Aberdeen School District will hold yard sale

The Aberdeen School District will hold a yard sale on Wednesday, June 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They will be selling desks, chairs, old books, and other items the district doesn’t need now and are still in working order. It will be held on the blacktop by the cafeteria.

Trustees, Herb Bohrer, Elaine Blik, Todd Lowder, Mike Shackelford and Braden Driscoll, were told of the sale at the regular school board meeting held Wednesday, April 16, at the Springfield Fire Station Community Center. As members of the school board, according to policy, they needed to be told of the sale, but no action needed to be taken.

Superintendent’s report

Superintendent Jane Ward reported that Dena Blaker and Frank Dye attended a PERSI meeting to discuss how to do the new PERSI requirements and uploads. PERSI is the state retirement system.

She and Blaker also attended the ISU Career Fair and received seven resumes for teachers. This was the lowest turnout Ward said she has ever seen. ISU said they only graduated 44 education majors this year.

Blaker, Dye and Ward attended the post legislative tour in Blackfoot. They learned there are many policies that have been affected by the legislative session, so they will start to work on getting them ready for approval. Teacher negotiations will be ready to start by the first of May.

She and Blaker attended an insurance meeting in Pocatello. This meeting gave them the increase in insurance costs for the 2014-15 school year. That increase will be eight percent.

Gary Krehbiel has ordered three heating/cooling units for the elementary school. He will be replacing the old units early this summer.

Ward said the testing seems to be going smoothly.

She said she would be hiring an architect, as approved by the board at the March meeting, to review the facility roofing and give recommendations for fixing leaking problems.

Administrator reports

Special services director David Vaughn was not present at the meeting, but had a written report that was submitted. In that report he said all schools were testing with the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) field test. The testing appeared to be going smoothly. Some classes have also started doing the classroom activities and performance tasks.

He also reported they received the estimates for funding for school age and pre-school special education. There was a slight increase in funding, but not enough to compensate for the cuts that were made last year with sequestration.

High school principal Travis Pincock reported the ninth grade students went on a campus tour of BYU-I. The trip was paid for by the GEAR-UP grant. Each year the students tour a campus. In previous years the same students went to ISU and CSI.

He said testing was going well. Since returning from spring break there have been some students testing almost every day.

The GEAR-UP students will be participating in a literacy event with the first grade students. The GEAR-UP grant will buy each first grader a book and then have it read to them by a ninth grade student. Pincock is working out the final details with the first grade teachers.

He also congratulated four FFA students for their fourth place finish in the state horse judging team competition, He congratulated Chantel Inskeep for receiving her state FFA degree. He also congratulated the high school track and field and golf teams. They have been doing well.

Middle school principal Ann Mennear reported the SBAC testing was going well. The students have been reporting they like the English tests better than they liked the ISAT test because they enjoyed being able to write. They reported they were somewhat frustrated with wording of the math tests because they weren’t sure what the test writers were asking for. English language arts and math teachers will be teaching the performance task activities to their classes within the next two weeks and students will then take tests based on the classroom activities. Students are taking an average of two hours on the English language arts test and about 1 1/2 hours on the math test.

Parent/teacher conferences were held on April 3. Attendance for the sixth and eighth grade parents was about 25 percent. Attendance for the seventh grade parents was over 50 percent.

The middle school track team has 42 students on it. Mennear thanked Jenny Foster for volunteering to coach the track team.

Elementary principal Robi Jo Colton said 70 students made the third quarter perfect attendance list. She said it looks like there may be 28 for the whole year with perfect attendance. Last year there were only seven.

Class science fairs will be coming up, Colton reported. Irene Beach’s class fair will be Friday, April 25, Cathy Stump’s class fair will be Friday, May 2, and Nicole Latsch’s class fair will be Friday, May 9.

The fourth grade students will celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, April 25, by participating in a poster contest and tree planting. Karalee Bonzon is the representative who has planned the activities. Colton said they appreciate all of her time and effort.

There will be a district wide tornado drill on Friday, April 25, at 1 p.m.

The Family Reading Night took place Wednesday, April 16. There were 56 people that attended. Julie Beck, who has written and published a couple of books, was the guest author.

Colton also reported that SBAC testing in the elementary school was going smoothly.

Consent items

The consent items presented were the minutes of the March 19 board meeting, the minutes of the April 4 special meeting, the claims for March, the March financial report, the March building budget reports, Bingham County tax report and overnight trip requests. The overnight trips include the AHS Music for State Solo Competition May 2-5, Concert & Jazz Bands for Lagoon Music-in-the-Park May 16-17, Lagoon Senior Trip May 27, golf team for state tournament May 11-13, and track and field team for state competition May 15-17. A form was presented that anyone requesting public records will need to fill out. All consent items were approved.

Business items

Policy 846 (Travel Allowance & Travel Claim Form) was approved. It was reviewed last month.

The annual budget hearing was set for Wednesday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. The hearing had to be approved and sent to the Bingham County Clerk by April 30.

Driscoll was appointed to represent the school board during negotiations with the AEA for the 2014-2015 school-year beginning on May 7, at 9 a.m. Ward said the negotiations usually last a day because there hasn’t been much to negotiate about. The state has given one percent this year.

The resignation of Elizabeth Anderson as an elementary teacher effective August 31 was approved. She has purchased a home and can’t drive the distance to Aberdeen to teach. Ward said she is a great teacher and will be missed.

Trustee input

Trustee Driscoll said it was nice to be in Springfield and thanked all for making the trip. He asked administrators how they liked the new board reporting format. All administrators present said they liked the new format. He asked administrators how they could see how students were doing with the new SBAC testing, how end of test assessment will show student performance, and how they compare to current testing results. He was told no results would be given to the school for this year’s SBAC tests. This year is for a baseline to be compared to next year’s testing when results should be given to districts.

Trustee Blik said it is hard to believe it is almost the end of the school year. She asked Pincock if all the seniors were on track to graduate. Pincock said he has been meeting with lots of parents for students close to not being able to graduate. He feels most kids will graduate, but a few will not. He added it seems to be like this every year. Blik expressed a desire for more students to do reports to the board on their participation on activity events such as Cindrie Lowder’s musical performances. Pincock said he will follow-up with Wayne Millett to see about Lowder and other music students presenting a report to the board on their experiences in future meetings, as well as other students who have participated in activity trips. Blik said she is encouraged by the 70 students with perfect attendance in the elementary school.

Trustee Lowder asked the administrators how the teachers and students feel about Common Core. Administrators stated teachers and students are struggling with the math portion due to higher level requirements in earlier grades than prior standards, but the English portion was less stressful and was going more smoothly. Lowder expressed concerns for teachers and students with the new testing and commended teachers for their efforts in implementing the new Common Core standards. Pincock said he thinks the standards and the tests are great. The teachers and students will adjust to it. He said the board wants to help any way they can. He told of a little history of the old Springfield School with input from Bohrer and his wife Linda Bohrer.

Trustee Bohrer recognized the cheerleaders for their accomplishment of sweeping the state competition. He also expressed the desire for more students coming and doing reports to the board about activities they’ve attended. He stated the importance of having this board meeting in Springfield, which shows Springfield that the district feels they are important members of the district. The district started holding one meeting a year there in 1986 or 87.

The meeting was adjourned until Wednesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. in the district boardroom.

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