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Soccer, One to One Tech, Main Topics of School Board Meeting

Sheldon, Iowa – The Sheldon Community Schools Board met in regular session on Thursday, October 11th at 4:00 pm in the Middle School library.

In the first of two agendas, all year end reports were submitted and approved in order to conclude the activities of the retiring board. The second agenda began with the election and swearing in of Board President Kecia Hickman and Vice President Susan Rensink.

There were six open enrollments, eight student service agreements, one resignation, three contract adjustments, and two additional applications for early graduation presented for consideration, which were all approved by the board.

The Board had the opportunity to tour the newly renovated technology lab in the middle school during their meeting. It has been updated to allow for more exploratory and inquiry based learning, allowing for a wider range of creativity and hands on learning.

Middle School Principal Cindy Barwick shared that the after-school homework program is up and running, and invited the Board to come to the Middle School Tuesday evening, October 16th to check out the 6th Annual Family Literacy Night. Barwick also stated that the community service projects for the middle schoolers have all been scheduled and will be carried out on Friday, October 19th.

At the High School, Principal Sherrie Zeutenhorst reported on, among other topics, the STAR assessment program, which identifies students who struggle with reading below their grade level. After re-testing this fall, several students who were flagged this past spring for the program were able to test out, but there are still approximately 40 students who will receive additional help through the program.

Activities Director Eric Maassen presented for consideration adding soccer to the assortment of high school athletics already available to high school students. He presented information about forming a boys and girls, or a combined team, as well as options for creating the program within the Sheldon school district or in coordination with a neighboring school. Maassen stated that a decision could be made as late as the December board meeting and still be able to be organized to start in March of 2019.

In other business, the Board voted to operational share the position of a Human Resources Director with the George-Little Rock, Harris-Lake Park, Sibley-Ocheyedan, and Boyden-Hull schools, as well as operational sharing the position of Facility Operations & Maintenance with George-Little Rock. With operational sharing, schools receive funds from the state to supplement the positions which results in a significant monetary gain for all of the schools involved.

The last item discussed was the rollout of the one to one computers. Technology Coordinator Kasey Trampel requested approval for the purchase of computers and cases with an approximate cost of $37,000, but stated that he did not feel it necessary to purchase an already approved piece of $30,000 hardware, so the cost difference was not significant. With this approval, Trampel felt that he could have everything ready for the one to one rollout ahead of the August 2019 projected date, and students could start using them as early as this January.

The next regular meeting of the Sheldon Community Schools Board has been set for Monday, November 11th at 5:00 pm in the high school library in order to schedule around the IASB Annual Conference in Des Moines.

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