W-MU updates school policies
BY KARYN SPORY
Mt. Pleasant News
As the Winfield-Mt. Union Community School District’s Board of Education reviewed board policies, Superintendent Jeff Maeder brought classroom sizes to the table.
The policy, 606.1, says it is at the sole discretion of the board to determine the size of classes and to determine whether class grouping will take place. It is also the role of the superintendent to make recommendations regarding class size and grouping. “My recommendation is not to make any changes, I don’t want to look at reducing staff, but I thought we should take a look at it,” he said.
For the upcoming school year, Maeder said the incoming kindergarten class is rather small, only approximately 22 students. This would mean the section size would be 11 students per teacher. In comparison, first- to sixth-grade class sizes range from 27 to 35 students, with the exception of fifth-grade, which only has 20 students.
“The kindergarten numbers are still early,” said elementary principal Gabe Wylder. “Some families choose not to send their children to pre-K. Those numbers will firm up in the spring.”
Wylder also reminded the board that they might just be seeing a bubble class, much like the current fifth-grade class.
“It’s a little early to be talking about behavior needs, 1-1 needs or special education needs,” he said of the incoming kindergarteners.
“I think it just behooves us to always be looking ahead,” Maeder said before moving on to policies in the 800-series, which had to do with building and sites.
The only change was to policy 802.3-emergency repairs. Currently, in an emergency situation the superintendent can approve repairs in excess of $25,000 that would be necessary to prevent the closing of the school. Business Manager Carmen Benson said the update would remove the numerical amount and would be replaced with “specified state minimum”, which is currently $25,000.
Benson said the board reviews policies on a five-year schedule and as limits are always changing, the Iowa Association of School Boards recommended this change.
The only other policy change was to policy 414.2-classified employee personal illness leave. The 15 days of sick leave each year was replaced with 10 days of general leave. This change also removed 414.4 as bereavement leave would be included in the 10 days of general leave.
The board approved the updates and waived the second reading.
The board will meet next on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m., in the school’s media center.