Your Riverside Forum

Washington County Sheriff’s Report 10/13-10/19

10/13/2014 1408689 16:21 SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: AINSWORTH, IA 52201

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10-17 REPORTS FINDING A SUSPICIOUS ITEM IN THE FRONT ENTRANCE BATHROOMS AT MARR PARK. || 92-3 RESPONDED. ITEM WAS SEIZED AND DISPOSED OF.

10/14/2014 1408711 19:51 ALL OTHER THEFT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: AINSWORTH, IA 52201

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REPORTS ONE OF THE BOARD MEMBERS IS IN HER NEIGHBOR^S APARTMENT POSSIBLY TAKING ITEMS, AND SHOULDN’T BE THERE. REQUEST A DEPUTY. SPOKE WITH THE BOARD MEMBER WHO ADVISED THAT THE PREVIOUS TENANT HAD GIVEN UP HER RIGHTS TO ALL THE ITEMS IN THE APARTMENT. THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF THE BELONGINGS AS PER HER REQUEST.

10/16/2014 1408755 5:29 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Location: 1178 ENTERPRISE DR RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

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CALLER REPORTS VEHICLE VS DEER NO INJURIES || 92-18 WAS ADVISED. CALLER WAS ADVISED IF DAMAGE IS OVER $1500 TO FILL OUT A STATE ACCIDENT REPORT. DOCUMENTATION

10/15/2014 1408723 10:39 FIRE CALLS

Agency: Fire

Location: AINSWORTH, IA 52201

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ELECTRIC SPACE HEATER WAS PLUGGED IN AND SUBJECT IN THE RESIDENCE SMELLED SMOKE, THEY HAVE UNPLUGGED IT AND AFTER ABOUT 10 MINUTES THE OUTLET IS HOT. || WASHINGTON FIRE DEPARTMENT AND 92-8 RESPONDED.

10/16/2014 1408761 9:54 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: EMS

Location:1400 HWY 218 RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

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CALLER REPORTS WITNESSING A SINGLE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT SINGLE PASSENGER, CAME TO REST IN THE MEDIAN NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF HWY 218 & 150TH. MALE SUBJECT IS CONSCIOUS AND TALKING. || IHP ARRIVED ON SCENE DURING THE CALL. AD55, RIVERSIDE QRS/RESCUE, & 92-8 RESPONDED. IHP WILL HANDLE THE ACCIDENT REPORT, AD55 TRANSPORTED 1 PATIENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITAL ARRIVING AT 1036.

10/16/2014 1408774 17:43 ALL OTHER OFFENSES

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 1528 RIVERSIDE RD RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

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CALLER REQUESTS A DEPUTY MAKE CONTACT WITH male from RIVERSIDE AND ADVISE HIM NOT TO RETURN TO HER PROPERTY DUE TO HIM CAUSING PROBLEMS WITH HER SON. 92-10 RESPONDED. THE SUBJECT WAS NOT AT HIS RESIDENCE, DEPUTY WILL ATTEMPT TO LOCATE HIM.

10/16/2014 1408777 19:19 RUNAWAYS/MISSING

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: HWY 218 & RAMP RAMP AINSWORTH, IA 52201

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CALLER REQUESTS ASSISTANCE IN LOCATING HER 85 YEAR OF AGE FATHER. HE WOULD BE IN LIC/XXXX AND WAS LAST SEEN ON HIGHWAY 92 EASTBOUND NEAR HIGHWAY 218. UNKNOWN DIRECTION OF TRAVEL FROM THERE. || DEPUTIES WERE ADVISED TO ATTEMPT TO LOCATE. A TELETYPE WAS SENT TO SURROUNDING AGENCIES IN SOUTHEAST IOWA. ENTERED AS MISSING 85 year old male from NORTH LIBERTY, IA. SUBJECT WAS LOCATED SAFELY BY A JOHNSON COUNTY DEPUTY, THE CALLER WAS ADVISED. SUBJECT WAS CLEARED FROM THE SYSTEM.

