April 3, 2020 Special Board Meeting

MORMON TRAIL COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

SPECIAL BOARD MEETING

April 3, 2020    

Board President Evans called the special meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors to order at 6:00 pm via a ZOOM electronic meeting. Answering roll call via ZOOM were board members Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans. Board Secretary Peggy Rash, Principal Stripe and Superintendent Phillips were also present via ZOOM. 10 named guests signed on via ZOOM in addition to six unidentified guests.

No one wished to speak during the Public Forum.

The agenda was approved with a motion by Smiarowski and a second from Bear. Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans voted aye to approve.

The only action item was to discuss closing school until April 30th at the recommendation of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. Cromer made a motion to follow the Governor’s recommendation and close school due to COVID-19, returning April 30th. Dachenbach seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans to approve. There will be no activities during this time.

There were no discussion items.

Cromer motioned to adjourn the meeting. Bear seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans.

President Evans closed the meeting at 6:07 p.m.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors will be held Friday, April 10, 2020 @ 6:30 pm in the District Office in Garden Grove and/or via ZOOM.

____________________________ ___________________________

              President, Board of Education               Secretary, Board of Education

_________  _________ 

Date               Date

These minutes are written as recorded by the board secretary and subject to approval at the next regular board meeting.   Peggy Rash, Board Secretary/Treasurer

March 30, 2020 Special Board Meeting

MORMON TRAIL COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

SPECIAL BOARD MEETING

March 30, 2020    

Board President Evans called the special meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors to order at 6:36 pm in the Garden Grove Board office. Answering roll call in person, were board members Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans. Smiarowski was absent. Board Secretary Peggy Rash and Superintendent Phillips were also present. Principal Becky was present via ZOOM. 16 guests attended via ZOOM.

The agenda was approved with a motion by Cromer to delete the consent agenda, along with action items 1,2, and 6. Bear seconded. Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans voted aye to approve. Smiarowski was absent.

First up under action items, Bear made a motion to delay the return to school due to COVID-19 to Tuesday, April 14th. Dachenbach seconded followed with ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent. Iowa’s Governor, Kim Reynolds has recommended that all Iowa schools be shut down through April 14th. There will be no activities during this time.

Bear motioned, followed by a second from Dachenbach, to table discussion on item #4, Water to Baseball Concession Stand, until Smiarowski is present. Ayes were heard from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent.

Superintendent Phillips’ contract and benefits were up next for discussion. Dachenbach made a motion to continue Mr. Phillips’ 3 year rolling contract with the following terms: total contracted days 172, vacation days 10.5, sick days 12, and personal days 3. Phillips will also receive Family Health Insurance and the use of a school vehicle for use during school business. Days in the District will be 4 days during the school year and 2 days during the summer. Total salary remains the same at $90,993.06. Because of qualifying hours in the District, Phillips will be allowed to purchase Disability and Life Insurance at his own expense. Cromer seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent.

Superintendent Phillips reported on his goals. Each Board member will bring 3-4 goals to the April meeting.

Cromer motioned to adjourn the meeting. Dachenbach seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans. Smiarowski was absent.

President Evans closed the meeting at 7:24 p.m.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors will be held Friday, April 10, 2020 @ 6:30 pm in the District Office in Garden Grove and/or via ZOOM

____________________________ ___________________________

              President, Board of Education               Secretary, Board of Education

_________  _________ 

Date               Date

These minutes are written as recorded by the board secretary and subject to approval at the next regular board meeting.   Peggy Rash, Board Secretary/Treasurer

March 11, 2020 Minutes

MORMON TRAIL COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

PUBLIC HEARING

2020-21 SCHOOL CALENDAR

March 11, 2020    

Vice President Marc Smiarowski called the 2020-21 school calendar public hearing of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors to order at 6:35 p.m. in the Garden Grove Board Office. Guests signing in were Chris Hilton, Gloria Rumley, Claudia Brown, Rachel Graham, Brandi Dyer, Staci Porterfield, Kara Hilton and Pam Woollis.  Board members Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans, Superintendent Kerry Phillips, Principal Becky Stripe and Board Secretary Peggy Rash were present. Linda Horton from the Humeston New Era was also in attendance. Smiarowski motioned to close the hearing followed by a second from Bear. All present voted aye. President Evans closed the hearing at 6:48 pm

MORMON TRAIL COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

REGULAR MEETING

President Pat Evans called the regular meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors to order at 6:48 p.m. in the Garden Grove Board Office. Guests signing in were Chris Hilton, Gloria Rumley, Claudia Brown, Rachel Graham, Brandi Dyer, Staci Porterfield, Kara Hilton and Pam Woollis. Answering roll call were board members Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans Superintendent Kerry Phillips, Principal Becky Stripe and Board Secretary Peggy Rash were also present. Linda Horton from the Humeston New Era was also in attendance.

