schools, and our communities should be proud of the support they give us and the things that our staff and students accomplish on a daily basis! It’s Great To Be A Bearcat!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bank Iowa Challenge Cup

The Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup is a combined statewide, yearlong competition among all member high schools of the Iowa High school Athletic Association, Iowa High School Music Association, Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and the Iowa High School Speech Association. A separate winner is determined for each of the four high school state classes.

For the 2015-2016 school year North Butler Community Schools came in 10th place among all of the Class 1A schools. Congratulations to all of our students, teachers, participants, and coaches for their hard work and accomplishments from the classroom, fine arts performance areas, and the athletic arena! We are proud of you all!



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Board Notes 9-12-16

Last evening the North Butler Board of Education took the following actions;

1. Approved Eagle Scout project at Allison site.
2. Took no action on a Good Conduct appeal.
3. Retired old board.
4. Elected Eric Bixby as board president.
5. Elected Laura Staudt as vice president.
6. Set board meetings for 2nd Monday of the month at 6PM (this is a change).
7. Appointed Brian Gruhn as School Attorney
8. Appointed LSB as official depository
9. Appointed Greene Recorder and Butler County Tribune Journal as official publications
10. Approved Modified Allowable Growth for Special Ed deficit
11. Approved SIAC recommendations
12. Approved contract with TC Networks
13. Approved SIPPS purchase
14. Updated policy 802.4, waived second reading
15. Approved HR items.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Monday September 12, 2016 Board Meeting Agenda

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

North Butler Community Schools
Annual Board Meeting Monday September 12, 2016, 6:30 PM
North Butler Elementary School - Media Center, Allison

1.     Call to Order
2.     Review and Approve Agenda
3.     Review and Approve Minutes from August 8, 2016
4.     Financial reports
5.     Public Items of Discussion
a.     Eagle Scout Presentation-Chase Eiklenborg
b.     Lucas W. Greene Ins.-Dividend
6.     Board Items of Discussion
a.     New Teacher Intros
7.     Approve Eagle Scout project
8.     Closed Session-Good Conduct Violation Appeal 21.5 (1) e
9.     Board action on Good Conduct appeal
10.  Examine Financial Account Book Fiscal Year 2015
11.  Appointment of President Pro-Tem
12.  Adjourn Old Board

Organizational Meeting

1.     Call to Order New Board
2.     Elect School Board President
3.     Elect School Board Vice-President
4.     Appoint Board Secretary/Treasurer & Administrate the Oath of Office
5.     Set Time and Date of Monthly Board Meetings
6.     Appoint School Attorney
7.     Appoint Official Depository/Amount
8.     Appoint Official Publication
a.     IASB Delegate
b.     Butler County Conference Board Representative
c.     Floyd County Conference Board Representative
d.     Negotiations
e.     Building Improvements
f.      Finance Committee

9.     Approve Modified Allowable Growth and Supplemental Aid for a Special Ed Deficit
10.  Approve SIAC recommendations
a.     CSIP Goals
b.     Lau Plan
c.     TAG Plan
d.     Mentoring/Induction Plan

11.  Approve TC Networks Contract
12.  Approve SIPPS purchase
13.  Approve updating Board Policy 802.4, waive second reading
14.  Human Resources
A.    Resignations-
B.    Terminations
C.    Contracts-
D.    Subs-
15.  Administrative Reports
16.  Board Reflections of meeting
17.  Adjournment

Next Meeting October 10, 2016, 6:30 PM NB HS Media Center, Greene.

It’s Great to Be A Bearcat!