10/17/2014 1408781 6:49 ALL OTHER OFFENSES

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location:RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

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CALLER REPORTS HEARING GUNSHOTS WHILE WALKING IN THE TIMBER || 92-8 RESPONDED.SPOKE WITH THE CALLER AND CHECKED THE AREA. UNABLE TO LOCATE

10/17/2014 1408787 12:05 INTIMIDATION/HARASSMEN

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

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CALLER REPORTS ANOTHER SUBJECT HARASSING HER AND MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT HER. || 92-8 SPOKE WITH BOTH SUBJECTS, BOTH WERE ADVISED TO HAVE NO FURTHER CONTACT.

10/17/2014 1408800 20:12 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location:RIVERSIDE RD & 170TH ST RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

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CALLER REPORTS HITTING A DEER IN LIC/XXX ON RIVERSIDE RD NORTH OF 170TH ST. NO INJURIES AND THE VEHICLE IS DRIVABLE. 92-9 WAS ADVISED FOR DOCUMENTATION. THE CALLER WAS ADVISED TO FILL OUT A STATE ACCIDENT REPORT IF THE DAMAGE IS OVER $1500.

10/18/2014 1408815 1:54 TRAFFIC OTHER

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: HWY 218 & 130TH ST RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

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10-17 REPORTS A VEHICLE TRAVELING NORTHBOUND IN THE SOUTHBOUND LANE OF HWY 218 AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED. (DISPATCH RECEIVED MULTIPLE CALLS ON IT) || 92-14 STOPPED THE VEHICLE AT HWY 218 AND 130TH ST THEN THE VEHICLE TOOK OFF AGAIN ENDING IN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT. 92-10 AND 92-19 ALSO ASSISTED. 92-14 ARRESTED: 26 year old female from [????] , OLDS OFFENSE: OWI 1ST, ELUDING, OPEN CONTAINER, DRIVING ON WRONG SIDE OF 2-WAY HIGHWAY, FAILED TO YIELD TO EMERGENCY VEHICLE, UNSAFE APPROACH TO CERTAIN STATIONARY VEHICLE, NO PROOF OF INSURANCE-ACCIDENT RELATED, RECKLESS DRIVING, INTERFERENCE WITH OFFICIAL ACTS, DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION. VEHICLE ENTERED AS TOWED.

10/18/2014 1408820 7:40 TRAFFIC OTHER

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

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CALLER REPORTS A TRUCK IN THE DITCH WITH A MALE SUBJECT WHO IS POSSIBLY PASSED OUT, MAYBE INTOXICATED. THE LIGHTS ARE ON, IT DOESN^T LOOK LIKE IT IS ACCIDENT RELATED.

10/18/2014 1408832 21:00 TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location: 230TH ST & HWY 218 AINSWORTH, IA 52201

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CALLER REPORTS VEHICLE VS DEER NO INJURIES. VEHICLE IS ON SIDE OF THE ROAD || 92-10 RESPONDED. VEHICLE WAS TOWED BY EARL^S RADIATOR AND REPAIR

10/20/2014 1408869 3:33 SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY

Agency: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Location:RIVERSIDE, IA 52327

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10-17 REPORTS THERE IS A PERSON PUTTING TRASH IN THE BACK OF HIS TRUCK.|| 92-18 RESPONDED AND SPOKE TO ALL PARTIES. SUSPECT CLEANED UP THE GARBAGE.

Posted in Community, Government, Informative, News, Press Release Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Forum Funnies, Volume 1 Number 10

forum funnies title

Volume 1 Number 10

Our apologies for the poor quality of the previous posting. This one’s a little more legible. 

skeletons waiting

For past cartoons, go to the Archives page by clicking on the tab in the menu, or here.

Posted in Column, Comic, Community, Government Tagged with: , , ,

October 17, 2014 Riverside Progress Report

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*New information is in bold/italic font or otherwise noted.

