JEWELL - The regular school board meeting at South Hamilton started off Monday evening with a report from high school Spanish instructor Kim Huegerich about the trip to Spain she led in late June for five of her high school Spanish students.
The trip for the South Hamilton group lasted nine days and included time in Madrid as well as a five-day home visit for each student to stay with a host family in order to directly experience the culture. Two of the students who made the trip were at the board meeting with their teacher, and they all thanked the board for allowing the trip. According to Huegerich, who has coordinated several such trips, she plans to offer such an experience about every two years.
There were several personnel matters on Monday's agenda. The board approved hiring Doug Hatch, formerly of Nodaway Valley schools, to be 7-12 guidance counselor. Also approved was changing Tammy Dayton from part-time to full-time janitor.
The resignation of high school science instructor Pat Donovan was considered by the board, as Donovan has accepted a teaching position in Ames but has also signed his contract for 2012-13 at South Hamilton. Three interviews for Donovan's position are scheduled for this week, so the board decided to table action on the matter until the interviews are completed.
School board secretary/treasurer Sue Headley was reappointed to her position Monday. Board vice-president Will Johnston administered the oath of office to Headley.
Another personnel matter Monday was looking at the policy for long-term substitute bus drivers. The board decided to makes no changes to the policy.
In other business, the board considered enrollment numbers for the pre-kindergarten program. At least seven students are needed to offer PK. According to elementary principal Paul Hemphill, enrollment has dropped from 8 to 6. He is recruiting youngsters to enter the program and recommended delaying a decision on holding the program until the August school board meeting. The board approved the recommendation.
Hemphill also noted that as PK enrollment decreases, kindergarten numbers increase. Currently there are 42 children registered to start kindergarten this fall.
Supterintendent Tim Johnson reported to the board that progress on the $1.2 million renovation project to the kitchen/commons area is still ahead of schedule. Flooring is complete, and Johnson said that the only possible concern about the timeline for the project is if the new kitchen equipment is delivered behind schedule. When the project is complete, Johnson is planning an open house for the public.
In a related matter, the board voted to approve a permanent transfer of $35,000 from the general fund to the nutritional fund.
The board okayed renewing membership in the Iowa Association of School Boards and appointed board member Kempton Young as their delegate, with Marie Johnson alternate.