Perry School Board updated on several projects

Board hears several reports, attends to numerous appointments and policy adjustments

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PHS students, from left, Jacob Quijas, Patience Gallivan, Devin Patrick, Sadee Whitfield and T.J. Sheehy reported to the Perry School Board at their July meeting of their experiences at the National Skills USA Conference in Louisville, Kentucky in June.

While much of Monday’s meeting of the Perry Community School District Board of Education dealt with the more mundane matters of appointments and policy revisions and adjustments, time was also spent hearing a pair of reports and updates.

The first item in the reports portion of the agenda included hearing from Skills USA Director Curt Cornelius and several of the PHS students he chaperoned to the National Leadership Conference in Louisville, Ky., June 18-24.

A total of 21 students attended the 52nd annual event and were among more than 6,000 qualifiers from across the nation in 100 different skilled careers.

Students Sadee Whitfield, Devin Patrick, Patience Galivan, T. J. Sheehy and Jacob Quijas were on hand to relate their experiences, with all noting they had learned much in their time at the conference that they would put into use in the coming school year and in their own lives.

The students also discussed various events and competitions they attended and answered several questions from the board.

They were followed at the podium by Buildings and Grounds Director Kevin McLaughlin, who presented the board with a long list of updates and comments on numerous projects currently underway in the district.

McLaughlin noted work is nearly 60 percent complete on the replacing of the heat pump at the elementary school. He noted there would be three days without air conditioning as the work is completed, so the job has been slated for after Aug. 8, when PACES classes are complete.

Concrete work is either done or nearly complete, McLaughlin added, while also noting the striping in the parking lots was just one area where painting had been done or was still underway.

“I am grateful you let us have a paint crew this summer,” he told the board. “They have been very busy and still have some areas to finish.”

The elementary school gym has been painted to a height of 10 feet, with several classrooms and the second grade pod also completed, with four restrooms also finished. Front areas at the middle school and the staff rest room will be also be completed soon.

The back two locker rooms at the middle school have been finished while Perry Paint will begin work on the front locker rooms July 25, with floor work to follow and new lockers to be installed.

Carpet work is currently underway at the elementary, with wiring work for the new security plans 90 percent complete.

“We have the doors and frames for the middle school and high school and they will be installed a little later,” McLaughlin said. “I would anticipate completion in early September, but that might work to our advantage, as all the staff will be here then to learn how it is all going to work.”

McLaughlin also reported that the dirt work on the maintenance building at the PAC had been done and that he had sent a letter to the City of Perry asking that permit fees be waived.

The board then discussed several items they believed needed to be set as legislative priorities by the Iowa Association of School Boards, including requesting that any new mandates be fully funded, that the allowable growth rate be set at a viable level and others.

The board approved changes to the anti-bullying/harassment policy, added e-cigarettes to the list of banned substances on school property and consented to several activity and eligibility changes.

Also approved was an adjustment to Premium Only insurance plans and agreements with Hiland Dairy and Pan-O-Gold as the milk and bread vendors, respectively, for the upcoming school year.

The following appointments were made: Kent Bultman as board secretary and board treasurer; Drew Bracken of Alhers and Cooney Law Firm in Des Moines as legal counsel; Angelica Cardenas-Diaz as the district’s Equity and Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action officer and as district homeless coordinator and Kevin Vidergar as Section 504 coordinator and Laura Skeep as ADA coordinator. All appointments are for the 2016-2017 school year.

Raccoon Valley Bank was appointed the district’s bank depository at a limit of $15 million, with US Bank (limit $2 million), Wells Fargo (limit $3 million) and Iowa Schools Joint Investment Trust (limit $6 million) as supplemental bank depositories.

Anne Horgen and Gary Czerniakowski were named Level I investigators and Eric Vaughn as Level II investigator for 2016-2017. Level I investigators are responsible for investigating any reports of abuse of students by a school employee. As Level II investigator, Vaughn would follow up on any matters Horgen or Czerniakowski viewed as warranting additional review.

Revisions to several board policies were approved, as were a handful of hires, transfers, resignations and lane changes.

In one late item, the board approved a sharing agreement with Woodward-Granger schools to share the Perry librarian/media specialist from 10-12 days over the course of the school year.

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