Jaeger presents snow day plan

School Board
Pete Temple
Express Associate Editor

     Superintendent Brian Jaeger is calling it “Plan C,” and barring further weather events, it is a way to bring the last day of school closer to the beginning of June.

     Jaeger floated the plan during the regular meeting of the Monticello School Board Feb. 25. The Monticello Community School District has had a record 11 snow days this winter, all in the Jan. 22 through Feb. 20 span.

     Even with four days recently added due to the use of former collaboration days as student days, the current last day of school is scheduled for Friday, June 7 – and that is if there are no additional snow days.

     The plan offered Monday involves using most of the extra hours budgeted for late starts and early-outs as student days. As of Monday had used 28.25 of the extra hours, leaving a surplus of 18.94 hours. Then, by turning four Wednesdays currently scheduled as early-outs for professional development into full school days, the district would gain five more hours, leaving the total at 23.94 hours.

     Since each school day, by law, requires the use of 6.584 hours, the district could add three more full student days, leaving just over four extra hours over the state-required amount, and the last day of school would move to June 4.

     Nothing was finalized Monday, and in fact Jaeger said he would wait until the April 22 board meeting to put it on the agenda, in case more snow days, late starts or early-outs occur, requiring a revamping of this plan.                                                               

     Other ideas were discussed briefly. Jaeger said he doesn’t like the idea of adding minutes to every school day, as some districts are doing, because “it would be the most disruptive,” changing people’s schedules every day instead of just certain days.

     He also was opposed to the idea of using spring break days, since many students and teachers will be on a Europe trip that week, and because he thinks the break is important for all concerned.

     Another variable could factor in – a bill recently proposed in the Iowa Legislature that would require districts to make up just five days due to weather. Since the MCSD has already worked out how to make up four days, such a bill would mean it would only have to make up one more day, meaning school could end May 30.

In other board business:

     • The board approved the resolution providing for the advertisement of the sale of $5,345,000 general obligation school bonds for the new middle school project. This is the remainder of the $15 million bond issue approved by voters in September 2018.

     • The board heard a report from business manager Marcy Gillmore about the 2017-18 audit.

     • The board set March 25 at 6 p.m. as the date and time for the public hearing on the 2019-20 budget.

     • The board approved the 2019-20 Budget Guarantee Resolution.

     • The board approved the 2019-20 certified, non-certified and administrative contracts.

     • The board accepted the cookie dough bid of MinnTex for a baseball/softball fundraiser.

     • The board approved three sharing agreements with other districts, including: food service director, shared with North Linn; human resources director, shared with Midland; and Transition Alliance Program (TAP) specialist, with Midland.

     • The board approved the second and final readings of four board policies, pertaining to elections, membership, the annual meeting, and naming of school facilities.

     • The board approved the first reading of a board policy pertaining to instruction at a post-secondary institution.

     • As part of the consent agenda, the board approved the resignations of Robyn Ponder as PreK-6 science curricular lead, Danylle Feuling as assistant varsity soccer coach, and Kolby Harms as middle school boys track coach.

     • As part of the consent agenda, the board approved the appointments of Callie Kromminga-Smith and Robyn Ponder as .5 middle school student council sponsors.



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