Carlson & Starman Sworn In During School Board Meeting

The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. President John Peden swore in newly elected members Joel Carlson and Michele Starman.
Elected to lead the board for 2017 were Peden as President, Scott Geiser, Vice President and Edd Albrecht, Secretary.
Susan Kloepping was appointed to continue as District Treasurer and Scott Trusdale as the School District Attorney.
First Bank and Trust Co., Homestead Bank and Security First Bank were approved as the school district depositories. The Tri-City Tribune will continue to be the district’s newspaper.
Board members volunteered/were appointed for the various board committees for the upcoming year.
Elementary Guidance Counselor Kathy Halouska appeared to present a Multicultural Committee Report.  “We recently found out that these are to be presented every October, and the last one was submitted in 2011,” said Halouska. Her committee recently sent out a questionnaire to all staff members. The responses showed that greater than 80 per cent of the staff maintain a high standard of working with minorities that now include many different cultures in addition to those students who live in poverty and have disabilities. Superintendent Joel Applegate reported that he has contacted ESU10 for staff training. 
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin reported on this year’s activities classes that are scheduled during four 25-day segments throughout the school year. “I have visited with the other administrators, and would like to see the new ag teacher teach a quarterly woods class or offer it as an activities class,” Regelin said.
Elementary Principal Dale Henderson noted that the elementary is seeing an increase in stomach flu and head/cold flu. He also noted that the elementary gym has five different groups utilizing it between town basketball teams and DI teams.
Superintendent Applegate reported that he had attended the recent Region 4 Superintendent’s meeting. “A consensus at the meeting was that schools aren’t overspending; they are not being supported by state funds so local governments tax more,” Applegate said. Applegate reported on upcoming in-services and that they are looking at the ‘Power of ICU’ program being employed by the York school district and others. “This program emphasizes the completion of classes satisfactorily with students not being allowed to fail,” according to Applegate. “We are the parents to students during school hours and our job is not to give them zeroes as an option,” he continued.
The Consent Agenda was approved as presented.
High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer presented board members with a request of attendance waivers for five students for first semester. “High School Counselor Bruce Hird and I have been working and communicating with these students and their families and we don’t want to penalize them for circumstances that are out of their control,” Beckenhauer pointed out. All five waivers were approved.
Teresa McNinch appeared to request attendance waivers for first semester on behalf of Jaimee Moore who has been living with her and also her daughter, Valencia Lanford . Moore had passed five of her seven classes during first semester and Lanford had passed all seven. Both had exceeded the maximum amount of days allowed for absences allowed excluding medical, counseling or court-related absences.
After discussion, board members approved the motion that both will receive credits for first semester provided that their absences do not exceed a total of 18 days for the school year. If absences exceed more than 18 days for the year, they will lose credit hours earned for both the first and second semesters.
Bill Shaffer was approved to be employed as the Secondary Counselor at the Middle School for the 2017-2018 school year. Shaffer present teaches science at the middle school. “We interviews three candidates for this position, and I’m confident offering it to Bill,” commented Principal Regelin. “He loves working with at-risk students and will be an asset to us as guidance counselor,” Regelin added.
Discussion items included the Nebraska Beef in Schools Summit scheduled for February 15th. Superintendent Applegate and Board Member Albrecht will set up a meeting with local beef producer John Schroeder.
Superintendent Applegate reported that he had visited with the school’s attorney concerning the liability on the proposed Community Garden on school property and that insurance will cover this.
Discussion continued on Cozad Elementary School facility expansion options. Applegate and Henderson requested that facility committee members schedule a walk through the elementary. Presently a ‘skinny trailer’ is being utilized for reading and other small groups. 
The administration has been looking into acquiring a 24 X 60 modular for next year with two rooms that would possibly be used for music and art classes. Rental on such a modular would be $1,250/month or $58,000 for two years. Purchase cost would be $72,000. “Before proceeding with anything we need to look at the present spaces and where to expand and the right thing to do,” according to Superintendent Applegate.
Several board policies currently in place were given to board members to review prior to the next meeting.
Board members entered executive session to discussion the superintendent’s contract.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 20, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

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