School board updated

Petition for reorganization discussion advances

The Webster City School Board discussed the petition for reorganization with the Northeast Hamilton School District Monday night. The petition includes the history of the sharing between the Webster City and Northeast Hamilton School Districts.

In order for the petition for reorganization to move forward, the Webster City School District needed 400 signatures. They received an estimated 650. The Northeast Hamilton District needed 100 signatures and received an estimated 265, according to Superintendent Mike Sherwood.

With the collection of signatures, the petition for reorganization was submitted to Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency. The second step in the process towards reorganization is for Prairie Lakes AEA to review the petition for compliance.

“With this plan, it’s up to date for a hearing and a deadline for filing objections,” said Sherwood. “I think we’re looking at a deadline for filing objections for Jan. 3.”

Once the petition is filed, a public hearing could be held on Jan. 10 or 11, according to Sherwood. The public hearing would take place in Blairsburg in the Media Center.

“I haven’t gotten the official date yet from that,” Sherwood said. “We forwarded all the maps and everything to the AEA, so they are just going though step two of the process.”

The third step in the process would be the public hearing. The fourth step would be the AEA’s decision. The fifth and final step would be a special election.

Two members of the Webster City High School choir who were selected for the Iowa All State Choir, performed for the board. Matthew Johnson, tenor, and Haley Johnson, alto, sang “The Best of Rooms” by Randall Thompson, which was one of the songs they studied during the audition process. Soprano Elycia Obrecht also made All State Choir, but was absent from the performance due to illness.

Webster City High School Choir Director Andrew Wotherspoon noted the tremendous amount of time, effort and practice that each student who auditioned put in over the past three months.

“The Iowa All State concert is the highest achievement in high school music in Iowa,” said Wotherspoon. “Students from all over Iowa audition for orchestra, band and choir.”

The three students will be participating in the All State Festival this Saturday in Ames. The concert will be broadcast on IPTV over Thanksgiving weekend.

Dr. Adam Zellmer updated the board on the Every Student Succeeds Act. ESSA is the replacement for the No Child Left Behind Act. According to Zellmer, ESSA takes the authority and moves it back to the states and schools.

“It really provides us with a framework and doesn’t necessarily say every single little thing you have to do,” said Zellmer. “It allows each state to show how it can work within the framework to meet the needs that the federal government still has.”

ESSA focuses on equity for students, accountability, and support catered to each state’s needs. Key Iowa initiatives include Teacher Leadership Compensation, the CORE Curriculum, Early Literacy Initiative, Multiple Tiers of System Support, Career and Technical Education redesign, Future Ready Iowa and Iowa’s Differentiated Accountability System.

The board approved four fundraising requests.

Two special education contracts with the Fort Dodge School District were approved.

During the open comment section of the evening, board member and veteran Rich Stroner applauded the local Veterans Day services.

“I just wanted to say from my standpoint as a veteran and the folks in the legion, everything was well appreciated and the students did a very good job,” said Stroner. “We want to make sure they know they did a good job.”

Sherwood thanked Stroner and all veterans for their service.

Board member Linda Williams was not present at Monday evening’s meeting.

The next board meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. at the administration office board room.