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A-R board hears admin updates

November 1, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

ARMSTRONG - Much of Monday night's Armstrong-Ringsted Board of Education meeting was a recap of last Thursday night's North Union meeting.

Assistant principal and activities director Robert Zotz gave a run-down on the upcoming in-service Friday which will focus on J-term courses and project-based learning, including time management and assessment.

Zotz also touched on a number of student programs as well, including student council, National Honor Society, ag/FFA, the speech program, band, new youth programs including archery and Little Warriors football, football and volleyball programs.

Under education, Zotz told how students are using tech pods in the media center.

The applied science class went to Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville to do water quality testing and plans are being made for a future Costa Rica trip for the Spanish Club, but not for this J-term.

Other programs Zotz reviewed were industrial arts, math, business and special education. He also noted the active role played by the Supporting Players and the Art Club which is planning a trip to Omaha, Neb. again this school year.

Superintendent Matt Berninghaus said the district had regained $57,456 in spending authority after making its case to the School Budget Review Committee for money it had spent for asbestos abatement at the Ringsted building.

In the enrollment update, Berninghaus said the district was down two students from last year, a leveling off after losing 82 students over the past eight years.

Berninghaus said the district had received a $6,000 planning grant through the Teacher Leadership Compensation program. He said the purpose of the grant is to determine whether the district wants to be part of the program.

In a whole-grade sharing update, Berninghaus noted that last Thursday night the North Union board had approved a consensus draft and that a public hearing will be held 6 p.m. Nov. 12 to go through the draft. The public will be able to offer comment at that time, he said, adding that the North Union board can't take action until 30 days after the public hearing.

Berninghaus also noted that at last Thursday's North Union board meeting director districts had been approved and include the old Armstrong, Ringsted and Fenton districts and two at-large board members. Coming up in the election cycle in 2015 will be Jim Boyer for District 3 and Ron Dacken at-large. In 2017 the election will be for the seats now held by Jen Von Bank for District 1, Cory Culbertson District 2 and George Walker at-large. After that, every four years there will be a 2-3 rotation, Berninghaus said.

The board passed resolutions in support of the instructional support levy and the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy to be approved by voters. Sentral now has a .67 PPEL levy while A-R's PPEL is $1.34. If approved by voters in February, the PPEL would go to $1.34 for all of the North Union district, not just A-R. Also on the February ballot will be a revenue purpose statement for spending PPEL money.

The board also approved the consent agenda and a School Budget Review Committee application for open enrolled out students. If approved, the district would get back $54,000 in spending authority, Berninghaus said.

The board set its next meeting for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25.



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