WACO Foundation offers directors a helping hand
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
WAYLAND — Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while.
WACO School Board members were extended a hand during their regular meeting Monday night.
Darrell Smith, president of the WACO School Foundation, told the board that the foundation’s purpose is to help the school district and it intends to fulfill its responsibility.
The foundation has been somewhat inactive the past few years but is being re-established.
“Our job is to support the school district,” Smith told the board. “You need to let us know what you want to do. We do have some money, not a lot, but we plan to do some fund-raising.
“We have been somewhat inactive the past several years, but we are working on revitalizing it (foundation),” he added.
Smith, when asked about foundation funds, said the organization currently has $36,000, but added that the foundation will launch a fund-raising campaign soon.
“We want to get involved and be a part of the WACO School District,” Smith emphasized. “Just let us know how we can help the district.”
He said he will be disseminating fund request forms to district staff in the near future.
WACO continues inching closer to the Washington Community School District — at least in terms of sports. Directors approved 28E agreements to share high school baseball, girls’ and boys’ soccer with its northern neighbors. WACO formerly shared baseball with Winfield-Mt. Union.
Earlier in the school year, 28E agreements were approved to share cross-country and girls’ and boys’ golf with Washington.
In other agenda items, Brandt Snakenberg, WACO elementary school principal, requested new laptop computers for the instructional staff.
“Todd (Werner, junior-senior high school principal) and I would like to put a laptop in each teacher’s hands this year,” Snakenberg began.
“That would give them the flexibility to work anywhere…Teachers have desktops but the newest one is five years old. That is fairly old for a computer and we are living on borrowed time,” he noted.
Snakenberg said he would like the district to purchase either IBM or Mac computers for the teachers. “I am an IBM guy, but either one would work, it is just a matter of comfort (with the operating system). You are probably looking at a $25,000 investment.”
The board already has been asked for Chromebooks for students to implement the 1:1 initiative. Directors asked Snakenberg whether Chromebooks would work for staff, too. “I think teachers need computers, not Chromebooks. Chromebooks only work with a wireless connection.”
Snakenberg was asked to bring more information including cost estimates to the February board meeting.
Superintendent of Schools Pat Coen announced that the district will have a “dry run” of the 4 + 1 school week April 15-26. The school district will be implementing the four-day school week next year and wants to work out “kinks” during the trial run in April.
“We need to do a dry run, so we can address issues that crop up,” he explained. Friday, April 19, there will not be regular classes. Instead, the district will be offering some of the curriculum items planned for Fridays during the 2013-14 school year. Instructional staff will have a professional development day Friday, April 26.
In personnel items, resignations were accepted from Bev Skovgard, 1-1 instructor; and Randy Graber, junior high science and business teacher. Both instructors are retiring.
Contracts were approved for Tyler Kibbee, associate; Lee-Ann Felts, cook; and Barbi Roth, special education instructor.
Finally, the board:
• Approved a band/choir trip to Minneapolis, Minn., April 12-14. The musical groups will be attending a clinic at the University of Minnesota and also doing some touring. The trip is self-funded.
• Approved a science trip to Illinois.
WACO board members meet again in regular session Monday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the junior-senior high school media center.