Monday, October 21, 2019

Sharing Some Board News and More

The start of the school year has gone by too quickly. The leaves are starting to change color and the weather has also turned. I was looking at my calendar and recognized that parent-teacher conferences are in three weeks.  These conferences are scheduled for November 7th, so please mark your calendar. The staff is looking forward to visiting with you!

It is also the time of year when certified enrollment for Iowa schools is completed. Shenandoah CSD was able to certify an increase of 7.7 students for the funded enrollment count. This is positive news for the district.

Dr. Timothy Smith was appointed to the School Board to fill a vacancy early this month.  We were pleased to have him join us on October 14th  for his first official board meeting.

The Board agenda was quite full and several decisions were made that impact the District's finances and facilities.  Mrs. Sherri Ruzek, the District's School Business Official, provided the Board with an excellent overview of the District's financial position. Her presentation can be read here.   This information was quite helpful as the Board moved forward with decision making at the meeting.

The Board approved requests for Allowable Growth and Supplemental State Aid for the special education deficit in the amount of $203,855.18 and for limited English proficient program in the amount of $57,827.66.

Travis Squires, from Piper Jaffray, joined the Board meeting as part of a conference call to discuss the financial proposals and to recommend directing the sale of approximately $5.8M school infrastructure sales, services and use tax revenue bonds. The BB&T proposal was submitted with a 2.13% interest rate and was awarded the bid. You can review the bid summary sheet here.

I am very pleased the Board took action to approve the design development project submittal with the DLR Group and the design development budget report with Carl A. Nelson & Company.  This is critical work that has been done to outline the design of the renovation work and associated costs.  Mike Kros from the DLR Group was present to participate in this conversation.  This action, along with the sale of the revenue bonds will allow us to move forward with necessary renovations at the High School.  The public hearing for the use of SAVE funds for these projects was set for November 11th at 5:00 PM.

We have had a few new staff members join us this fall. I am very pleased to share their profiles with you.  They are great additions to our team.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Agriculture and More

I attended Rotary yesterday. I must say I was truly inspired as I listened to Sarah F. Martin, the High School agriculture teacher, talk about the program, how it has evolved and her students. She is a strong advocate for students, a passionate educator and has a clear vision for the future of education.  There was a nice group present but I really wish I would have captured her presentation.  I wasn't able to do that today, but I was able to locate a recent recording of a recent interview she had with Dean Adkins on KMA.  Dean was generous enough to allow me to post these.

If you take the time to listen to these clips, I imagine you might be excited about what is happening in the agriculture program. The District is working diligently to expand opportunities in these areas and also help students transition into postsecondary learning and work opportunities. The Career EdVantage program is an excellent example of how we are collaborating with SW Iowa Schools, Iowa Western, and Future Ready to provide these types of opportunities for students.  This is supported by a $2.8 M grant from the Charles E. Lakin Foundation.

Some have asked what some of the programs in the STEM and CTE education areas might look like if the bond issue passes and the district is able to repurpose space and build new additions. I want to share these renderings that were provided by DLR Group, the District's architectural firm.

Learning & Leading

The countdown is on, and it is going to be a great school year! I am really looking forward to having everyone back on campus. The administr...