Graham and Dyer both spoke during the public forum to express their concerns about the 4-day school week being planned for next school year. They are both nervous about what the days will look like and if the teachers will have time to plan for the new schedule.

Bear made the motion to give FFA advisor Mona Baker the go ahead to start a Big Brother Big Sister program. The motion was seconded by Dachenbach followed by ayes from all present.

Marc Smiarowski also spoke to those present about why it would have been hard to continue as Board President. Smiarowski wanted to clarify that he has taken a new position with the company he works for and felt he wouldn’t have the time it really takes to do what the position requires. He looks forward to continue serving the District as Vice President and will still be available to everyone in the District to share ideas.

The agenda was approved with a motion by Cromer and a second from Bear. Items 3 & 4 will be moved to the top of the action items. All present voted aye to approve.

The consent agenda which included the previous meeting minutes along with open enrollment requests that met requirements, were approved with a motion by Smiarowski and a second by Dachenbach. All present voted aye to approve. There were five new open enrollment requests out of the District reported.

Stacie Porterfield and Kara Hilton discussed with the board an opportunity for students currently in grades 5-9 to tour Washington DC in the future. A student must be in grade 7-11 to qualify at the time of the trip. They suggested the trip could be an option for the M term. Cost of the tour would be around $1889 per person and paid for by the student. Bear made the motion for Porterfield and Hilton to look into this opportunity an option for M term. Dachenbach seconded followed by all ayes to approve.

There will be 9 students and 2 adults going on Senior Trip this year. Class sponsors, Brad Krutsinger and Teri Indorf will be the adults accompanying the group. Bear made a motion to allow the group to spend up to $5000 for the trip. Dachenbach seconded followed by all ayes to approve. The budget will be brought to the next board meeting for approval in April. The Senior class has worked on various fund raisers throughout high school to pay for their trip.

Cromer made a motion to accept the resignations of Bridgette Stark, FCS and Jr/Sr High guidance and Claudia Brown, TLC coach and long-time elementary teacher. Bear seconded followed by ayes from all present. The Board would like to thank both Stark and Brown for their years of service to the District. Mrs. Brown has been teaching in the District for 36 years.

There were no new contracts offered.

With a motion by Bear and a second from Dachenbach the Board approved a topical land survey proposal from DLR with projected costs between $7800 – $10,000. All present voted aye to approve.

At the recommendation of Superintendent Phillips, the Board will begin advertising for a Head Custodian/Maintenance Director position to oversee maintenance and one additional custodian in the District. This position will oversee and maintain the property at both locations, including mowing the grounds and snow removal. The 12-month position will be shared with another District if possible. Phillips estimates a savings of $30,000 annually. The motion to advertise was made by Bear and seconded by Cromer. All present voted aye to pass the motion.

With a motion by Bear and a second by Smiarowski the Board agreed to set the GO Bond term to 20yrs @ $3.60. All present voted aye to approve.

The 2020-2021 calendar was approved with a motion by Dachenbach and a second by Bear. All present voted aye to adopt calendar “A” at 1128.82 hrs.

Smiarowski read the Budget Guarantee Resolution for the 2020-21 Fiscal Year which reads as follows:

Summary: Iowa law provides for a minimum amount of growth in the regular program district cost for any school district where regular program district cost will decrease due to declining enrollment or low allowable growth or a combination of the two. In Iowa Code Sec. 257.14, the legislature has provided for a budget guarantee of 101% of the preceding year regular program district cost (without budget guarantee).

To utilize the budget guarantee, Districts must adopt a resolution and file with the Department of Management by April 15, 2020

Be it resolved, that the Board of Directors of the Mormon Trail Community School District, will levy property tax for fiscal year 2020-21 for the regular program budget adjustment as allowed under section 257.14, Code of Iowa.

Motion by Bear, second by Dachenbach to accept the resolution with the following roll call vote: Bear aye; Dachenbach aye; Cromer aye; Evans aye; and Smiarowski aye. There were no nay votes. Motion passes. The amount for 2020-21 is $115,719.

