USD 410 Board of Education approved changes in positions and responsibilities for the district’s transportation and maintenance services at its Dec. 10 meeting.
After meeting in executive session, the board accepted Keith Goossen’s resignation as director of facilities and transportation.
Following that decision, the board approved a work agreement for Goossen to be head of maintenance, an open position following the recent retirement of Tim Isaac.
“I’m ready to make a change,” Goossen said about his decision to focus only on maintenance. “I like fixing things.”
Superintendent Steve Noble recommended the board eliminate the facilities and transportation director position and assign supervision of custodial and transportation personnel to building principals and Noble.
In addition, he proposed creating a new position—transportation and maintenance secretary—that will involve clerical work related to maintenance and transportation.
Before taking a vote, the board discussed the proposed position and its responsibilities, which include overseeing bus and activity routes, training, record keeping, ordering equipment and completing facility reports.
The board approved a 10-month position with an hourly pay range of $9 to $12, depending on the applicants’ experience and skills.
Noble said he would start the job search immediately.
Principals Max Heinrichs and Evan Yoder presented their quarterly building reports.
Heinrichs reviewed academic eligibility of Hillsboro High School students.
“It’s really pretty encouraging,” Heinrichs said about a decrease in number of D and F grades at all four class levels.
He credited that success to several factors, including faculty input, student effort, the academic detention policy and the grade scale change.
He also reviewed how data collected with a series of ACT tests that begins in eighth grade is used to place students in appropriate classes, guide curriculum development and better prepare students for post-secondary learning.
While the composite scores have decreased compared with earlier years, upcoming classes are projected to be higher, Heinrichs said.
Heinrichs affirmed the work ethic demonstrated by students.
“We have a great group kids coming through right now, we really do,” he said.
He said he hopes to fund and administer the ACT WorkKeys tests online at the high school. The tests assess workplace skills.
In his report, Yoder said he’s found the Friday meetings—scheduled seven times this year from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.—with the Hillsboro Elementary School staff to be a helpful way to focus on different issues.
He also expressed appreciation for counselor Mike Moran’s work, which continues to benefit students.
Yoder said he applied for and has been granted a $1,000 “Healthy Habits for Life” grant that will be used to enhance the school garden.
In his absence, Hillsboro Middle School principal Greg Brown’s report was given by Noble.
In the report, Brown had referenced some of the academic and behavior challenges at the middle-school level, including those that affect students’ academic performance.
Office referrals are up, he reported, and numbers in lunch “Crunch,” where students with D and F grades work on assignments, have increased.
Factors possibly contributing to the lower academic performance, Brown reported, may be budgetary restrictions, such as cutting counseling out in the middle school; family challenges; and blended teaching of seventh- to 12th-grade classes.
In other business, the board:
• approved contracts for Malinda Just and Don Ratzlaff as assistant coaches for track, and a work agreement for Nancy Hofer as an English for Speakers of Other Languages aide.
• heard the district will be billed for half the cost to replace a water pump to serve the area by Joel H. Wiens Stadium. The district and Tabor College each will pay $8,500.
• signed individually a resolution that endorses the district’s focus on the new Common Core State Standards.
Because the old state assessments are outdated, Noble said, teachers will not spend time preparing students for those tests but rather focus on teaching to CCSS. Consequently, he added, the district will not refer to the “old” assessment results from spring 2013.
“Thank you for that support,” Noble told board members about their decisions to sign the document. “That means a lot to me.”
Noble said he plans to ask faculty to sign the commitment Jan. 2.
• heard Noble update the work of the Educator Evaluation Committee, which is looking at two different systems, which meet six criteria, that have been approved by the state: KEEP and McREL.
Noble said he is leaning toward McREL, but will bring a proposal for its approval in February.
• met in executive session for the superintendent’s evaluation.
The board has called a special meeting for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19 to make decisions about replacing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment for Hillsboro High School and Hillsboro Middle School gymnasiums.
Board member Mark Rooker announced that Mashup 2013, hosted by Technology Excellence in Education Network, will be Jan. 21 at Hillsboro High School.