W-MU board selects legislative priorities
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
WINFIELD — While only three of the five school board members were present at the Winfield-Mt. Union school board meeting on Wednesday night, there were several hirings approved, as well as setting the board’s legislative priorities for the 2014 session of the Iowa Legislature.
The board approved hiring Amy Krieger as secondary special education teacher; Alex Klopfenstein, assistant football coach; Rebecca Hobson, education associate; Melanie McCreight, assistant volleyball coach; Blayne Willadsen, second grade teacher and assistant golf coach; and Abby Kite, assistant junior high volleyball coach.
Rebecca Hobson’s resignation as pre-school teacher and Chris Fox’s resignation as an education associate were both accepted by the board as well.
The board made five legislative resolutions their priorities and determined that they were critical to students and taxpayers in the school district.
The legislative priorities include:
• Support adequate funding to ensure all four-year-olds access to a high quality public school pre-school program. Iowa should continue to allow four-year-olds to be included in the enrollment count at a full weighting if these programs can demonstrate meeting the collaboration and quality standards required of the statewide voluntary preschool program.
• Support flexibility in the use of modified allowable growth for dropout prevention and the expansion of the definition of at-risk to also include low socio-economic status as a factor in determining a student’s at-risk stays.
• Support a school foundation formula that adequately, and in a timely manner, funds changes in demographics, including declining and increasing enrollment challenges.
• Support legislation allowing school bond issues to be passed by a simple majority vote and to permit the school board to levy a combination of property taxes and income surtaxes to pay the indebtedness.
• Support predictable and timely state funding to serve students receiving special education services at a level that reflects the actual cost, including the educational programming and health costs.
During Superintendent Pat Coen’s report to the board, he informed the board that the school staff recently participated in ALICE shooter training to better prepare for the possibility of a shooter in the school.
ALICE is an acronym for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate, which are instructions for when there is an active shooter on the premises.
“Most of the training was done as large-group instruction in the library,” said Coen. “Then the participated in small group practical exercise. We are approaching the implementation of ALICE in a crawl, run, walk method which means we start out slow and then gradually add pieces and eventually go though a full-blown exercise.”
Henry County Sheriff’s department, Winfield Police Department, Mt. Pleasant Police Department and the Winfield Fire and Rescue Department assisted with the training.
The board also took a tour of the school facility during the meeting.
The next board meeting is Sept. 11, at 6:30 p.m., at the W-MU media Center.