Richland School Board June 19th Meeting

The Richland School Board met Monday evening, June 19th, at the Richland Center High School IMC.

The district has been looking at a $395,036 shortfall for the 2017-18 school year. The administrative team had earlier suggested making staff cuts to save $325,000. At the last board meeting, it was suggested to take funds from the fund balance. The administrative team recommended that if the board wishes to use money from the Fund Balance for one year to pay these positions, to add them back in the following ranked order: AGR-1 Teacher at $75,000; Middle School sixth grade English at $75,000; 50% English as a second language instructor increased to 100% at $35,000; add the CNA position back on the staffing at $15,000; and add an IMC position at $75,000. The sixth recommendation received the most discussion as board members discussed the overload for physics at $8,000. The board felt students may fall into a gap in the beginning of a new rotation schedule if they did not plan for it and would therefore be unable to take physics. The next step in this process was to decide how much to take from the Fund Balance. A motion was made to approve the AGR-1 teacher, middle school English teacher 50% English as a second language teacher; and the physics program totaling $193,000. The motion passed.

The district technology department made a recommendation to have an official board approved use agreement for the district technology devices with set fees for broken, damaged, lost, or replacement of school devices. At this time, the IT department does not feel insurance is an option due to cost. Motion passed 4-2. Middle school families will be offered insurance from a third party vendor.

The board approved of the second reading of new policy 319, teachers as volunteer coaches; and the second reading for new policy 813 concerning student meal fee collection. The USDA, that administers the Federal Lunch and Breakfast Aid Programs for School Districts has made it a requirement for all schools participating in the Federal program to have a Student Meal Fee Collection Policy by July 1. The policy mirrors exactly the procedure that the Richland School District has in place and which it has been operating under for the past several years.

The Richland School Board also accepted last night (Monday): the donation of $900 from Heartland Cruisers toward the Doudna playground project; the donation of $302.96 from the Herb Kohl Donors Choose program to fund classroom materials in Mrs Clements first grade classroom; the donation of toiletries valued at $200 from Passages to Jefferson Elementary School; the donation of $6,786.68 from the Richland Center High School Athletic Booster Club to Fund Phase II of the high school weight room upgrades, which includes the purchase of equipment; the donation of $5,352.94 from the Richland Center High School Band Boosters to the RCHS Band to purchase band instruments; and to accept the donation of $1,406.62 from the RCHS Class of 2016 toward the West Commons Exterior Lettering project. An additional $900 will be taken from the maintenance budget to pay for the project.

The board also approved: a payment of $1,960 to Dr. Dale Sinnett for accompanist services for high school vocal ensembles; and contracted services with the Richland Hospital for occupational and physical therapy services.

Approval was also given for changes in the 2017-18 Employee Handbook.

In reports last night (Monday) District Administrator Jarred Burke said walk throughs in the building projects are going well except for an issue which has shown up on the football field. According to Burke the field has reoccurring dips with multiple ant hills. The problem seems to be with previous laid storm tiles that may not be draining properly. The good news is that the problem showed up before the new sod was laid. The bad news is that it leaves an unknown for the start of the football and soccer season. The Property and Grounds Committee reported that they would put a hold on renovations to the special education rooms at Doudna due to recommendations from Doudna staff; and Business Official, Kathy Stoltz presented a review of the 2016-17 budget. Stoltz expects the budget as of June 30th to be near where they had expected. The Richland School Board also approved an agenda for the Annual Meeting scheduled for July 24th.