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Slight enrollment increase noted

Stratford gains six students in preliminary numbers

September 21, 2012
Billie Shelton ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

STRATFORD - When school board members in Stratford met in regular session Wednesday evening, they faced a brief agenda that included electing a board president and vice-president for the coming year.

Julie Patterson was re-elected to her post as president, while board member Vance Cook was voted to be the new vice-president of the board.

Superintendent Sarah Binder reviewed with the board the projected certified enrollment figures for the current school year, which shows that certified tentative enrollment will be at 168. That's an increase of six students from the 2011-2012 school year. Binder told the board that, while the numbers are tentative at this time, she has eliminated from the list anyone she thinks will not enroll at the school this fall.

"I'm holding my breath and keeping my fingers crossed," she said about the indication for a slight increase. For 2011-2012, enrollment grew by five students, but enrollment had declined the five years before that.

Gina Monroe, teacher for first and second grade, gave the teacher report for the meeting. She said the students are especially enjoying the insect unit in science currently. There are six new students this fall in her class of 29.

Other business at Wednesday's meeting was addressing payment options for families using the Early Learning Center. A letter was sent home to all ELC parents outlining those options. Parents with an outstanding bill will need to meet with Binder, set up a payment plan, and stick with it - all of which will take effect on October 1. Families have been notified.

Board members also heard an update on the ELC expansion. Specs for the project will be completed by the end of October. Contractors will be able to decide by late November or early December and then bids will be accepted. Plans are for work on the project to be started in January.

Board members heard a report on the Martha Simonson Tennis Courts. Surfacing has not yet been completed, but the company says that they can get it done this fall. Although the surfacing was originally scheduled for July, the fence was delayed, and the project lost its scheduled time for surfacing.

In a technology update for the board, Binder said that the school needs to begin replacing desktops in the computer lab and library with laptops. Board member Vance Cook voiced his opinion that it is the wrong decision to replace desk tops with laptops. "You can get twice the machine for half the cost by getting desktop computers rather than laptops," he said.

In other business, Binder reviewed with the board fall assessments, the school improvement advisory committee, and the early childhood advisory committee. She reported that the school's cook staff is working hard to integrate the new Healthy Kids Act food service requirements at the school.

The Stratford board plans to hold its regular informal meeting with the Webster City school board at a date to be determined in October. Representatives from the Northeast Hamilton board will also be invited to the meeting.



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