The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, January 15, 2018.
The first item of business was reorganization of the Board of Education for 2018. Ann Burkholder was elected President, John Peden as Vice President and Edd Albrecht as Secretary.
Reappointed as the District’s Treasurer was Susan Kloepping. Scott Trusdale was reappointed as the District’s Attorney.
All banks were designated as Direct Depositories and the Tri-City Trib was designated as the District’s Newspaper.
Under Reports, Technology Director Dave Evertson enlightened the board members concerning the eRate reimbursements from the Universal Service Fund from cell phone taxes. The district received $43,000 from the fund for the wireless network.
Evertson and Integration Specialist Patty Wolfe discussed how Digital Citizenship and Social Media are an important aspect of our students’ lives. Elementary students are taught how to be safe on line. By the time students are in middle school they are exploring additional sites that aren’t necessarily bad, but they continue to be educated on how to be safe when on line. Students are not to be on Facebook or Twitter until they are 13 with these sites being blocked until they are outside of school and an agreement has been sent to parents to cut them off with out parental permission unless they are older than 13.
High school students are now faced with the necessity of employing social media as a means of documenting their community service and involvement with a positive social media presence.
Evertson introduced Cozad Elementary Second Grade teacher Karen Berreckman who presented how she is utilizing technology in her classroom.
Berreckman uses ‘Seesaw’ which is a digital form of a journal used by her students and shared with parents on a regular basis. “This program is great for notifying parents and a wonderful communication tool,” Berreckman commented. “
Berreckman also uses ‘Dash & Dot’. Dash & Dot are robots that were provided to her classroom by the Cozad Foundation and are used to promote creativity and the beginning of coding at least once a week. They also incorporate and enhance the curriculum while encouraging teamwork and problem solving skills. Other teachers were excited when they saw the teaching and technology possible with Berreckman’s four robots last year and Wolfe was able to purchase eight additional robots with foundation funds that are available for checkout by the other elementary teachers.
High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that the boiler system is consistently gong out at least once per day during these cold spells. Everything is being done to keep them going until summer when the boiler system will be revamped. Nearly $11,000.00 was needed for utilities in the high school building during December.
High School teachers Jann Kloepping, Amanda Ogden and Teresa Osborn appeared to promote this year’s Maker Fair. Other teachers involved in planning this year’s event scheduled for February 5th and 6th are Logan Morris, Kent Ross and Amanda Rossell.
Sixty classes are offered this year with 50 community members in addition to staff members sharing their passions with students during the two days.
“An exciting addition to this year’s Maker Fair is that ‘I Love Nebraska Public Schools’ will be present to record a two day documentary,” Osborn noted with enthusiasm.
Ross has contacted social media, and two television stations have already committed to covering the annual event.
Board members were invited to attend, and will be asked to sign the same waivers as everyone else to be photographed.
“This is a great showcase for CHS and our community and two of the best attended days of school during the entire year,” Beckenhauer added.
Activities Director Jordan Cudney reported on the positive aspects and successes of the winter sports teams at the high school.
The boys’ basketball has received the #1 seed in the upcoming SWC Tournament and will be hosting the first round game on Monday, January 22nd. The girls’ basketball team will travel to Ogallala on Tuesday, January 23rd for their first round game.
The wrestling team will travel to McCook for the SWC wrestling meet and districts will be at Gothenburg High School on February 9th & 10th.
There are 30 to 40 speech team members competing each weekend at speech meets and have already have numerous medalists.
In middle school basketball there are 28 7th graders and 18 8th graders participating so A, B and C games may be played by both squads.
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin reported that this Friday, January 19th’s teacher in-service would be ‘Poverty Training and Ten Action Steps’.
Regelin continues to explore interventions for students who are struggling academically.
CEEC and Preschool Director Jill Beckenhauer reported that the deadline for preschool applications is March 27th. Two of her staff members will be attending an autism conference in Kearney on February 2nd and on February 1st and 2nd she will be attending a legislative conference in Lincoln.
Under Action Items, board members approved attendance waivers for two students for first semester as presented by Principal Beckenhauer.
CHS senior Devon Canas appeared to request an attendance waiver request for first semester. Canas had missed first period class twelve times during the semester, but still received an ‘A’ in the class. Canas explained his situation and Principal Beckenhauer reminded him that he is only allowed 18 absences for the entire year and that if he exceeds this number in any class he will not be able to participate in commencement exercises as per the school board handbook. Beckenhauer shared that Canas is a gifted student with lofty goals after he graduates, but that he has to abide by handbook policy. Canas and his Mother agreed to the terms as presented and he was encouraged to make graduation a priority.
Board members approved the bid process for auditing services for 2018, 2019 and 2010. Also approved was transfer of $10,000.00 from the General Fund to Athletics within the Activities Fund and approval to discard property no longer being used by the district.
The audit report for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2017 and the response letter as presented was the final item to receive approval.
Under Discussion Items, District Office Administrative Professional Ramona Priel will be updating the 403b Plan Revisions.
Discussion was held as to agenda for the Board of Education Retreat scheduled in March.
Board Members Edd Albrecht, Scott Geiser and John Peden received filing forms for the seats that are up for election this year. The deadline for incumbents to file is February 15th.
Superintendent Applegate reported that Engineer Ed Kucirek had requested the 1967 specs book for the boiler room project and that it had been located in the high school vault and given to Kucirek.
Board members entered into Closed Session for the purpose of a Negotiations meeting and Superintendent Contract.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 19th beginning at 7:00 p.m.