JEWELL - South Hamilton school board members approved the contract agreement with the South Hamilton Education Association when they met in regular session Wednesday evening. The agreement is for a two-year contract that includes a 3.73 percent increase for a base of $36,349 in 2014-15 and a year two increase in 2015-16 of 3.25 percent, with a base of $37.530.
Wednesday's meeting was rescheduled from the regular meeting date of Monday evening, when the South Hamilton boys basketball team played in a first-round game of the state tournament.
"That was a great experience," junior/senior Principal Scott Dryer told the board. "Thank you for all the help we had." All 700 tickets for the game that were allotted to the school were sold.
Other business on the varied agenda included a lengthy discussion with high school business instructor Rusty Wintermote, coordinator of a new television media course at the school.
"We want as many kids involved in this as we can. This is a great niche for kids who aren't involved in lots of school activities," he told the board. "I really think the program could take off." Wintermote has visited several other schools with similar programs in place.
Wintermote said that the live-streamed school events online are very popular, especially with family members. To date, people from 38 states have watched archived and live events. At Wednesday's meeting the board discussed the program with Wintermote, offering input and asking questions. One concern is the cost, as a classroom will have to be fitted for TV production.
Wintermote asked the board to consider where they want to go with the program now.
In his report to the board, athletic director Todd Coy told the board that one bank of lights at the softball diamond has been destroyed by high winds this winter. He, too, wanted direction from the board regarding whether to replace or repair the lights, which have been in use since the early 1990s. The estimate from Musko Lighting to repair the lights is $5,000-10,000. Replacing the lights is estimated to cost $75,000-80,000.
The board indicated they prefer repairing. Superintendent Tim Johnson will check with the school's insurance company to see if the loss is covered.
Following up on action from last month, the board reviewed a letter of agreement submitted by Angelo Architecture for proposed improvements at the school. The board decided to put the project on hold and did not sign the letter.
Elementary principal Paul Hemphill reviewed the plan for elementary summer school. The cost will be the same as last year, approximately $15,000. The board approved offering summer school again. He reminded the board that the annual elementary carnival is March 28 and thanked them in advance for their assistance. Iowa Assessments are scheduled soon in elementary.
Johnson told the board that the last day of school for students will be May 28. The final day for teachers is May 30.
Chris Gunderson was a visitor at the meeting to discuss soccer fields in Jewell. Gunderson said that he is a member of the local park board, who are looking at options to remodel the swimming pool and revamp the area where the current soccer fields are located near the pool. The board is finding no available land for additional field space and is checking to see if any space is available on school property.
Coy suggested the band field, which is large with plenty of space and nearby parking, an option the park board had not considered. The school board consensus for Gunderson was that it doesn't hurt to look into the options.
In other business, the board approved a change in the cost of admission to sub-varsity and middle school admission from the athletic conference. Effective this fall, the ticket price will go from $2 to $3 for adults. Kids will be admitted to the games at no cost.
In personnel matters, two resignations were accepted: high school science instructor Leif Segren, and eight grade girls basketball coach Kris Gustafson. In another personnel issue, board members Kempton Young and Mike Grove were appointed to the support staff salary committee.
The FY-15 budget was reviewed by the board, with the budget hearing date set for the April board meeting.