School board weighs how to collect school lunch bills

Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Because of the junior-senior high Christmas concert that evening, the Miller School Board met Monday, Dec. 10 at approximately 1 p.m.

Elementary principal Tammy Caffee reported that the ICU is going well, and Laela Van Zee oversees the program after school. If a student does not have assignments done, he/she is required to complete it before leaving. Caffee said the students are held accountable to complete assignments, and to also let their parents know why they are staying after school.

She said the 10 students enrolled in kinderstart are also making good progress. After the morning in the kinderstart program, the children integrate with the kindergarten classes for the afternoon.

The Response to Intervention (RTI) will continue to be used throughout the year to monitor reading skills of K-3 students, compared to their benchmark testing. Caffee reminded board members of the Millerdale Christmas program on December 19.

Steve Schumacher, 7-12 principal, said middle school students will participate in a Quiz Bowl in Pierre on January 9. A high school Quiz Bowl is scheduled in Miller for March 20. The end of the first semester will be Thursday, Dec. 20, and school will dismiss at 2 p.m. that day for the beginning of Christmas vacation.

Regarding the PA system in the school, Schumacher said he will ask Venture Communications to look at the system over the Christmas break. Depending on the findings, a decision will be made about the next step. At the present time, the PA system does not work in many of the rooms.

Superintendent Mike Ruth commented on the Governor’s address, and the proposed three percent increase for education, and said there would be other one-time money that might be on the table. Even with the projected revenue, Ruth said some reductions will still need to be made.

Ruth said superintendents from around that state had met in Pierre to consider expected education legislation. In addition to the three percent funding, Ruth said the superintendents discussed extending the way capital outlay money can be used for some general fund expenditures. The group considered using the term “instructional support levy” instead of opt-out, because it is a more positive term. Some school districts also are looking for more funding for English as a Second Language.

The superintendent’s “Rustler Rah-Rahs” acknowledged several groups: the cross country team; All-State football; Academic All-State; volleyball All-Conference Team; three Academic All-State in volleyball; oral interp participants; and students/teams who did well at the State FFA competition. Ruth also recognized MHS graduate Bailey Strasburg for attaining the FFA Gold American Degree key, the highest degree awarded by the National FFA organization.

Under discussion items, Ruth and board member Kurt Pfeifle gave an update on the elementary building. Helms & Associates Engineering offered to do an engineering and design proposal for the parking lot, playground, turn-around, and parking. Pfeifle said not all proposals would have to be undertaken at the same time. More information will be available at the January meeting.

Pfeifle said the elementary building is mostly enclosed, spray foam is completed, and some brick is now placed.

The board discussed billing and collection for student meals. Supt. Ruth said business manager Lisa Werdel sends out 80 to 100 bills each month. Suggestions were offered about setting up an automatic debit system to pay the bills, and ways to better utilize the district’s website to get the bills paid. Werdel said she would look into some of the suggestions, and report back.

The board approved the Miller School District audited financial statement for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012. They also approved a home schooling application, and approved 15 desks, which are no longer usable, for surplus.

Payment application for $258,436.49 was approved for the elementary building project. From this amount, payment would be made to S&S Masonry, Inc.; JDH Construction, Inc.; Tellinghuisen, Inc.; Guarantee Roofing and Sheet Metal of S.D.; Total Fire Protection, Inc.; Smith Plumbing, Inc.; and Engelstad Electric Co.

Following an executive session, the board approved writing off five food accounts totaling $1,620. The following work agreements were approved: Dale Alumbaugh, full-time custodian, $12.20 per hour; Tigh Rombough, full-time custodian, $10.25 per hour; and Jerry Turner, part-time custodian, $9.90 per hour.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 14 at the MHS Library.