By MARCIA GORRELL
The Slater School Board dealt with mostly routine business during their meeting on Thursday, April 16, before breaking into executive session to interview candidates for the elementary principal position.
The job came open last month after Jean Dowell announced she would retire at the end of the school year after 16 years as principal and 31 years in education.
In old business, retired teacher Pat Peterson made a presentation to the board about working next year for the district to write curriculum and coordinate teaching efforts to improve reading and MAP scores.
"I think after MSIP reviews, it's obvious we need to do something here in the district and I have a plan," she told the board. "If we want to help our students in Slater be better readers and if we want to help our district have higher MAP scores, it's going to take some leadership," she said.
She outlined her plan, which included working with teachers to write curriculum using the Grade Level Expectations (GLE's) from the state and coming up with activities to help the students learn those skills. Her proposal included taking assessments at the end of each quarter.
"I will write for the teachers assessments that look MAP-like," she said, adding that will let the children, parents and teachers know where every student stands on those skills.
"It's not that they (teachers) can't do it, it's just that there's not time. There's not time to research all these activities and all these strategies to use. Our day is pretty full."
Although she retired in 2008, Peterson was rehired in December to finish the school year teaching sixth through eighth grade communication arts, after that teacher left the district.
"I really want a chance to take on this responsibility," she said, after her presentation.
The board also heard from Deems Farm Equipment salesperson Todd Jenkins and service manager Carl Hufford about a bill for service on one of two used lawnmowers the district had purchased last year for $3,500.
At issue was a $2,100 bill to replace several items, after Deems' mechanics found an oil leak and other problems, during what was intended to be a routine oil change. The district staff had run the diesel mower for about 67 hours since purchasing it.
"What bothers me about the thing is, big bills like this we like to talk to people first," explained Hufford. "But we don't always know they are going to get big."
Jenkins said he felt bad about the problem and asked Hufford to take $400 off the bill and charge it to the sales department.
"I feel like I owe the school something because I did say, hey I think this mower's okay," he said, explaining he had even called the previous owner to ask him if he thought it had anything wrong with it when he traded it in with approximately 1,100 hours.
Hufford also discounted part of the bill, lowering it to $1,361.28.
"I think the mower was sold in good faith. We bought a used mower. They made an effort to lower the bill and they've backed the work they've done," said board member Jodi Fuemmeler, during discussion.
The board voted unanimously to pay the bill.
"Just to say thank you," Hufford said next spring he would do the service on that mower and "check it out again" without charging the district.
"Like I said, we don't like this happening to anybody."
In other business the board voted to approve participation in various programs from 2009-2010 including Titles I, IIA, IVA ,V, class size reductions and "any other grants and/or programs that may be of value to the district."
A Code of Conduct for students to participate in extracurricular activities was again tabled until board members could study the proposal further.
All board members were present at the meeting.
More information on the board meeting will follow.
Contact Marcia Gorrell at firstname.lastname@example.org