By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Adjustments have been made to the Monticello Community School District’s plans to cut costs.
One of the biggest ones is a decision to leave the Title I and Reading Recovery programs as they were in 2011-12.
Superintendent Chris Anderson made that recommendation to the board during a work session Thursday, June 21.
The announcement represents a reversal of the board’s plan to reduce the Title I/Reading Recovery program as part of a cost-saving plan designed to avoid a budget deficit that could reach $480,000 a year from now.
A May 17 work session drew a series of impassioned responses from teachers and parents, many of whom would have been affected by the cuts. Now, the district has changed its plans to cut the programs.
Several other cost-saving plans were listed by Anderson at the June 21 work session, including the reduction of a high school language arts position from 1.0 FTE to 0.75 FTE.
More savings will occur because the district doesn’t plan to fill two elementary associate positions.
Another plan involves reducing the activities director position from full-time to half-time.
The latter was approved during the board’s regular meeting Monday, June 25. The board accepted the resignation of activities director Bennett Eastburn, and he will be transferred to a high school math teaching position.
In other action June 25, the board:
• approved a cooperative agreement for pre-service clinical placement with the University of Northern Iowa for 2012-13.
• approved a language arts/reading adoption for $58,029.55.
• approved registration fees of $46 for grades K-4, $62 for grades 5-8 and $77 for grades 9-12. There will be no increase in the coming school year.
• approved second reading of the student wellness policy/district goals. Among the changes, if the third and final reading is approved, will be for staff to go from classroom to classroom with props to help illustrate changes in the district’s lunch program. Also, all high school students will participate in CPR class.
• approved the third and final reading of Board Policy 505.9 regarding computer/Internet usage.
• approved renting two rooms on the third floor of the John McDonald Hospital building for the Monticello Transition School site, for a rental rate of $600 per month, year-round.
• approved a full-time certified sign language interpreter position at Shannon Elementary.
• approved a Kids Quest associate position.
• approved a wrestling field trip to a July 12 camp at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
• approved the bread bid of Earthgrains Baking Company and the milk bid of Prairie Farms.
• approved J. Robert Hopson, Inc. as the company for the district’s financial reporting, as required by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The agreement runs through June 30, 2015.
• tabled proposals for a facilities study due to the wide discrepancy of bids. More investigation will be done on the topic.
• accepted the resignations of Bennett Eastburn as activities director, Courtney Bryson as high school English teacher and drama coach, Katie Grief as special education child specific associate at Carpenter, Amanda Stoll as assistant girls track coach and middle school cross country coach, and Kraig Dirks as middle school girls track coach.
• appointed Nancy Miller as student council advisor, Deron Hakert as high school physical and environmental science teacher, Diane James as Kids Quest associate, and Tiffany Krus as freshman volleyball coach.
• approved the transfer of Julie Aldrich from at risk associate at the middle school to special education associate at the Monticello Transition School.
• approved the transfer of Bennett Eastburn from .125 FTE seventh-grade math teacher to 1.0 FTW high school math teacher.