A trial policy for using wireless communications and music devices at the Webster City High School has been deemed successful. Principal John Elkin presented his findings to the school board at its meeting on Monday.
"We have reviewed it every quarter - looking at the data and how students are implementing it," he said.
Elkin said that it was like releasing pressure valves.
"We didn't have all these illegal uses like we had in the past," he continued. "We didn't have kids sneaking off to go to the restrooms to use their electronic devices every three or four minutes."
Students are allowed to use their cell phones during cafe, at lunch and during breaks.
"There are still violations but they are way less than before," Elkin said. "I think kids and parents have appreciated it."
The board approved the regulations for the 2012-2013 school year.
Superintendent Mike Sherwood gave a facilities update on the schools.
A company is currently working on the main entrance door jam issues. The main entrance steps will be torn off and new ones will be poured. The ramp will also be fixed up. Sherwood said that they have been fighting a couple depressions in the parking lot, having filled them a number of times.
"It is time to tear out that half of the parking lot to figure out what is going on," he said.
They will replace that half and look to replace the other half next year.
Sherwood said that the street project is moving forward. There are two gas lines that run into the school, and he said that the district is working with the city and Black Hills Energy on possibly replacing the two with one main line. He said that estimated costs are around $7,000.
The parking lot across from the main entrance will likely be resurfaced. A company is working on door repairs at the school.
Sherwood said that they are in the process of putting together numbers for boiler replacements for Jefferson Gymnasium. The district would like to replace the boilers with two small closet-type high-efficiency boilers.
He also said that the commons area and multipurpose room have never had sound systems.
"We use portable speakers and PA systems," he said. "If you sit in front of the speaker, it isn't so great. And if you are in the back, you can't hear it."
A company that the district works with is drafting a proposal for a sound system for both areas.
Asbestos removal began in the lower levels of the high school on Monday.
The parking lot on the west side of the new addition will likely be poured by the end of the week. Sherwood said most of the curbing is done and they are finishing on the grid work.
Work is being done currently to try to move water from the high school track area to the retention pound.
The competition gymnasium bleachers are completely installed.
The floor in the practice gym have been re-stripped and re-sanded.
The school is working with Stony Creek Landscapes for landscaping and North Central Turf for turing. Sherwood said that turfing will be done in mid-July, with landscaping starting a bit sooner than that. The board looked at initial landscaping designs.
Sherwood announced that the grand opening for the high school addition is at 2 p.m. on Aug. 5.
Future work was also discussed.
"We will be meeting with architects to tour the elementary and high school buildings to see what is the next level of work to be done," Sherwood said. "We will look at what funds are left and get organized for next summer."
Two contract recommendations were approved by the board:
Dane Barner will be the new middle school vocal music instructor. He is a graduate of The University of Northern Iowa in music education. Barner is currently in the process of finishing his masters degree in leadership from Western Illinois. He has been employed by the Danville Community School District from 2010 to the present as a K-12 choral music director. Prior to that, he worked at Black Hawk Elementary in Burlington.
Andrew Wotherspoon will be the new high school music instructor. He is a graduate of The University of Northern Iowa in music. He is currently employed by Eddyville-Blakesburg. He has been the 7-12 vocal music instructor since August of 2009. Sherwood said that he has also been involved with speech as a speech coach and a judge.