Courtesy of the 10-16-14 edition of Ida County Courier. www.idacountycourier.comMembers will touch base with Schaller-Crestland, East Sac—O-A board tackles agreement concerns
. by DEB LOGER
whole-grade sharing agreement was the main topic at the O-A School
Board meeting Monday. Approximately 60 individuals attended the meeting.
the conclusion of the discussion and public comments, the general
consensus of the board was to send letters to each Schaller-Crestland
and East Sac board member and each district’s office asking if they have
any interest in discussing possible future sharing arrangements and
setting a deadline for a response.
Superintendent Nick Ouellette
was also directed to have the O-A and BCIG attorneys prepare a draft
whole-grade sharing agreement.
Simonson asked what the argument is about, where is BC-IG with its new
building, do they or don’t they want to move the seventh/ eighth grade
to Ida Grove and where does O-A stand? “Change is hard—sharing is not a
problem for the kids— if changes are too dramatic, maybe the board needs
to look further.”
Dorothy Evans read a prepared statement
suggesting the board start at square one—start all over. She suggested
looking at East Sac and Schaller-Crestland as sharing partners. She also
feels G-H intimidated S-C and that BC-IG negated the whole-grade
sharing agreement when they said they want their sixth graders back in
Brad Lundell said he likes how sixth through eighth
grade is working. “I like the middle school separate from the high
school and I support a two-or three-year agreement.” He asked Ouellette
for his opinion on the current arrangement.
Ouellette said, “I’ve told both boards I like the current arrangement.”
here because I want to know what’s going on. We want to stay the way we
are. We have a great building here,” said Stacy Raasch. Raasch said she
has a young daughter attending school at Odebolt and doesn’t want her
future middle school student around high school students.
Rose Schultz had signed up to speak, but said everything she wanted to say had been said.
Bengford said, “One thing I can see since the conception of the
whole-grade sharing is our school board is bullied by the BCIG Board.
This bothers me really bad. Certain members, past and present, sit there
and take it. You haven’t stood up for us. I like the middle school
here.” He suggested that from this point the board should do its best to
stand up for our school, our towns and the people who live here and to
explore every avenue.
Ouellette asked the board “Where do we go
from here? Both boards are very close.” Neither board wants more than a
two-year agreement; has no desire to change the mascot, name or colors;
and agrees the termination clause should be 12 to 18 months, not the
current 20 days.
“BC-IG has dropped its push to move the middle
school. We can’t have threats from either side; we can’t operate like
this. If it’s good, make it permanent; if not, do something else,” said
Board member Naomi Lozier said she is against separate
board meetings and that the communities need to pull
together—“differences need to be worked on and move ahead.”
“BC-IG is a good choice but we need to do some ironing out,” said board member Paul Neumann.
commented that it wasn’t “an easy decision when we did whole-grade
sharing. I do want to continue to share in the same configuration.”
Hoefling said why would the districts talk about reorganization when
they can’t even agree on whole-grade sharing. “We wouldn’t be here if we
weren’t approached in February to move the middle school. We need to
look at all the options. Our goal is to provide quality education for
our students. I’m not for reorganization now. I don’t have a problem
with the current configuration.”
Ouellette told Hoefling he was
right and suggested Joey Hoefling and Pat Hoefling go talk to the
Schaller-Crestland board. “You are credible. If they say no, then we
If the board meets with East Sac or Schaller-Crestland,
Ouellette suggested sending them a list of questions to be answered,
including: financial condition, solvency ratio, what are their plans for
their buildings, will they have to close a building if they share with
O-A, do they have a voter-approved PPEL, what is their current tax rate,
do they carry any debt and what are they willing to share?
like the way things are,” said Ouellette. “The kids don’t have a stable
situation. We need to fix what we have or go our separate ways.”
also commented that unless the board fully looks at Schaller-Crestland
and East Sac, it would always be out there that the board didn’t ask.
the recommendation of Ouellette, the board approved purchasing a new
engine for bus #3 and a used 2012 bus from Hogland Bus Company.
#3 is a route bus with approximately 160,000 miles on it. Pat and
Travis Reis told Ouellette they felt the bus was worth installing a
$17,000 to $18,000 Caterpillar engine.
Cost of the used bus with 50,000 miles on its odometer is $50,000, which includes delivery, safety inspection and lettering.
report included information on the recent school audit. He told the
board it was a good audit and highlighted various minor issues, such as
disaster recovery plan, segregation of duties and nutrition fund
negative balances over $100. Ouellette said he doesn’t want to deny
students a meal and the district makes a concerted effort to collect the
overdue lunch balances.
Ouellette also reported the bus barn
doors are installed, Hemer’s Plumbing and Heating has started on the gym
HVAC system, work will start later this month on the loading dock, he’s
visited 65 of the 95 classrooms, there has been positive parent
feedback and it looks like the certified enrollment numbers for O-A will
be down one and up four for BC-IG.
Alicia Nelson gave a math
curriculum presentation for K-12. She noted this is the second year for
the new curriculum and students are making good progress.
Jason Wulf was hired as a middle school wrestling coach.
O-A will hold a sale of miscellaneous equipment and furniture Saturday, Oct. 25, from 8 to 11 a. m., at the bus barn.
Smokehouse: Odebolt-Arthur Elementary students toured the Odebolt fire station Thursday during National Fire Prevention Week. Students third through fifth grade toured the Region V Fire Department smokehouse. Here, Odebolt-Arthur fifth grader Zach Hemer exits the smokehouse.
The smokehouse simulates a house filled with smoke and teaches students the proper way to exit a burning building.
The students observed unsafe situations in the kitchen and fireplace and experienced touching a warm door. (Courier photo by Deb Loger)
Driver’s license locations
Ida Grove—Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a. m. to 4 p. m., at the courthouse.
Sac City—Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a. m. to 4 p. m., at the courthouse.
Storm Lake—Monday through Friday, 8:30 a. m. to 4 p. m., at courthouse.
Carroll—Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 a. m. to 5 p. m., and Saturday, 8 a. m. to 1 p. m., at 510 N. Carroll St., Ste. 1.
Cherokee—Monday Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a. m. to 4 p. m., and Tuesday, 8:30 a. m. to 4 p. m., courthouse.
All testing needs to start no later than one hour before closing.