**Completed items are struck through

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This list is a short compilation of items that need addressed in Riverside. The Riverside Progress Report is a guide or score sheet, a progress report. It contains issues that citizens are still asking about. Since there are many out there who like to point out when I am wrong (my wife included), please, as with anything posted on this site, point such instances out. If you feel we missed anything or if something should not be included, by all means, let us know.  This list will most likely change, so check in every week. This list does not contain rumors

You can call this living in the past. You can chastise because it does not focus on the positive. Yes we have town celebrations, yes paint and flower pots dressed up downtown, the roof on the shelter at Railroad Park was replaced, etc., etc. Some of these things make me very proud to live in Riverside. Do you know what else makes me proud to live in Riverside? My neighbors, my friends, and those people who are willing to stand up and hold people accountable. Because they believe, like my son said,

“I like this town, ‘cause it’s ours.”

I want to show how important this list is to some people (not necessarily in the way you think):

Tom. Please add the fact that a city council person got fired from their job for sending a fake bomb to a middle eastern war veteran who was a co worker and a former bomb tech. This has never been discussed. Kind of sad we would treat a veteran in to such a childish manner. Everyone has skeletons, don’t be selective if you really are a journalist. Check the sex offender register or how about a parent leaving a severely Austic child alone with younger siblings while the parents are working or attending a meeting. Sound familiar? Those who live in glass houses should check out the facts before jumping on a crusade.

Reader/citizen suggestions

  • Sidewalk added up on Ash from Sycamore to Buckeye.
  • Cherry Street

Issues avoided/ignored

  • Council Member Bob Schneider’s apology to the citizens and Ms. Kirkwood for misleading them regarding his/his wife’s records request for employee pay stubs (Schneider used the words ‘we’ and ‘I’ when asking Kirkwood what was requested at the September 2, 2014 city council meeting [see the preceding post, under ‘Check Stub’] ) Update: At the September 15 city council meeting, this was officially amended into the minutes for the September 3 city council meeting, stating that Lois Schneider had in fact asked for and received pay stubs; Kirkwood has supporting evidence.  If you would like to see evidence, here you go! https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B39j18PzWLdsdUkzRTdILUJkQ3c/edit?usp=sharing 
  • Employees entering citizen homes without permission was never even addressed by the council or mayor, nor were responses returned to our inquiries ( http://wp.me/p2fxcp-4eL )
  • Freedom of Information: Certain members of the council are in complete denial and/or ignorant to this concept
    • Pending requests: After verifying with the County Supervisors, The Forum requested Voluntary Annexation request/proposal for 114th to the County of Washington, Iowa on September 24, 2014 (this request has been acknowledged by Rogerson).***In an email from Washington County Engineer Jacob Thorius : “Currently we do not have a Resolution as they have not provided the County with an accurate description of the area being annexed.” (There was a valid reason for this; see the council meeting post)
  • At the August 4, 2014 Riverside City Council meeting, ‘Attorney’s opinion: what open records are and what are not on the next meeting’s agenda’ was approved by the council. Kasdorf and Poch also asked for an opinion at the September 2, 2014 council meeting. This was moved up from ‘Issues to keep tabs on’ to issues avoided and ignored. Council person Kasdorf asked for Sueppel’s opinion again, and Poch made a point to ask a fifth time for said opinion. Kasdorf also stated that they were billed for it.Semis parking along the shoulder of Hiway 22
  • Audit status (the previous audit/special investigation had regular updates)
  • Junk vehicles- do I really need to explain this one?
  • Boise Court- This requires some clarification. The “annexation and rezoning of Boise Ct.” was denied at the June 16, 2014 meeting, even though it is part of the comprehensive plan.