The District accepted the Early Retirement application for Claudia Brown effective at the end of the current fiscal year, 2019-2020. The plan is offered to full-time certified employees meeting certain criteria only. The District will provide single premium health insurance coverage for one year. The motion passes with a motion by Bear, a second from Cromer followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans to approve. A second application submitted by Bridgette Stark was denied as the “years served in the District” criteria was not met. 

Combining items #11 and #12, with a motion by Bear, a second from Dachenbach, followed by all ayes from the Board, the Board approved for Pat Evans to get a quote for fencing using steel posts and barbed wire, at the school’s cost, for the Kyner property west of the school’s current property line. Superintendent Phillips will approve the quote if it is $4999 or less. Anything more will need to be revisited by the Board for approval.

Last under action items, Smiarowski made a motion to approve the bills and financials. Bear seconded followed by ayes from all present. Motion carries. 

Stripe turned her report time over to Chris Hilton who updated the Board on student assessments.

Superintendent Phillips briefly updated the Board on what was happening in the District. He is still working on Operational Sharing opportunities and calculates there are around 9 hours to make up for days missed due to weather.

With a motion by Cromer and a second by Bear the group ask to take a roll call vote to enter into closed session in reference to Iowa Code 21.5 (1) (j). All guests were thanked for coming and were ask to leave the open meeting. Roll call was answered as follows: Dachenbach aye, Bear aye, Cromer aye, Smiarowski aye and Evans aye. The Board entered closed session at 8:40 pm.

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Cromer motioned to continue as discussed. Dachenbach seconded followed by all ayes to continue.

Cromer motioned to adjourn the meeting. Dachenbach seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans to approve the adjournment.

Evans closed the meeting at 9:32 pm.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors will be held Friday, April 10, 2020 @ 6:30 pm in the District Office in Garden Grove.

____________________________ ___________________________

              President, Board of Education               Secretary, Board of Education

_________  _________ 

Date               Date

These minutes are written as recorded by the board secretary and subject to approval at the next regular board meeting.   Peggy Rash, Board Secretary/Treasurer

March 16, 2020 Minutes

MORMON TRAIL COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

March 16, 2020    

Superintendent Phillips called the emergency meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors to order at 11:35 a.m. in the Garden Grove Board office. Answering roll call via electronic text communication to hold an emergency meeting in regard to a state of emergency due to COVID-19, were board members Dachenbach, Bear, Smiarowski and Evans. Cromer entered the meeting at 11:43 a.m. Principal Becky Stripe and Board Secretary Peggy Rash were also present. Jr High/High School secretary, Stevie Parmer was also in attendance.

The agenda was approved with a motion by Smiarowski followed by a second from Bear. Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans voted aye to approve.

There was no consent agenda.

First up under action items, Smiarowski made a motion to approve an immediate change in the 2019-2020 calendar as follows: March 17th will be a teacher work day. Students will also be allowed to come to their school from 2-4 pm and pick up any necessary supplies, text books, Chromebooks and medications needed for the break. Spring break will be extended through March 31st. At that time, the COVID-19 situation will be reevaluated. As of this meeting, Iowa’s Governor, Kim Reynolds has recommended that all Iowa schools be shut down for four weeks. There will be no activities during this time. Cromer seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans to approve.

Smiarowski motioned to purchase 40 Chromebooks at a cost of approximately $5800 for online learning instruction should the break be extended. Dachenbach seconded. Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans voted aye to pass the motion.

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Smiarowski motioned to adjourn the meeting. Cromer seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer, Smiarowski and Evans.

Superintendent Phillips closed the meeting at 11:58 a.m.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors will be held Wednesday, April 8, 2020 @ 6:30 pm in the District Office in Garden Grove.

____________________________ ___________________________

              President, Board of Education               Secretary, Board of Education

_________  _________ 

Date               Date

These minutes are written as recorded by the board secretary and subject to approval at the next regular board meeting.   Peggy Rash, Board Secretary/Treasurer

February 19, 2020 Minutes

MORMON TRAIL COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

REGULAR MEETING

February 19, 2020    

President Evans called the regular meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors to order at 6:34 p.m. in the Garden Grove Board Office. Answering roll call were board members Dachenbach, Smiarowski and Evans. Cromer entered the meeting at 6:37pm and Bear entered at 7:43 pm. Superintendent Kerry Phillips, Principal Becky Stripe and Board Secretary Peggy Rash were also present. Linda Horton from the Humeston New Era was also in attendance. Guests signing in were Christian Hilton, Claudia Brown, Kara Hilton, Pam Woollis, Kim Hayes and Mona Baker.

