Tweaks on the horizon for high school's math curriculum
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Changes are coming in the high school math program, according to high school Principal Todd Liechty.
Liechty briefed the Mt. Pleasant School Board on his recommendations during Monday night’s Mt. Pleasant School Board meeting but the recommendations will not be acted upon until the April board meeting.
Basically, the changes are needed to conform to the Iowa Core Curriculum, Liechty said, and the recommendations include requiring all high school students to take two years of algebra and one year of geometry to meet graduation requirements.
Another change in the works is a tweaking of requirements for the valedictorian and salutatorian awards. Liechty informed the board that he wants to “tweak” some of the criteria and will work with the board’s policy committee on the changes.
In financial matters, the board set Monday, April 8, at 7:15 p.m. as the date and time for the public hearing on the fiscal 2014 budget. The hearing on the fiscal 2014 budget will be preceded by a public hearing at 7:10 p.m. to amend the fiscal 2013 budget.
The proposed fiscal 2014 budget is based on 0 percent allowable growth, according to Director of Finance Ed Chabal. The final allowable growth figure, if any, is still being debated in the Iowa Legislature. The Iowa House is suggesting 2 percent allowable growth and the Senate 4 percent. Allowable growth is the increase in funding per student per year received by school districts.
Based on 0 percent allowable growth, Chabal is forecasting a nickel drop in the property tax levy per $1,000 taxable valuation from $14.30 to $14.25. If the district gets 2 percent allowable growth, the levy would drop another 45 cents, Chabal said. A school budget preview will be published in The News prior to the budget hearing.
The amendment to the fiscal 2013 budget accounts for an additional $636,000 in expenditures for increased transportation/utility costs, increased food costs and the refinancing of school district bonds.
Pilot Grove Savings Bank of Mt. Pleasant was the successful bidder on district banking services for the next year. US, Two Rivers and Great Western banks also submitted bids.
The board also received school graduation and dropout rates for the past three years.
In graduation rates, the school district’s three-year average is 85.92, percent which is below the state average of 88.79 percent. Graduation rates for the past three years were as follows: 2010-86.39; 2011-83.95; 2012-87.42.
The three year dropout rate of 2.97 percent ranks below the 3.33 percent average for the state. A total of 60 students have dropped out over the past three years. The percentage for each of the past three years was at follows: 2010-2.51 percent; 2011-3.40 percent; and 2012-3.01 percent.
Personnel matters approved the approval of a contract for Jagdeep Kang as assistant boys’ soccer coach.
Resignations were accepted from Anna O’Flaherty, half-time middle school para-educator; Jennifer Petty, Harlan Elementary School kindergarten teacher; Alan Peck, middle school science teacher and assistant girls’ track coach; Nichole Hoskins, high school language arts instructor (as well as forensics and Target programs); and Janet Cermak, .375-time high school foreign language instructor.
A leave of absence for the 2013-14 year was approved for Rebecca Haffner, high school art instructor. Haffner also was granted a leave of absence for the current school year.
Contracts also were approved for the following volunteer coaches: Jordon Bell, boys’ soccer; Mallory Henderson, girls’ track; Lyle Murray, girls’ and boys’ track; Jeff Fedler, boys’ track; Curt, Bjork, Marcus Mullin, Korbin Taylor, Nick Maynard and Brandon Harrison, all baseball.
Directors meet again in regular session Monday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the high school media center.