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March 23, 2020

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

Mid-Prairie Central Office Community Room, Wellman, IA  52356

March 23, 2020 – 7:00 p.m.

www.mid-prairie.k12.ia.us

President Marianne Schlabach called the meeting to order.  Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak, President Schlabach has determined to self-quarantine, and with this decision any legal documents required to be signed due to resolutions, etc., will be signed by facsimile signature.

Board members present:   Mary Allred (Via Zoom), Denise Chittick (Via Zoom), Gabrielle Frederick (Via Zoom at 7:05 p.m.), Jeremy Gugel (Via Zoom), Jodi Meader (Via Zoom), Jeremy Pickard (Via Zoom), and Marianne Schlabach (Via Zoom).  Voice recognition attendance taken by Board Secretary Swartzentruber for the electronic meeting format.

Board members absent:  Gabrielle Frederick (Joined via Zoom at 7:05 p.m.).

Also Present:  Mark Schneider (In Person), Jeff Swartzentruber (In Person), Robin Foster (Via Zoom), Rachel Kerns (Via Zoom), Marc Pennington (Via Zoom), Bill Poock (Via Zoom), Amy Shalla  (Via Zoom), and Jay Strickland (Via Zoom). Additional members of the media, public, and staff attended via Zoom.

Denise Chittick moved to adopt the agenda as presented—Mark Schneider highlighted Nate Carlson’s compensation package.  Seconded by Mary Allred.  Motion carried 6-0.

BUSINESS MEETING

Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.

No one spoke publically.  A written comment was provided to the Board from Miriam Righter. 

Consent Items

Denise Chittick moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of March 9, 2020;

Finance Report

None presented at this time;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for March 9, 2020;

Open Enrollment Requests

Harold and Laura Enlow request Stella Enlow (Kindergarten), attend Mid-Prairie from Highland Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Greg and Tamara Buchmayer request Kaylee Buchmayer (Kindergarten), attend Mid-Prairie from Iowa City Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Caleb Morgan and Jamie Wilson request Jocelynn Morgan (Kindergarten), attend Mid-Prairie from Lone Tree Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Sawyer and Jerrica Luke request Easton Luke (Kindergarten) and Macy Luke (Kindergarten), attend Mid-Prairie from Washington Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Mark and Melich Diller request (Kindergarten), attend Mid-Prairie from Williamsburg Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Erik and Shannon Babbitt request David Babbitt (Kindergarten) attend Mid-Prairie’s Home School Assistance Program from Iowa City Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Sheyenne Chambers requests Kaiden Williams (Grade 1) and Avery Williams (Grade 3) attend Iowa City Community School District from Mid-Prairie;

Personnel Items

Contract issued to Aaron Coghlan, High School Physical Education Teacher, $38,464.44 per annum 2019-2020 value;

Contract issued to Kelsi TeBockhorst, MS Social Studies Teacher, $43,769.88 per annum 2019-2020 value;

Contract issued to Nathan Carlson, Middle School Assistant Principal and Assistant Activities Director, $80,000 per annum 2020-2021 value;

Contract issued to Jamie Clark, Middle School Assistant Girls Track Coach, $1,478.45 per season;

Contract issued to Aaron Fleming, Middle School Assistant Boys Track Coach, $2,232.46 per season;

Resignation of Dannielle Ramsey, District Librarian, $44,765.00 per annum, effective at end of the 2019-2020 School Year;

Resignation of Natalie Trier, High School Cheerleading, $1,774 per season, effective March 10, 2020;

Volunteer Coaches for Spring Sports

Candice Henrichson – HS Girls Track Assistant – $600 - from Resale Funds

Gary Curtis – HS Girls Track Assistant – $100 - from Resale Funds

Josh Moore – HS Girls Soccer Assistant -- $1,000 - from Resale Funds

Sophia Chmaruk – HS Boys Soccer Assistant – No Compensation

Byron Yoder – HS Boys Soccer Assistant – No Compensation

Fundraising Requests – Nothing submitted

Gabrielle Frederick seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 7-0. Due to the electronic meeting format, this was completed by roll call vote.

Finance

Accept the June 30, 2019 Annual Independent Audit Report

Superintendent Schneider and Business Manager Jeff Swartzentruber briefly presented the recently finalized Independent Audit Report for the School Year ended June 30, 2019.  Swartzentruber answered questions about the audit comments in the later pages of the report.