During Public forum, Mona Baker spoke to the Board about starting up a Big Brother Big Sister program. Superintendent Phillip told Baker Board approval is not necessary for her to do that.

Claudia Brown, Pam Woollis, Kim Hayes and Chris Hilton were up next to speak during the public forum. The group talked to the Board as part of an ESSA group. ESSA is an acronym for Every Student Succeeds Act. The group went over assessments and explained the District’s proficiency score. 64% of our students are reaching their expected goals. The state wants 80%. The state average is 69% proficiency. The group explained some reasons the District’s score might be lower than we’d like. One such reason is that our reading curriculum is out of date. The group would like the Board to look into changing to a new reading curriculum. The Board took no action. Mr Phillips told the group and the Board that changing would require public input before the Board could take any action.

The agenda was approved with a motion by Smiarowski followed by a second from Dachenbach. All present voted aye to approve.

The consent agenda which included the previous meeting minutes, along with open enrollment requests that meet requirements, was approved with a motion by Cromer and a second by Smiarowski. All present voted aye. There were three new open enrollment requests out of the District. None into the District.

There was no resignation brought to the Board.

The following Spring and Summer sport contracts were approved:

Boys High School golf/Cale Moore and Girls High School golf/Cassie Moore – motion by Bear, second from Dachenbach followed by ayes from all present. Contracts will be issued contingent on licenses being current.

JH Boys and Girls Track/Robert Thatcher, HS Boys and Girls Track co-coaches/ Leslie Bexten and Elizabeth Vanderflught – motion by Cromer, second from Dachenbach followed by ayes from all present. Contracts will be issued contingent on licenses being current.

Head Softball/Cassie Moore and head Baseball/Jason Newton – motion by Smiarowski, second by Dachenbach to approve pending up to date licenses. All present voted aye to approve.

A bid for a new convection oven from Kohl’s ($7257.35) was approved with a motion by Bear and a second from Cromer. All present voted aye. Central Restaurant Products also submitted bids ranging from $7407-$7935.30.

The Board agreed to renew a postage lease with Pitney Bowes. The current lease will expire soon and Pitney Bowes has offered an upgraded postage machine for a similar cost. Smiarowski made the motion to approve, Cromer seconded, and all present voted aye to approve the motion.

Shared contracts were up next for discussion. Currently the District shares technology with both Green Hills AEA and also with Seymour CSD. In a motion by Smiarowski, followed by a second from Dachenbach, the Board voted to discontinue the arrangement with Green Hills AEA for next year and to continue sharing with Seymour CSD. The motion was approved with a vote of all ayes from those present.

The Board would like Mr Phillips and Mrs Stripe to visit with Wayne CSD about the sharing arrangement for TAG teacher for fiscal year 2020-21 With a motion by Cromer, a second from Dachenbach followed by ayes from all present the matter was tabled and will be revisited at the March meeting.

Smiarowski motioned to approve the bills and financials, but only after holding payment to Grand River Mutual for replacing the phone system at both Humeston and Garden Grove. Cromer seconded followed by all ayes.

Principal Stripe and Superintendent Phillips briefly updated the Board on what was happening in the District. Secretary Rash reported she had received the Health Insurance renewal for 2020-21. Costs are expected to stay the same for Dental but Health insurance will see an increase of around 8.25%. The vision plan benefits will be changed by the plan administrators somewhat and will see an increase also.

Smiarowski motioned to adjourn the meeting. Cromer seconded followed by ayes from all present.

Evans closed the meeting at 8:48 pm.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors will be held Wednesday, March 11, 2020 @ 6:30 pm in the District Office in Garden Grove.

____________________________ ___________________________

              President, Board of Education               Secretary, Board of Education

_________  _________ 

Date               Date

These minutes are written as recorded by the board secretary and subject to approval at the next regular board meeting.   Peggy Rash, Board Secretary/Treasurer

January 22, 2020 Minutes

MORMON TRAIL COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

REGULAR MEETING

January 22, 2020    

President Evans called the regular meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors to order at 7:22 p.m. in the Humeston Elementary Commons. Answering roll call were board members Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans. Smiarowski was absent. Superintendent Kerry Phillips, and Board Secretary Peggy Rash were also present. Linda Horton from the Humeston New Era was also in attendance. Guests signing in were Christian Hilton, Claudia Brown, Kara Hilton and Robin Hilton. Eric and Austin were also there from DLR.