Issues to keep tabs on

  • How long has it been since Community Visioning held an election for chairman?
  • Community Building
  • At the June 16 RCCM, City Council Member Nate Kasdorf asked for Conservation Park rules and regulations, i.e., park hours to be on the next agenda. It was not ( http://wp.me/p2fxcp-4fJ ), nor was it discussed at that meeting.
  • Methodist church storm water issues
  • At the August 18 council meeting, the council voted to put up a stop sign at Ella and Ash. Rogerson said it is ordered and will be here soon
  • What was the attorney’s opinion on the motion regarding Kirkwood puttingu items on the agenda?
  • Why were only Schneider and Poch allowed to select the final three engineering firms?
  • Resolve fund balances Fall 2014 This is from the City Administrator’s Punch List; it was moved up due to it’s persistence
  • Cherry Lane This was moved down from the above list because it, while important to the expansion of the city, has not technically been avoided.
  • At the June 16 RCCM, the council approved the negotiating team of Council Members Ralph Schnoebelen and Bob Schneider, Mayor Bill Poch and City Administrator/Economic Development Director Rusty Rogerson for the ‘deal’ with the Casino (re: the agreement paying the city ended July 31; by law, we will receive money from the casino anyway…what’s to negotiate?)
  • Plans regarding the construction of the Hall Park Concession stand.
  • Construction of Hall Park Concession Stand

     From the City Administrator’s Punch List

  • Meet with Washington Economic Development Group (WEDG) Executive Director, Ed Raber about residential development.
  • Fence on the east side of sidewalk of Conservation Park. Fall 2014
  • Primitive camping at Conservation Park Fall 2014
  • Amend TIF [tax increment funding] to include area in Roetlin Property 8/14/ Amend urban renewal plan to include north west corner of Roetlin’s property
  • Holderness property (See the October 6 city council meeting for Cathy Lindhorst’s take on this)
  • Geyer property (See the October 6 city council meeting for Cathy Lindhorst’s take on this)
  • City events- Address profit/loss of events when proposing future events
  • Develop ideas for Fall WCRF grant requests 9/14
  • Evaluate all city buildings for heightened security (including City Hall 12/14)
  • Develop working relationships with other communities
  • Conduct open house of city facilities Fall 2014
  • Revise/renew city administrator contract Fall 2014
  • Employee job description revisions Fall 2014
  • Complete evaluations/revise job descriptions
  • Review/revise employee handbook
  • Possible IDOT funds to work on sidewalks downtown 6/14

 

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Editorial: One More Thing About Hatred

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On this 3 year anniversary of the blog, I feel the need to thank all the readers. There is no, “If you don’t like it, then don’t read it’ attitude. All are encouraged to read and comment as they see fit. I don’t want to write about bad things going on in Riverside, but I told myself three years ago that I would write the good and the bad (besides, I am clueless about knitting and gardening, so what else can I write about?). A new concept in a small town, but this is what people deserve to know. Democracy should exist in small towns. People deserve the write to voice their opinions and not be scared to voice them. Unnecessarily long wait times for information that should be readily available, people directly involved with the city being above the law are things you saw in Dukes of Hazzard (If so, I get to be Cooter!). I know certain things to be true in relation to this blog: If you voice your opinion, You might get glared at and called a liar, I will probably get cornered at meetings, and the blog is not going to necessarily end all this childish behavior, and, THE most important thing that will never change (let me get on my soapbox…okay): This is America. Requesting information is not contingent upon the convenience of people, it is our right. Speaking with our elected is not something they can choose not to do, it is our right to communicate with them. The blog could not be more aptly named. You have given it purpose and momentum. For that we thank you

So, in the spirit of the blog, I wanted to write today’s editorial about some ongoing (hopefully over) issue that will hopefully help some people think before they talk and the rest of you can just be informed. Topic: Vandalism, hatred and the importance of the written word.

I was contacted by the Washington County Sheriff’s department earlier this week regarding a post on the blog. The deputy received a phone call that prompted him to inquire into the meaning of Volume 1, number 7 of the Forum Funnies. The cartoon, which can be found here, depicted Citizen Kevin Kiene being boiled in a black kettle tended by two witches. I informed the deputy that the cartoon was a response to my distaste of my friend, Mr. Kiene, being accused of vandalizing Citizen Phyllis Latta’s home by Ms. Latta and by her daughter, the latter one in public; she called Kiene evil and was told to watch his back. The deputy thanked me, and that was it. Kiene received the same call, during which he relayed what he knew. Fine, I thought, he’s just doing his job. If someone felt threatened, I expect them to follow up. Then I remembered the articles requesting sympathy and revenge for Ms. Latta, the latter of which contained grim allusions to hanging and that the perpetrator would get theirs in spades.

