GRANGER — The Woodward-Granger Community School District Board of Education opened their March meeting Monday in closed session, with a lengthy agenda waiting for them in the open session following.
Reports from a variety of building principals began the public portion of the gathering, with Grandwood Principal Rebekka Maas informing the board that a security issue with the front door to the building was addressed.
Grandwood is a special education school serving students with mental and behavioral disabilities operated by the W-G district.
Maas said observations of one North Polk and two DC-G students had been held and that she expected as many as four students to graduate Grandwood this year, while two others will be moving out of state.
Elementary Principal Matt Brummond reminded the board of Friday’s Beautiful Lengths hair-donation assembly, which will begin at 2 p.m. Sponsored by hair-care product maker Pantene, the program creates wigs from real human hair for people who have lost their own hair due to treatments for cancer or other illnesses.
This will be the second year the W-G Elementary School participates, with 16 students donating last year. Brummond said 39 students have agreed to donate at least eight inches of pony tails each this year and that six boys expressed their desire to show support by having their hair cropped into a buzz cut.
“Something like yours, Dan,” Brummond quipped to Director Dan Jamison, neither of whom are possessed of flowing locks. “I don’t think they could find eight inches of hair on my whole head.”
Middle School Principal Bret Miller told the school board his staff was preparing for the upcoming Iowa Assessment Tests and wished to publicly congratulate the W-G Middle School FFA for qualifying for the state program.
Miller said teachers were focusing on “essential standards” and making sure all students reached those markers while also teaching new skills to students already hitting the mark.
Miller said several staff members attended a seminar in Kansas City, Mo., recently and returned with an emphasis on three areas, beginning with insuring students are learning 21st-century skills, especially in light of constant changes in technology. Identifying and strengthening at-risk programs, where needed, was also discussed, he said, along with efforts to insure the first student-led parent-teacher conferences progressed smoothly.
“We want the students to be able to explain why they are learning what it is they are learning and why that matters,” he said. “I think we are moving along (well) toward that goal.”
High School Principal and Activities Director Robert Boley reported on the successes and post-season awards of several Hawk athletes. He told the board the high school play would be held April 7-8 and that prom would be held from 8-11 p.m. April 22 at Lake Robbins Ballroom, with After-Prom from 11:45 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the elementary school in Granger.
Superintendent Brad Anderson announced the Pre-School Parent Information Night is scheduled for March 23. So far, 72 four-year-olds and 30 three-year-olds have registered.
The Kindergarten Parent Information Night will be held April 4, and April 7 is set for the annual Kindergarten Round-Up, where incoming students spend from 8:30-11 a.m. learning what to expect in the fall. Anderson expected more than 80 incoming students to attend.
Anderson said district contracts “should be back by April” and that the district had been lucky regarding the winter weather, having saved between 7 percent and 11 percent on utility and snow removal bills, which he termed “a real blessing in disguise.”
He also expressed gratitude for numerous student organizations at the high school and the amount of time they spent involved in the community. The FFA, FCCLA, RAK and others were saluted for their efforts and encouraged to continue setting a great example for others.
The board then learned a contract for track maintenance at Hawk Stadium would soon be prepared. Anderson said the district’s attorney recommended that “we and not some third party take on the baseball concession stand project. I was told that for liability issues, we sub-let bids rather than have a third party do the work and then ‘gift it’ to us.”
Anderson told board he would “make sure all the money is there before they turn any dirt” at Hawk Field.
In other action, the board approved a two-year contract with the W-G Support Staff Association, with a 2.33 percent raise per year. Also approved was a payment of $1,000 to DLR for construction work, with the district agreeing they underpaid an owed amount by that figure due to a clerical error.
No change will be made to the renewal of the Driver’s Education Contract, with the $325 fee remaining the same as in the past.
Also approved was the continuation of sharing agreements with the Johnston Community School District for W-G to send any interested students for tennis, swimming or soccer to compete for Johnston, which has already agreed to continue the sharing program.
The board also voted to reallocate .33 cent of PPEL funds. The recently re-approved PPEL rate of $1.34 has generated $446,000, of which $88,281 are based on the .33 rate and is controlled by the board.
The WGCSD Board of Education will next meet at 6 p.m. Monday, April 10 at the W-G High School in Woodward, and a public hearing has been set at that time on the fiscal year 2018 budget.
The board also gave unanimous approval to the consent agenda: open enrollment requests, certified staff hires/transfers, classified staff hires/transfers/contract changes/volunteers, certified staff resignations and classified resignations. Also agreed to were cash and fund balances, TAG Financial Report, the list of bills, a PPEL/One-cent spreadsheet and a construction spreadsheet.
Board President Rebecca Carroll, Directors Troy Janssen, Jennifer Benbow and Dan Jamison were present; Director Derek Petry was absent. Also attending were Superintendent Brad Anderson and WGCSD Business Manager and Board Secretary Missy Lantz.