The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met on Monday, June 18th.
Cozad Middle School/High School vocal music teacher Stacie Blackmore and Cozad Middle School/High School band director Mark Messner appeared before the board to propose the addition of a musical pit director to the list of paid positions for the upcoming school year’s musical.
Blackmore and Messner explained that Cozad musicals provide an opportunity for our students to display their vocal, theatrical and dancing talents. Typical CHS musicals involve 45-90 students with full-length musicals running between 90 and 120 minutes including acting, singing, dancing and instrumentation.
Through the addition of a live musical pit we will also showcase the talents of our fine instrumentalists. Adding this component to the musical will enhance the quality of our overall production, as well as provide an invaluable experience for both our instrumental and vocal musicians they further explained.
The school board unanimously approved the proposal to add Mark Messner as the Musical Pit Director for this year’s fall musical. Stacie Blackmore will be the Musical Director and Mercedez Guerra will serve as the Stage Director.
Under Administrative Reports, High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that 16 students are attending this year’s summer credit recovery program. “Twenty two students were invited to participate in this 20-day program,” Beckenhauer said.
“They meet for four hours daily with the emphasis being on core subject recovery, especially English,” Beckenhauer continued.
Beckenhauer praised the efforts of the custodial staff that have been doing a phenomenal job cleaning and waxing the floors.
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin reported that this is his sixth year as middle school principal and he’s faced the highest turnover in teaching staff in that time period.
“It was a challenging year for hiring, but we have made four quality hires, with three of the four new teachers having experience,” Regelin said.
Both Beckenhauer and Regelin reported that the class schedules had been completed in their respective buildings.
They also reported that the new method of waxing is much quicker, looks more even and is easier to buff throughout the year.
Both principals expressed high satisfaction with the job performance of the new Transportation Director, John Smock.
According to Regelin, “Smock is a trained and certified mechanic and has saved the district a lot of money already on vehicle and mower maintenance and repairs.”
Elementary Principal Dale Henderson reported that the average After Zone attendance so far this summer is 108/day, with 119 being the highest number in attendance so far.
Board members accepted the resignation of Ashley Bartlett as an elementary para-professional and hired Juanita Way to take her place. Gabe Estrada was hired as an AfterZone and Elementary para for the summer month.
The Consent Agenda items were approved, including the approval of the proposed Board of Education regular meeting calendar for 2018-2019.
Under Action Items, the revision to the middle school/high school lunch price was approved, with $3.00 rather than $2.95 being charged per meal.
Principal Beckenhauer submitted three requests for attendance waivers for three students for second semester. The requests were approved.
Superintendent Joel Applegate recommended that the wellness center stipends to the Community Wellness Center be discontinued this year due his wanting to cut expenditures.
Discussion followed on the $100 stipend or the punch cards at the wellness center.
Board Member Scott Geiser, who is also on the CWC Board of Directors pointed out that the employees do have to pay their fair share for the annual membership to the CWC and that if this benefit is dropped the school may be asked to provide additional funding as per the agreement with the Cozad Community Health Care System and the City of Cozad.
The motion to continue the CWC stipends to staff for the 2018-2019 school year was approved with board member Joel Carlson casting the lone nay vote.
Board members did vote to discontinue the wellness benefit regarding unpaid sick leave to staff members for the upcoming school year. This benefit cost the district 25 thousand dollars per year with staff members being paid 50 dollars/day for unused sick leave.
Superintendent Joel Applegate was designated to be the district’s representative for federal and state programs starting July 1, 2018.
Discussion took place on activity admission prices and family passes and was tabled until the next board meeting.
Board members approved the bid from Mid-States Automation for the High School Mechanical Temperature Controls as presented.
Superintendent Applegate proposed moving the fall parent-teacher conference from Thursday, October 18th to Monday, October 15th.
“When we created the two year calendar for last year and the upcoming school year we thought that the football playoff game would remain on the third Friday of October, but it was moved to the third Thursday,” Applegate explained.
Board members approved changing the date of the conferences to October 15th.
Eight polices were adopted and two policies received approval to be revoked.
Under Discussion Items, Superintendent Applegate visited with the board about the committee meetings calendar for the 2018-2019 school year.
A lengthy discussion was held regarding student cell phone usage now that the school provides them with Chromebooks. It was decided that the administrators would discuss this at their meetings and come to the next board meeting with recommendations.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 16th at Noon.