Board approves 2017-18 school calendar

School Board
Pete Temple
Express Associate Editor

     A 2017-18 school calendar that had been proposed at a Feb. 8 work session was approved by the Monticello School Board during its regular meeting Monday, Feb. 27.

     The calendar calls for classes to begin Aug. 23, and for Commencement to take place Sunday, May 27, 2018.

     Changes for the next school year include the middle school going from trimesters to semesters, open house times on Aug. 21 to be staggered, and 2 p.m. dismissals to be in effect on for the second day of conferences at the elementary level.

     There are 1,127.36 total student hours on the calendar (1,080 are required by state law), allowing extra for late starts and early-outs. Weather makeup days would be added to the end of the calendar.

     This calendar’s approval came early; the 2016-17 calendar wasn’t approved until April 25, 2016.

In other action, the board:

     • set March 27 as the date for the public hearing on the 2017-18 budget.

     • heard a report from middle school principal about the recent parent-teacher conferences, which were held in the gym rather than in classrooms, as in previous years. A survey was taken as to what parents and teachers prefer. Of 118 parent surveys returned, 105 approved having the conferences in the gym, with nine voting for classrooms and four unsure. Among teachers, the vote was 10 for the gym, three for classrooms and four unsure.

     • heard a report from high school principal Joan Young about legislative changes regarding Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO). Since the district has a concurrent enrollment agreement with Kirkwood Community Colleges, the legislation means the district will be charged full tuition and books for PSEO courses students take at the Jones Regional Education Center. Using this year’s number of PSEOs, it would mean an increase of about $15,000 to the district, minus a small amount for supplemental weighting.

     • approved the second reading of five board policies, pertaining to students rights, activities and photographs; and the first reading of five board policies, pertaining to student enrollment, eligibility, organizations and more.

     • approved the field trip request of the high school vocal department, to perform with an orchestra and several other schools in a pair of concerts at the University of Dubuque May 6 and at Western Dubuque High School May 7.

     • approved the budget guarantee resolution, allowing the district to levy property tax for fiscal year 2017-18 for the regular program budget adjustment.

     • approved an advertising/equipment contract with Varsity Group to remove the current scrolling sign from the high school gym scoreboard, and replace it with an LCD monitor with a 75-inch screen for the purpose of displaying advertising.

     • as part of the consent agenda, approved the construction easement agreement with the City of Monticello, enabling the city to proceed with plans to resurface Highway 38 from South Street to Third Street. The easements will involved the northeast and southeast corners of the middle school parking lot. There will be no cost to the school for the proposed improvements.

     • as part of the consent agenda, approved the appointments of Staci Bartels as special education child specific associate at the high school, Dawn Bixler as special education associate at the middle school, and Shawn Green as custodian at Carpenter School.

     • as part of the consent agenda, approved the resignation of Ryan Gullett as volunteer baseball coach, and the special education transfers of Sheree Doyle and Danica Hughes.

     • as part of the consent agenda, terminated the contract of Jamie Hasler as special education program associate at the Transition Center, effective Feb. 27.

     • went into exempt session per Iowa Code Section 20.17(3) for a strategy session.


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