The Miller School Board met Monday, Sept. 10 before the Homecoming coronation, for their monthly meeting.
New staff members were introduced to the board, including Ruth Hoyle, high school math; Tyler Sieh, social science; Carrie Schumacher, high school aide; and Shanna Kolda, special education kindergarten aide. Desiree Yeigh, music, was unable to attend.
Steve Schumacher, 7-12 principal, reported on Homecoming activities. He said the PA system does not work in all rooms in the high school, and he will investigate how to remedy the problem, and report back to the board.
Elementary principal Tammy Caffee reported that elementary students have received fruit and vegetable snacks every day since school started, and some have been introduced to unfamiliar foods.
She reported that one-on-one care titled ICU began September 10. The program is intended to help students who need help with homework, and getting it turned in on time. “We want the students to know that failure is not an option,” Caffee said.
She said a program to honor reading will be held for students and parents October 4, called “Bookbag Beanie Bingo Night.”
So far, 16 Miller teachers have been trained in Common Core standards, and the two principals and superintendent are presently receiving Common Core training.
Superintendent Mike Ruth gave an update on the CBM Managed Services lunch program. He said most students like having two entrée options, and he feels the quality of food is “great.” He acknowledged there have been some “bumps” in getting the program underway. “I think it will be a good choice, once everyone gets used to how it works,” Ruth said. Portion sizes must adhere to federal guidelines, Ruth said, and says the portions are sometimes too large for younger children, and not large enough to suit older students. He had attended a meeting recently, and said the food guidelines were a “hot topic” among many school administrators in attendance.
The City approved closing the street in front of the Armory for the Homecoming dance, Ruth said, noting that numerous parents would be present as chaperones.
He showed the board a large painting of the Rustler, which was painted by MHS alumnus Seresa (Hardes) Lindberg, and presented to the school.
Ruth gave an overview of the elementary building project. Parking for football games has worked, he said. Turtle Creek Construction is leveling the parking area where the tennis courts had been, and the Methodist Church has said football patrons could use the church parking lot. Ruth also said the area behind the ag shop should be leveled and ready for parking around the end of October.
Discussion was held about enlarging the wrestling room. For the present, that project is “on hold,” Ruth said, because the estimated cost doubled by another $39,000 when one wall was determined to be a “load-bearing wall.”
The original projected cost was $37,000, Ruth said, and holding off on work on the wrestling room is based “purely on dollars.” He said the elementary project needs enough money on hand for contingencies, and he recommended holding the $39,000 for that purpose, but to continue to have the $37,000 tagged for the wrestling room overhaul.
The board agreed that it is important to have some money set aside for unforeseen costs, especially because the elementary project is only about one-third done. But everyone agreed they want to see the wrestling room expansion completed when possible. “We’ll do some more looking, for ways to get it done,” Ruth said.
Ruth also discussed banners being placed in the Armory, noting the board has considered how to do it for several years. “Both the Booster Club and Wilbur-Ellis have approached us about donating money for a school project,” Ruth explained. He showed a photo of how banners are displayed at the Winner School, and the board agreed it was an attractive display. Ruth will investigate possibilities and report at a coming board meeting.
The board took action on six agenda items.
The contract with Hand County Community Health was approved for school health services for the 2012-13 year, at an increase of approximately 2.3 percent per hour.
Approval was given to waive facility use fees for the Homecoming dance on September 14.
Payment applications #3 and #4 were approved concerning the elementary project, one for $698,906.42 and the other for $427,876.02.
The board also approved a work agreement with Shanna Kolda as special education educational assistant for the kindergarten classes, and approved a contract with Kathy Yost as RtI (Response to Intervention) program consultant, which provides specific instruction outside of the special education program.
The next meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. in the MHS Library.