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Read this whole paragraph before you get mad: I have little to no sympathy for a woman who told my wife on two separate instances that she was a liar and that one of my friends an alcoholic wife beater. I have little sympathy for a woman who accuses another friend of vandalism. Don’t get me wrong, spraying foam in her sump pump is incorrigible, but I cannot have sympathy for anyone who has been so heinously vindictive to the people I care about. What all this leads to, where I am going with this, is many people not only believe what they read, but they might act on it. Most writers want their work read and would hope that people will learn something. Any responsible writer understands the importance of a single word, a letter and even a punctuation mark. Even in today’s world of hashtags and abbreviated text lingo, you miss one of the aforementioned, and your message could be misunderstood or even lost. Any writer lucky enough to acquire a following of loyal readers can, and should, feel empowered, and therefore should write responsibly. Just like the misplaced comma or misspelled word can add confusion and the loss of readers, how the words are put together and the ones that are left out makes a difference. When you put a skilled writer and a willing audience together, a writer can make a difference.

As we saw the last two weeks, some may take that empowerment and attempt to incite and rouse readers to exact revenge. I won’t get back on that soapbox, but I want to make something clear: Warning people through intended disturbing imagery is a tactic used in the same way planting and spreading false accusations are used. Such writing could, at the very least, lead to damage to someone else’s property, or worse, to someone being injured, or worse yet, killed. Even though it did not involve hanging, I think back to a case that began in the early nineteenth century that started with sensationalism and ended in a double murder.

Frank and Nathan Rainsbarger were arrested in Hardin County on January 16, 1885, for the murder of Enoch Johnson, Frank’s father in law which was allegedly in connection with a counterfeit ring. Throughout their incarceration (and even though they later changed his tune), a journalist’s incendiary words and damning headlines and stories (“The dashing and defiant Frank had captivated the innocent minded maiden” [his wife] [Eldora Herald]) seemed to aggravate the situation and turned a town against not only the murderers, but against their family name. According to Raymond Tinnian (as published in the August 7, 2014 Highland Review), “James S. Ross, editor of the Eldora Herald, seems to have slipped on the growing payroll of the counterfeit ring. His newspaper became the mouthpiece of the Hardin County criminals,” connecting the counterfeit ring to the Rainsbarger’s and later some people who were helping them clear their names. This hatred grew past the mere smearing of the name, and led to a mob of vigilante’s doling out a warped sense of justice on the family. Frank and Nathan Rainsbarger (who at the time were serving life sentences) provided a sworn affidavit in 1911 as part of a petition to pardon them.

“While we were in jail at Marshalltown, awaiting our trial, a mob attacked the jail at Eldora and assassinated our two brothers, Finn and Emanuel, and no action was ever taken by officials to learn who constituted the mob. “With no intention to discuss that affair, we refer to same to show that the public mind was inflamed against the name Rainsbarger at the time we were tried, and that a fair trial was an impossibility in Hardin or any of the surrounding counties.”

What that left out was that Finn and Emmanuel Rainsbarger were brutally attacked and murdered by a mob (supposedly the Vigilance committee mustered up by the head of the counterfeiting ring, William P. Hiserodt), one was riddled with bullets and the other’s dead body was shot two times in the head. The distaste for what happened to Enoch Johnson and the potential disclosure of information about the counterfeit ring led to a hatred spurned on by a journalist. Could I be overreacting? Maybe. Could I be sensationalizing? Maybe. But when I hear anyone even allude to hanging people to exact revenge, then I feel it’s warranted to address it and make people aware. It is especially warranted if after those articles, people start getting accused.z

 
 

For more on the Rainsbargers, read the sources I used for this editorial:   an account transcribed by Linda Suarez from The Past and Present of Hardin County Iowa and ‘Rainsbargers—A Myth Based on Lies Part Two’ by Raymond Timian, Kalona as published in the Highland Review, Aug 7, 2014. The Past and Present of Hardin County Iowa ed. by Willaim J. Moir.  Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1911. pp. 192-2000. Retrieved from: http://iagenweb.org/hardin/rainsbarger-pp1911.html 

Posted in Community, Editorial, Government, Opinion Tagged with: , , , , , ,

City of Riverside, Iowa City Council Agenda

 

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Monday October 20, 2014

6:30 pm at City Hall

5:30 PM COUNCIL WORK SESSION: Revisions to Planning and Zoning Ordinance, Site

Ordinance (new), Sub-Division Ordinance (new), adopting 2015 Building, mechanical, existing

building codes and the Uniform Building Codes.

Note: NO DECISIONS ARE MADE AT COUNCIL WORK SESSIONS. GENERALLY THERE IS N0

REGULAR COUNCIL AGENDA

6:30 PM Call meeting to Order and Roll Call Riverside Mayor Poch

1. Approval of Agenda (discussion/action)

2. Approval of Consent Agenda (discussion/action)

a. Revised Minutes from 9/2/14 meeting

b. Minutes of 10/6/14 meeting (revised from what was published)

d. Approval of Liquor License for Scandinavian Interiors

3. Committee Reports (discussion/action)

5. 6:45 pm Public Hearing on the proposed plans, specification concerning the

concessions stand replacement at Hall Park.

6. Resolution 10202014-1 Approving plans, specifications for Concession Stand

7. Highland School Back Pack Program Request (discussion/action)

8. Resolution 10062014-1 Approving Change Order KE Flatworks (discussion/action)

9. Resolution 10202014-2 Acceptance of Parking Spots at Hall Park (discussion/action

10. Iowa Econ Dev and Drake University Project (discussion/action)

11. Holiday Lights (discussion/action)

12. Moving Community Center Money (discussion/action)

13. Council Request for Information (discussion/action)

14. City Administrator Comments (discussion/action)

15. Council Comments (discussion/action)

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Screwed, LESSON 18: Curriculum Mapping

screwed pic Nick Smith

***Please read the disclaimer to the right. The following is the latest in several installments by former teacher and school board member for the Highland Community School District, Nick Smith. They are lessons to a future student, Cal-Em (Lesson 1 Lesson #2 , Lesson #3, Part ILesson #3, Part II LESSON 4 , Lesson 5: [part 1], Lesson 5[part 2],  LESSON 5 [part 3]LESSON 6LESSON SEVEN, Part I Lesson 7, part IILESSON 8Lesson 9Lesson 10 , Lesson #11 , Lesson #12, Lesson #13 , Lesson #14  Lesson #15 , Lesson #16 , Lesson #17  )

 

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LETTERS TO CAL-EM A PERSONAL HISTORY OF HIGHLAND By Nick Smith SCREWED

 

Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.  [Socrates 420 B.C.]

Curriculum alignment became the craze for a while, and, of course, what we had wasn’t good enough to satisfy the trend of curriculum development, which was to document the relationship between every component of the curriculum. In short, it was a new way to do what we were already doing but on more specific and prescribed forms. Curriculum mapping is a process for collecting and recording curriculum-related data that identifies core skills and content taught, processes employed, and assessments used for each subject area and grade level. The completed curriculum map then becomes a tool that helps teachers keep track of what has been taught and plan what will be taught. Creating and working with curriculum maps is a 7-phase process involving:

 

Phase 1: Data collection

Phase 2: A review of all maps by all teachers

Phase 3: Small mixed group reviews, in which groups of five to eight diverse faculty members share individual findings

Phase 4: Large group comparisons, in which all faculty members gather to examine the findings of the smaller groups

Phase 5: Identification of immediate revision points and creation of a timetable for resolution

Phase 6: Identification of points requiring additional research and planning, and a timetable for resolution of those points

Phase 7: Planning for the next review cycle

The purpose of a curriculum map is to document the relationship between every component of the curriculum. Used as an analysis, communication, and planning tool, a curriculum map

  • allows educators to review the curriculum to check for unnecessary redundancies, inconsistencies, misalignments, weaknesses, and gaps;
  • documents the relationships between the required components of the curriculum and the intended student learning outcomes;
  • helps identify opportunities for integration among disciplines;
  • provides a review of assessment methods; and
  • Identifies what students have learned, allowing educators to focus on building on previous knowledge.

Bear in mind that curriculum maps are records of implemented instruction — of what has been taught during the current school year. Sadly, at Highland, we somehow got the whole thing turned around and treated curriculum mapping like a curriculum guide, trying to pre-plan based on a monthly calendar starting in September and ending in May. It was the biggest flub I’ve ever seen. Not one single teacher understood what the Curriculum Director wanted, and what’s even more amazing, the Curriculum Director didn’t know what he wanted at all. We ended up with a colossal amount of paper work and effort that couldn’t be used by anyone. Many of our reform efforts turned out this way because the Richard Heads wanted what other schools were doing, but they didn’t understand what the initiatives were about, how they operated or what the process required. So, many of Highland’s so-called reforms were destined for failure before they began because they were poorly planned and poorly understood. Some, however, put feathers in the caps of the administrators, helping them with their individual careers. Staff could always tell when an administrator was looking to leave Highland because there was always a building project of some kind or a new fad improvement dumped in place.

Below is the template for Highland’s Curriculum Map

screwed 18 chart

As you can see, this system was a disaster for the teachers and the students. Not even the curriculum director could figure out what was needed for this school improvement reform. We wasted our time trying to fill these dumb things out for three semesters and working them into our classes, but in the end, we abandoned it all and moved on to something else.

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MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE JUNGLE

A board member’s son continually refused to do assignments for my class. This refusal, along with many other school violations, made him ineligible for sports. His parents were very upset, and his board member parent started retaliating against me and some other teachers.   The complaint persuaded the administration to apply enormous pressure on me to pass the student even though they had failed my class due to their own actions. From January to June of that year, the superintendent harassed me constantly to pass this student. The student refused to complete even one assignment for my class, which was required for graduation. When it became obvious that the student would not graduate, pressure from the superintendent and the school board became severe. My career was in jeopardy as the administration continued to badger me. I offered several possible solutions, but the student refused them all. Finally, I was ordered to pass the child or be terminated. A grievance was filed on my behalf, infuriating the superintendent. The work place became a very hostile environment. In the end, the student failed most of their classes and could not graduate. Even on the Friday before graduation, the administration held a teachers’ meeting to inform us that this student would walk across the stage and receive an empty diploma case. The staff refused the idea, and threated to go to the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) and the Department of Education. The superintendent and the board member vowed to “get even” with me for being the teacher who wouldn’t pass the student. My “trouble maker” status continued.

Much of my “trouble maker” status came from one person who continued to perpetuate the myth from administrator to administrator. I’m not sure what I ever did to garner her dislike, but it must have been something. Bev was the superintendent’s secretary when I started at Highland, and then she became the school board secretary, and finally, she became the business manager for the Highland community School district. Bev Colbert was very good at her job, always pleasant and smiling, but she didn’t care much for anything or anyone that upset the apple cart. Know the truth, Bev Colbert actually ran the school, its finances, its administration, its direction and all of the decisions and programs related to the school. She knew the budget and administered it according to her own interpretation with little regard for the superintendents or the board. She held enormous power within the system because she knew the basics of school finance that none of the superintendents ever knew. Bev, like most valuable employees, liked to please her bosses, and it became natural, I believe, for her to offer them some form of comfort when they made horrible blunders and acts in violation of the contract and human rights. I, naturally, became the perfect scapegoat—the patsy fall guy when blame needed to be placed somewhere. She did the most to perpetuate my “trouble maker” label from administration to administration for reasons only she knows. