Cozad Board Of Education Unveils Dutton As The New Head of Facilities/Maintenance/Transportation

The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, August 15, 2016.
Under Public Comments, High School Art Instructor Kent Ross expressed concerns with the Retirement Plan Consultants from Norfolk that the district makes available to staff.
“Their website is not easy to maneuver on and several of us found out that we missed the fine print that states you cannot take out or roll over any of these invested funds unless you leave the district or die,” according to Ross. “It isn’t fair that they are in control of our money.”
Ross contacted the company and they advised him to approach the school board about making an amendment to the agreement, so he asked the board members to consider his request.
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin reported that 13 new students have enrolled from Curtis, Lexington, Maxwell, Illinois, Texas and Utah. He also reported that there are 81 6th grade students this year and that 80 percent of them and their parents attended the orientation earlier in the evening.
Elementary Principal Dale Henderson reported that they had a huge turnout for their open house and that they have gained 13 students in the last couple weeks bringing their total enrollment to 401 to begin the new school term.
Superintendent Joel Applegate reported on the progress of the girls’ varsity locker room. “All of the new red lockers have been installed and the walls painted,” said Applegate. “The floor tiles and showers will need to be worked on over the holiday break,” Applegate noted.
Applegate also reported that the new school bus with 13,000 miles has arrived and that ESU 13 out of Scottsbluff will be sending a representative out to the school district three days a week to identify and assist with migrant students at no cost to the district.
Classified resignations in the district include Elementary Para-Professional Stacey Cooper, effective immediately and Teri Coenen, Food Service effective September 9th.
Classified hires are Jennie Smith, Elementary Para-Professional and Lonnie Dutton, Head of Facilities/Maintenance/Transportation.
Board members waived the first reading and adopted revisions in the Powers and Responsibilities of the Board.
Also approved were various revisions in board policy concerning classified personnel including sick leave, death leave, jury duty, absences in the case of inclement weather, mileage and expenses, holiday pay, vacation leave, personal leave, and unpaid leave. These policies are based on whether the classified employee is a 12-month, 10 or 11-month or 9-month employee. Also approved were board policy revisions on the job descriptions of custodian, the ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ that replaces the NCLB policy, the Homeless Students policy.
The revision of the board policy regarding Conflict of Interest was also approved as was the 2016-2017 Cozad Community Schools District Handbook and 2016-2017 Classified Handbook. 
Board members approved to continue offering the annual unused sick leave pay for certified and classified staff for the upcoming school year.
Ramona Priel ws designated as Cozad Community Schools Business Manager, a role she actually began last year received approval by the board.
Discussion items included End of Year Transfers of General Funds to Other Funds. These must be completed prior to the August 29th Special Board Meeting for closing out the fiscal year on August 31st.
Superintendent Applegate shared that the district would not have to ‘tax to the max’ and go to the $1.05 maximum tax levy for the 2016-2017 school year.
“Right now we’re looking at a 3 percent increase with a preliminary ball park figure of $13,710,000 for next year’s budget,” Applegate reported.
The next regular meeting for the board is scheduled for Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. Prior to the regular meeting there will be a budget hearing at 6:40 p.m. followed by a tax hearing at 6:50 p.m.

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