Jeremy Pickard moved to accept the 2018-2019 Independent Audit Report as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.

Resolution Authorizing the Redemption of 2014 General Obligation School Bonds and Approval of the Levying of Property Tax for Fiscal Year 2020-21 for the Redemption.

Superintendent Schneider and Business Manager Swartzentruber recommend a continuation of the use of an Additional Debt Levy to pay off bonds more quickly to save interest costs and improve the prospects of future bond issues by opening more levy room for property taxes.  The current maximum levy is $2.70.  This Year, Fiscal Year 2020, was the second year for the additional levy and resolution where the District levied $545,000 additional funds for debt service to be paid in July of 2020—a two-year total of $850,000.  This will save the District $170,100 in interest for Fiscal Year 2021—a two-year savings of $266,175.  The resolution presented for approval tonight is for $580,000 additional Debt Levy for Fiscal Year 2021.  It will save the District $162,400 of interest.  The resolution is recommended for approval and will maximize the Debt Service Levy at $2.698, of which $1.106 is the additional Debt Service Levy.  It is noted, that if approved, President Schlabach has determined to self-quarantine, and with this decision any legal documents required to be signed due to resolutions, etc., will be signed by facsimile signature.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the Resolution authorizing the redemption of General Obligation School Bonds, Series 2014, dated August 1, 2014, approving a third amendment to escrow an amended and substituted Paying Agent, Bond Registrar and Transfer Agent Agreement, and Levying a tax for Fiscal Year 2020-21 for the redemption of General Obligation School Bonds, Series 2014, dated August 1, 2014 in the amount of $580,000.  Mary Allred seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:    Gabrielle Frederick           - yes

                           Mary Allred                        - yes

                          Jodi Meader                       - yes

                          Jeremy Pickard                  - yes

                           Marianne Schlabach         - yes

                          Jeremy Gugel                    - yes

                          Denise Chittick                  - yes

Motion carried 7-0.

Set Public Hearing for School Bus Specifications

Superintendent Schneider discussed the need for a second chairlift school bus as a result of additional needs with the MP Four-plus Program.  Specifications have been developed and need to be viewed by the public for input.  A request for a Public Hearing on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 7:15p.m. is recommended.

Denise Chittick moved to approve setting a date for a Public Hearing for School Bus Specifications on April 13, 2020 at 7:15 p.m. in the Central Office Community Room.  Jodi Meader seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.

7:15pm Public Hearing on the 2020-21 Certified Budget

President Schlabach opened the floor for the Public Hearing to allow for input.  This was published in the local paper on March 12, 2020.  No one spoke from the public.  Schlabach closed the public hearing at 7:17 p.m.

Approve the 2020-21 Certified Budget

Superintendent Schneider and Business Manager Swartzentruber recommended the Board approve the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year Budget for filing to the Washington Auditors Office and Iowa Department of Management by April 15, 2020.

Denise Chittick moved to approve the 2020-21 Certified Budget as presented.  Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion.

7:25pm Public Hearing on the 2019-20 Budget Amendment

President Schlabach opened the floor for the Public Hearing to allow for input, especially on line.  This was published in the local paper on March 12, 2020.  The Amendment addresses the additional expenses incurred in this Fiscal Year for Special Education Staffing, for the December 2019 purchase of real estate, and for the refinancing of the Revenue Bonds.  No one spoke from the public.  Schlabach closed the public hearing at 7:27 p.m.

Approve the 2019-20 Budget Amendment

Superintendent Schneider and Business Manager Swartzentruber asked for questions from the Board and then recommended the Board approve the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year Budget Amendment filing to the Iowa Department of Management.

Jeremy Pickard moved to approve the 2019-20 Budget Amendment as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0. Due to the electronic meeting format, this was completed by roll call vote.

MPEA Compensation Agreement for 2020-2021

Superintendent Schneider shared that the IBB agreed to propose a total package increase for the 2020-2021 School Year of 3.06%--0.7% above the new money percentage signed by the governor in March of 2020—for Teachers and 3.08% for Support Staff—the 0.02% higher is due to rounding within the three different Support Staff groups.  The MPEA has also requested a 2-year extension of the Master Agreement to June 30, 2023.  The MPEA Association needs to ratify this proposal.  It is recommended that the School Board also consider ratification of the package increase.  The Board asked for members of the Board who served on IBB to comment on their perceptions of the process.  Chittick and Schlabach noted their appreciation for the process and the interaction of the group.

Denise Chittick moved to approve 2020-2021 Compensation Agreement for Teachers as presented that includes a 3.06% overall package increase and a 3.08% overall package increase for Hourly Support Staff as presented.  Jodi Meader seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.

Summer Technology Purchases

Superintendent Schneider introduced the need to purchase technology and maintenance/warranty packages for Middle School Chromebooks and High School iPads in order to maintain the 1:1 technology to student learning environment.  Middle School Chromebooks are purchased from ITS for $44,838.80—130 total units.  High School iPads are purchased from Apple for $60,954—120 total units.  A total of $105,792.80.  The Board expressed appreciation for the continued achievement of the 1:1 learning environment to 5th to 12th grades.

Denise Chittick moved to approve the purchase of 130 Middle School Chromebooks and Technology maintenance/warranty agreements from ITS for $44,838.80.  Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion.  Motion carried 7-0.

Mary Allred moved to approve the purchase of 120 High School Chromebooks and Technology maintenance/warranty agreements from Apple for $60,954.00.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.  Motion carried 7-0.

Student Learning

COVID-19 Update

Superintendent Schneider discussed the current situation with the COVID-19 Virus.  The District has cancelled classes for the dates of March 23, 2020 through April 13, 2020.  As this is a fluid situation, the District Administration will evaluate the dates and the recommendations of the Governor in the coming time period.  As the situation continues to develop, additional, warranted steps will be taken.  Schneider provided input on the developing learning initiatives.  He also discussed the Nutrition initiative that starts Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 6 locations as well as some deliveries to very rural areas of the District.  This is free to any family that signs up and eligible participants must be under the age of 19.  Deliveries will be two times each week while school is not session delivering Lunch and Breakfast.  Cost coverage issues and potential challenges were discussed.  The Board expressed appreciation and excitement for the Nutrition initiative, especially thanking Amber Kempf and Teresa Hartley for their efforts.  It was noted that it is not a given that all School are approved for this program.  Mark Schneider also expressed appreciation to the Principals and the Staff as they pulled together today to begin to solidified plans and strategies.

COVID-19 Resolution

The resolution presented for consideration is entitled “Enact a Pandemic Response and Emergency Suspension of Policy” under Iowa Code Chapter 279.8.  The resolution prepared by Iowa Association of School Boards outlines the steps to be taken and issues to be considered.  Items within the resolution include:  1) Recognition that most non-exempt hourly employees will be unable to report to work due to the school closures and that certified employees may be asked to work at remote locations to help with continuity in educational services; 2) Continuance of payment of hourly non-exempt employees in order to prevent community spread, promote morale, and retain current employees following the closure; 3) Payment of bills and approval of contracts between Board Meetings by the Superintendent; and 4) Recognition of the waiver of instructional time requirements for all public school closures before April 12, 2020, as well as granting Governor Reynolds the ability to waive instructional time requirements on or after April 12, 2020.  The resolution suspends Mid-Prairie School Board Policies in whole or in part if the suspension is required to implement written guidance from state or federal agencies relating to containment of COVID-19 for the duration.  The Superintendent will continue to consult with and report to the Board on developments with the virus as well as be authorized to direct staff assignments, control access to public school ground and buildings, and to smooth business functions of the District.  The Board reserves the right to comply with State and Federal mandates on the conduct of School Board Meetings in terms of attendance, the form of receipt of comments, change of dates and times, and use of technology to conduct meetings.  It is noted, that if approved, President Schlabach has determined to self-quarantine, and with this decision any legal documents required to be signed due to resolutions, etc., will be signed by facsimile signature.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve Resolution #032320 Pandemic Response and Emergency Suspension of Policy, also giving the Superintendent additional temporary authority on various operational elements as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion. 

Roll Call Vote:    Gabrielle Frederick           - yes

                           Mary Allred                       - yes

                           Jodi Meader                      - yes

                           Jeremy Pickard                 - yes

                           Marianne Schlabach         - yes

                           Jeremy Gugel                    - yes

                           Denise Chittick                  - yes

Motion carried 7-0.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, April 13, 2020, at 6:15 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  Agenda items to include:  Public Hearing on Bus Specifications; all presentations are on hold; discussion of the next steps during this challenging time.  The next meeting will be electronic as well.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 7:58 p.m.