Mitchell school board discusses potential city hallMTI north campus building could house municipal facility, Graves says.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell Board of Education left the door open for City Hall to move into the Mitchell Technical Institute north campus building on Capital Street.
The board met Monday evening at the Campus Center on the south campus of Mitchell Technical Institute.
There will be sufficient space in the north complex, said Superintendent Joe Graves, to the meet the needs of the new Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy, as well as future space requirements for Second Chance High School, an alternative high school which is moving into the complex this year.
A few MTI programs will remain at the north campus this year, but they will move to the south, or Spruce Street, campus beside Interstate 90 when the massive Trades Center building is completed next summer.
“The school district has had a long history of partnership with the city of Mitchell,” said Graves, who recommended offering the city the north campus option. There was no board opposition during the brief discussion.
The city is currently considering two plans: one to build a new building at an undisclosed site, and the MTI north option. It the city chooses the latter, it would remodel about 18,000 square feet of the existing Capital Street building and add 1,700 square feet of new construction. The city would pay its share of utilities and other costs.
City access would be on the west side of the building and Burr Street would be extended north to serve the renovated building.
Bus contract OK’d
The board approved a new fiveyear contract with the Dietrich Bus Company to provide bus transportation for the school district.
Business Manager Steve Culhane said requests for proposals were sent to four area bus companies, but only Dietrich responded.
The district has been very satisfied with Dietrich’s service over the years, Culhane said. The proposed $271,249 annual contract is only slightly more than the $270,000 that was budgeted for bus service in 2013, he said.
New laws for new fiscal year
The board approved, on second reading, revisions to board policies as they apply to notification of board meetings, the loaning of textbooks, open enrollment, and exclusions and exemptions from school attendance.
The changes will bring the district into compliance with new state laws that went into effect July 1, Graves said.
New meeting notification laws require annually posting the times, dates and places of regularly scheduled meetings, and the posting of a proposed agenda at least 24 hours prior to a meeting on the school district’s website, and in a place that is visible, readable and accessible at least 24 hours prior to any meeting.
Except in rare emergencies, notification for special or rescheduled meetings must be sent to the media in time for the public to be notified 24 hours in advance. When that isn’t possible, the district business manager must make every effort to make the meeting time known to the public through other channels.
New laws also make it clear that the district is required by law to loan out not only hardcopy textbooks , but also texts in digital format, to children 5 to 19 years of age who are not enrolled in the district, or to a school that is not supported by any government entity. Requests must be made in writing before May 1 preceeding the school term of use.
Open enrollment requests must be honored by school districts as long as they are made by the last Friday in September or the last Friday in January.
Finally, a new law now allows a school district superintendent to approve a routine home schooling request, without waiting for school board approval. The change will allow parents to begin homeschooling without unnecessary delays.
Graves said the district showed improvement in the state standardized tests.
Gertie Belle Rogers students scored a 94 percent in reading and 92 percent in math in 2012 (89 percent and 92 percent, respectively in 2011); L. B, Williams, 87 percent in reading and 88 percent in math (88 percent and 86 percent in 2011); and Longfellow Elementary, 80 percent in reading and 78 percent in Math (73 percent and 77 percent in 2011).
Mitchell Middle School students registered 82 percent in reading and 88 percent in math — down from 84 percent in reading and 90 percent in math in 2011.
Mitchell High School grade 11 students scored 75 percent in reading (72 percent in 2011) and 76 percent in math (73 percent in 2011).
State averages, which were not available Monday, should be released later today, Graves said.
The board approved designating old welding and sound equipment as surplus equipment, so that it may be sold, and the following personnel items as part of a consent agenda:
• Regular hires: Evan Eidem, precision technology instructor, MTI, $45,000, effective Aug. 13; Callie Beck, bookstore assistant, MTI, effective Aug. 2; Audra Bormann, half-time Middle School science, B.A. plus 15, $18,225, effective for the 2012-2013 school year.
• New paraeducator hires: Ali Beach-Pattison, Judy Freeman, Darlene Gross, Amanda Stewart, Kari White, all at Longfellow Elementary School, for about seven hours daily at $10 an hour, effective Aug. 8; Gail Goehring, Mitchell Middle School, seven hours daily at $12 an hour effective Aug. 15; Michelle Studer, middle school, 7.5 hours daily at $10 an hour, effective Aug. 15; Emily Von Eye, seven hours daily at $10 an hour effective Aug. 15.
• Transfers: Megan Neuharth, from Begindergarten/Title I at Longfellow Elementary School to full-time kindergarten at Longfellow; Mary Krell, to halftime elementary counselor, Longfellow Elementary; both effective for the 2012-2013 school year.
• Resignations: Katie Strand, paraeducator, Longfellow, effective Aug. 1; Lewis Stransky, maintenance, district-wide, effective Aug. 10.