There were no guests who wanted to speak to the Board.

The agenda was approved with a motion by Bear followed by a second from Dachenbach. Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans voted aye to approve. Smiarowski was absent.

The consent agenda which included the previous meeting minutes from Dec 9th and January 13th along with open enrollment requests that meet requirements, was approved with a motion by Bear and a second by Cromer. Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans voted aye to approve. Smiarowski was absent. There were no new open enrollments requests into or out of the District reported.

Cromer made a motion to accept the resignation of Cale Moore as baseball coach. Dachenbach seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent. The Board would like to thank Moore for his years of service to the District.

The following Special Education Para educators were approved:

Caitlyn Clark – motion by Cromer, second from Dachenbach followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans. Smiarowski was absent.

Natasha Mitchell – motion by Dachenbach, second from Bear followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans. Smiarowski was absent.

The District will apply for an Education Standards Exemption for fy 2020-2021. Bear made the motion followed by a second from Dachenbach to apply for a Spanish I II III & IV waiver for 2020-2021. Motions passes with ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent. The District is allowed to apply for a waiver if attempting to find a suitable instructor doesn’t succeed. This is a good opportunity for smaller school districts to be able to offer higher level courses with smaller student enrollment. This alternative enables the student to enroll in online classes the district would not otherwise be able to provide instructors for. This option has been provided by Iowa Learning Online classes. It was noted by Superintendent Phillips this will be the last year the program is offered.

The District will offer an Early Retirement incentive effective at the end of the current fiscal year 2019-2020. The plan is for full-time certified employees only. The District will provide single premium health insurance coverage for one year. The motion passes with a motion by Bear, a second from  Dachenbach followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent.

A Dual Control Waiver for Great Western Bank was approved with a motion by Bear and a second from Dachenbach followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent.

Bear made the motion followed by a second from Cromer to approve Advantage Administrators as administrators for the District’s Section 125 Plan. Ayes were heard from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent. Motion passes. Section 125 Plans allow the District to process certain employee medical payments as pre-tax which decreases the amount of taxes owed. IPERS also requires an approved administrator in order for that portion of the employee’s wages to be IPERS covered.  

Superintendent Phillips ask the Board to retract the action taken in December for the At Risk/Drop Out Prevention application. The amount approved in December was $4759 with a $1586 local match. Phillips ask that the amount be dropped to $0 as the District will not receive additional funding due to carryover left in the program’s balance. The motion was made by Dachenbach, and seconded by Cromer to accept Phillips recommendation. Motion passes with ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent.

MFA’s bid of $.03/gallon below the posted pump price less applicable taxes for ethanol fuel was accepted with a motion by Bear, a second from Dachenbach followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear and Evans to approve. Cromer abstained. Smiarowski was absent. Motion passes. MFA will supply the District’s ethanol fuel for the period January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. A second bid from Agriland FS for $1.745 per gallon plus applicable taxes (.293 cents per gallon) was also considered.

Cromer motioned to hire Mike Snyder as the Driver’s Education instructor for the Spring of 2020 at a salary of $165 per student finishing the course. Costs will remain the same as last year. $250/resident students. Also, for in District students, $165 with reduced waiver and no cost to students with free waiver. $300/all out of District students. Bear seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent.

Last under action items, Cromer made a motion to approve the bills and financials. Dachenbach seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent. Motion carries. 

Superintendent Phillips briefly updated the Board on what was happening in the District. He reported that several staff and students have enjoyed visiting WACO CSD to observe their 4-day school week.

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Cromer motioned to adjourn the meeting. Dachenbach seconded followed by ayes from Dachenbach, Bear, Cromer and Evans to approve. Smiarowski was absent.

Evans closed the meeting at 8:34 pm.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mormon Trail Board of Directors will be held Wednesday, February 12, 2020 @ 7:00 pm in the District Office in Garden Grove.

____________________________ ___________________________

              President, Board of Education               Secretary, Board of Education

_________  _________ 

Date               Date

These minutes are written as recorded by the board secretary and subject to approval at the next regular board meeting.   Peggy Rash, Board Secretary/Treasurer