By R.D. KEEP
Oskaloosa School Board members moved through a number of issues regarding services for the next school year.
Those approvals included district goals, benchmarks, insurance programs and technology.
During superintendent comments, Russ Reiter delivered good news to district taxpayers. The superintendent stated that with the money available to the district the tax asking would drop from $15.89 to $15.30 per $1,000 valuation.
High school teacher and Pheasants Forever leader Mike Goudy made a presentation to the board on behalf of two Eagle Scout candidates, Trevor Mabee and Jared Buckelew. They were seeking permission to work on a couple projects on the school grounds as part of their Eagle Scout projects.
The two students, along with the school chapter of Pheasants Forever and the local adult chapter, proposed working on two areas of habitat on the high school grounds.
“We are in need of an area for outdoor classroom and we do not have easy access,” said Goudy.
The two projects will enhance the campus and provide learning opportunities for the students and the public alike. Mabee’s project will create a half-mile nature trail in the south and southeast portions of the high school-middle school campus. It will include a bridge over the creek to allow access to both sides of the wooded area.
Goudy said an oak tree would be a central point of the project.
“There is an oak tree that is over 100 years old,” said Goudy. “The trail will circle around the tree as part of this project.”
Buckelew’s project will enhance an area that has been under development north of the high school. His project will include a 20-by-50 foot raised flowerbed. This will include native flowers and plantings. Identification signs will be added to allow visitors to know what plants are growing.
The students and Pheasants Forever chapter will fund the site improvement projects. No district funds are requested for the projects.
As technology in the classroom grows so does the need for service. School technology staff requested the addition of wireless services to the middle school and elementary. Board members agreed to a five-year agreement with Heartland Technology Solutions for $113,398.
Board members held a closed session for evaluation of superintendent Reiter.
In other action, the School Board:
• Elected Tom Richardson as board vice president replacing Laurie Fiscella, who has left the board.
• Approved renewal of district property and casualty insurance with EMC through the Walton Agency.
• Approved 2013-14 improvement goals.
• Approved high school art benchmarks.
• Approved Principles of Ag Science course and grade level benchmarks.
• Approved student/parent handbooks for 2013-14.
• Approved trip of dance team to Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., to participate in activities from Dec. 28-Jan. 3.
• Approved trip of high school wrestling team to Lincoln, Neb., for a summer camp.
• Approved open campus policy for high school students.
• Accepted the resignation of fourth-grade teacher Stacy Vitali.
• Approved the hiring of Zach Tremmel as high school physical education teacher.
• Approved high school open campus policy.
• Approved Anderson-Erickson as prime milk vendor for 2013-14.