New kindergarten admission policy okayed
Parents in District 20 now can enroll children, at an earlier age, into kindergarten.
However there are requirements, approved by the school board Monday night, that include the completion of a request and questionnaire that will be considered by a district evaluation team.
A new state law lowers the minimum age for admission to kindergarten. This allows parents to enroll a child, who will turn 5 between Aug. 1 and Oct. 15 of the school year.
On another matter, members reviewed and approved the 2011 annual patron report which can be accessed on the Nebraska Department of Education’s website at www.nde.state.ne.us.
Junior high principal Ryan Groene highlighted student academic performance and demographics and high school principal Randy Evans shared the district’s school improvement profile.
An external team will visit the district Feb. 19-22 as part of advanced accreditation requirements.
In other action, the board decided to re-hire McDermott & Miller to do a financial audit of the district for the next three years at a cost of $5,150 per year.
Superintendent Mike Teahon said the price is substantially less than what firms charge peer school districts and is similar to the previous contract amount of $4,750 yearly.
Teahon added that policy allows the board to contract for the services of individuals possessing a high degree of professional skill without going through competitive bidding.
The superintendent said he didn’t think that bidding would result in lower pricing or improvement in services.
Board members also recognized the Gothenburg Education Association as the bargaining agent for certified staff of the district during 2012-13.
The board also reviewed district policies dealing with business operations and new construction. The policies can be accessed on the school’s website at www.gothenburg.k12.ne.us.
During a building report, maintenance director Jay Holmes said wall tile in the north bathrooms of the Community Building have been corrected and that tiles in the kitchen dishwashing area would be taken care during the holiday break.
In addition, heating and cooling loop pumps were recently re-aligned to insure even wear on bearings, he said.
Holmes recommended that the board consider updating outside lighting on the Community Building with more lights on the north and west part of the structure.
Fans in the north gym will be replaced next week and hopefully help alleviate condensation problems, he said.
In other business, the board:
learned that K-2 principal and special education coordinator Teresa Messersmith attended a conference where she learned strategies for working with kids in poverty.
heard that some elementary teachers attended a technology conference where they shared how they use iPads and other technology in the classroom.
were told that parents of winter sports athletes attended a meeting about how to make events more enjoyable and where good sportsmanship was discussed.
Winter activities participation numbers were shared that show that 53% of the student body is involved in activities.
were informed that a new high school tardy policy has reduced tardiness dramatically.
High school principal Randy Evans said 849 tardies, during all eight periods, were recorded from the beginning of school through Dec. 8 in 2010 compared to 441 at the same time this year.