STRATFORD - When the Stratford school board met for their regular session Wednesday evening, Terry Allers of Allers Associates, Fort Dodge, was there to review the lighting replacement project with the board.
According to Allers, classrooms will have all new lights, ceilings will be painted, and new light controls will be installed. The estimated cost for the project is $66,700. Bid opening is scheduled for May 10, with the contract to be awarded by the school board on May 18.
Also, plans are to enlarge the Early Learning Center this summer at an estimated cost of $187,000.
Other physical plant improvement and maintenance projects planned for this summer are refinishing the gym floor, renovating the school library, and completing the Martha Simonson Tennis Courts. Supt. Sarah Binder remarked to the board that it looks like a busy summer ahead.
Several local parents have inquired about the school offering a summer program (child care) for 5-12 year-olds, so Binder has researched revenue and expenditures to offer it again. The summer of 2010 was the last time the school had a summer program, which Binder said was not profitable.
According to data put together by Binder, there would need to be 20 youngsters enrolled full time in the program for it to break even. So far, there has been interest in a summer program from 8 children.
The board approved Binder's recommendation that the school will not offer the summer program in 2012. "We just don't have the numbers to support it," Binder said. "I recognize that it is a community need, but having it would put our whole program in jeopardy."
Other business on Wednesday was a hearing on the proposed school calendar for 2012-13. With no objections, the calendar was approved by the board. The starting date is Tuesday, August 21, and winter break starts Saturday, December 22. Spring break is scheduled to align with the break at ICCC, to accommodate students taking classes on campus.
In her report to the board, Binder reviewed student achievement on this spring's Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. "I am pleased with this year's results," she told the board.
Binder also provided the board with an update on the Monsanto "America's Farmers Grow Rural Education" grant. The school has received 28 nominations from local rural residents, for which Binder expressed her thanks. With the "Using Scientific Technology and Tools in the Field, the school is applying for $10,000.
The only personnel matter on Wednesday's agenda was accepting the resignation of Liz Smith. She has been a teacher aide for grades 3-6 and has resigned to do her student teaching.
Also on Wednesday, the board:
Approved two open enrollment requests from Southeast Webster-Grand into Stratford's home school assistance program.
Made plans for two board members and the superintendent to attend the informal board meeting with Webster City on Monday, April 23. Representatives from the Northeast Hamilton board will also be in attendance.
Was informed that Early Childhood open house and kindergarten roundup will be on Friday, April 27.
Heard a report on the recent successful book fair, where books totaling $1,590 were sold, which earned $636 in credits. The school benefited in library books and purchases from Scholastic Instructional Materials. Binder thanked parents and staff who were involved .