Casey Baldwin and Kyle Baxter were sworn in as members of the Perry School Board during Monday’s monthly meeting in the Brady Library at PHS. Baxter was re-elected to his seat, with Baldwin voted in to fill the seat previously held by his late mother, Marjean Gries, and whose position he was appointed to fill in May.
Baxter was re-elected by members to serve as PCSD President, with Director Linda Andorf winning a 3-2 vote to replace Jim Lutmer as Vice President. Lutmer will remain a Board Director along with Baldwin and Kenia Alarcon.
The board concluded the opening organizational portion of the October meeting by voting to maintain the schedule for monthly meetings. The board will continue to meet the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Brady Library at PHS. They also assigned members to serve on various committees and as representatives to different assemblies and boards.
Perry juniors Lainey Thomason and Julia Stetzel reported to the board on behalf of the Junior Class Prom Committee. The prom committee raised funds by cooking at the Josh Davis Memorial Poker Ride, operating concession stands at softball and baseball games and hosting a free-will grill-out in downtown Perry following the Homecoming parade.
So far the committee has raised $3,600 of its goal of $8,000 to $10,000. Upcoming fundraisers will include a Middle School dance, a Daddy-Daughter dance and an ongoing “mixed bag” fundraiser, among others. Thomason and Stetzel asked the board to match the $500 donation traditionally given each year, a gift the board approved later in the meeting.
A lengthy discussion and deliberation was held when Ren Miller of Sitler Supplies presented an overview of the potential savings to the district of a move to all-LED lighting in the schools.
PPEL funds would be used to buy the new lights, with Miller predicting a 4.2 year payback in energy savings by switching to LED lighting from the current fluorescent bulbs, which could be recycled. He noted Sitler Supplies has worked in 31 other school districts, with PCSD Superintendent Clark Wicks noting he was pleased with their work at Orient-Macksburg schools, where Wicks was formerly the superintendent.
Brenda Mintun and Laura Coller shared with the board the results of surveys taken of staff after the first year of TLC (Teacher Leadership and Compensation).
Teachers reported very high marks (in the 90th percentile) for the professionalism, availability and respect shown the TLC instructional coaches, with 96 percent saying they were comfortable having an instructional coach in their classroom.
Fifty-nine percent of teachers said they had received support and were satisfied, with only three percent unsatisfied. Nineteen percent had received support and wished for more, while 22 percent of faculty had opted not to receive support.
Mintun and Coller noted that any change is often resisted at first, and that it was understood the more veteran and established faculty would likely not wish for another instructor in their classroom.
The pair felt the results were quite positive — an opinion the board shared — and said all were looking forward to increased success in student learning as the program moved forward.
Superintendent Wicks shared with the board a major facility project three-year plan. He noted the district was likely to be short 59 students in total enrollment this year, though official numbers were not yet available. Already facing a shortfall of nearly $650,000, a decrease of nearly 60 students would take an additional $400,000 from school coffers.
The board approved the purchasing of state event t-shirts for qualified athletics and activities and approved signatures for district accounts at Raccoon Valley Bank.
Several board policies received revisions, with the Limited English Proficiency Allowable Growth Request of $88,866.10 approved.
Personnel matters were also approved as were the additions of new fundraising efforts requested by both the boys and girls basketball programs.
The next meeting of the PCSD Board of Education is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 13. The public is welcome to attend all monthly meetings.