The Camanche School District’s Board of Education met on Monday, March 15th. Please note that these are not the official minutes. The official Agendas and Minutes from the Camanche Community School District school board are available and posted on our school district website (camanche.k12.ia.us).
Items to highlight from this school board meeting would include:
- During public forum, five community members presented their reasons for supporting the continuation of the district’s “Indian” mascot to the school board. Also, during public forum Principal Shaffer spoke in support of retiring the “Indian” mascot and imagery at the end of the current school year. During the point of the meeting when the mascot was an agenda item, Superintendent Parker reaffirmed his recommendation from last month’s meeting that the “Indian” mascot be retired at the end of the school year. He also reminded everyone that there is much information regarding the mascot discussion, particularly why it is an issue, on the school district’s website. The school board had a thorough discussion about this and acknowledged the different viewpoints about this topic present in the community. This discussion included each school board member providing their perspective regarding the status of the “Indian” mascot. The Board voted 5 to 1, with one board member absent, to retire the “Indian” mascot at the end of this current school year.
- The Board reviewed the 2021-2022 Budget Estimate and authorized the publication of notice for a public hearing on April 7, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at the Camanche Administration Center for the same. The proposed tax rate for the 2021-22 Budget will be $15.34. This was the rate that was publicized as the projected tax rate while the bond referendum was being considered. This does include the $2.70 increase that was approved by the voters during the election last fall.
- The Board passed a Resolution directing the advertisement for sale, approving electronic bidding procedures and approved the official statement for General Obligation Bonds for $13,435,000. This is an important part of the procedural process for selling the bonds that were approved during the referendum last fall. The Board will act upon the bids received for the bonds during their April 19th regular meeting.
- The Board heard an update regarding how the district continues to deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many staff members have now been, or soon will be, vaccinated. Camanche Schools will continue to require face masks be worn. Also, social distancing will be practiced as much as reasonably possible. Finally, the school district will continue its practice of intense cleaning and disinfecting.
- The Board passed a resolution to adopt the Budget Guarantee for the 2021-2022 school year. This assures that our district will be funded at a minimum of 101% of what it was the previous year. This provides a “safety net” for those times when state funding falls short of the district’s needs or if there would be a dramatic drop in enrollment. This would only be used if necessary.
- Superintendent Parker presented the staffing plan for the upcoming school year. Basically, staffing will remain the same with continuing the consolidation of the librarian position into one districtwide position, increasing the extended contract of the TLC funded Professional Learning/Curriculum Leader position, and utilizing the early retirement incentive for reorganization of staff where possible to maintain efficiency of operations.
- The Board accepted the low quote for refinishing the high school gym floor from Phillips Flooring for $27,520. This work will occur this summer before the new bleachers are installed.
- The Board approved having the high school apply for a grant from the Clinton County Development Association to support updates around our high school that would include a new outdoor sign and a new scorer’s table that would be compatible with the new bleachers in the gym.
- The Board approved the recommendation to renew the sharing agreement with the Clinton Community School District to continue our partnership in providing an alternative school option for our students through the Gateway Learning Center. This program has had a positive impact by helping to reduce the number of students who drop out of school.
- The school board approved renewing the Camanche School District’s partnership with CAS to provide before and after school childcare for students attending the elementary school. This partnership has been in place for many years and is appreciated by many of our younger families.
- The Board renewed the school district’s participation in the Natural Gas Program Participation Pool which allows the school district to obtain natural gas for the upcoming year at a set price. This is advantageous for the school district because it protects the district if natural gas prices were to dramatically increase during the next year. It also allows the school district to effectively budget for the price of natural gas for the upcoming year.
- Of special note the Board accepted the Early Retirement requests of Pete Eickert, Dana Gilbert, Annette Munck, and Deb Steffen. The Board appreciates their years of service to the children of Camanche and wishes them all of the best during their retirement.
As is usually the case, the school board completed the meeting by approving administrative recommendations regarding personnel.