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October 8, 2012 BOE Meeting

October 10, 2012

The regular monthly meeting of the Nemaha Central Board of Education was held on Monday, October 8, 2012 at the district office. Welcomed was new board member, Roger Hermesch, who will fill the vacant seat created by the resignation of Duane Osborne until the next election.

Highland Community College President, David Reist, was present to address the board members regarding the opportunities created as the result of a new State law that took effect the current school year. The law allows reimbursement of tuition for those high school students who attend technical education classes at a technical college. Highland Community College has several tech ed courses offered through its Atchison facility. Like the present concurrent classes, these tech ed classes would work much the same way. The school district would get $1,000 per student and the Board of Regents would pay the tuition to the college. In addition, if a concurrent class qualifies as a tech ed class, students will no longer have to pay the tuition.

Mr. Reist stated that Highland is currently investigating the possibility of setting up a tech ed center in this area. Discussion ensued. The board members were supportive of the idea and asked that the administrators begin the process of investigating additional classes that could be offered and would be the most beneficial to our students. Supt. Kohlman spoke to the fact that the B&B building could, at some point, be used as a technical center not just for our students but for all area students.

Mrs. Tamela Becker, third grade teacher, reported to the board members how the five iPads approved for purchase in January, 2012 are being used by the students in her classroom. Mr. Kelly Williams, NVHS Science teacher, reported to the board the progress being made with the “Flipped Teaching” method he implemented in his classroom this year. There were several questions for Mr. Williams from the board members.

Supt. Kohlman presented information on enrollment in the district. The current head count is 644, grades PreSchool through12, an increase of slightly over 40 students from last year. The total Full Time Equivalency (FTE) is estimated at 586.7, up from 573.8 one year ago. The weighted FTE upon which the budget is based is down due to the loss of the new facilities weighting and lower free lunch students. Discussion of the lower student weighted FTE and the impact this will have on the general fund budget when the district comes out of the four-year consolidation freeze ensued. At this point in time, the general fund budget will be approximately $870,000 less than the two districts combined general funds immediately prior to consolidation.

Supt. Kohlman updated progress on the Strategic Plan Target Areas: Public Relations, Recruitment and Retention of Staff, Facilities, Building New Traditions, and Student Learning. Specific items were focused upon.

Mr. Kohlman stated that it is time to make a decision on the B&B building; what process should be used, i.e. public input and how to get it. He stated there are four options for 2013-14 – do nothing; don’t let the current 5th graders go back to B&B; put all 6th through 8th graders together in one junior high; or close the B&B building all at once. There was further discussion on Highland Community College utilizing the building. Mr. Kohlman asked who the board would like to facilitate the process, be it him or an outside group. He stated that he could contact KASB, Greenbush and Patron Insight to see if any of those organizations would be interested in serving as a mediator or setting up the process to look at the building consolidation and reconfiguration of buildings. It was the overall consensus of the board members that an outside firm be used for this process and that Supt. Kohlman should contact the organizations he named.

In discussion regarding team name, colors and mascot, Mr. Kohlman suggested to wait until the future of the attendance centers is decided before beginning that process.

Mr. Kohlman stated that he has been questioned quite frequently regarding the transfer of property from the current USD 113 Prairie Hills to our district. The latest contact with officials from that district had resulted in delaying discussion until November or December, 2012. With that in mind, Mr. Kohlman said he will contact USD 113 to bring the discussion to the forefront again.

Also discussed at length was the need for an Information Technology staff person who will be an employee of the district. Due to increasing technology demands, Supt. Kohlman suggested beginning a search for this person in the near future.

Employment contracts were approved for Courtnay Slifer, paraprofessional at Vermillion; and Ashli Niehues, district office secretary and treasurer. The resignation of Cindy McWilliams was also approved.

The board accepted a $260 donation from the Class of 1982 to be used for baseball and softball supplies. An anonymous donation of $200 for Project Success at NVEMS was also accepted.

The board approved a change in the calendar changing Wednesday, October 17 to a full inservice and work day for teachers and no school for students. The date was originally a 12:15 dismissal for students. A transportation request from United 4 Youth was approved to Worlds of Fun on October 27.

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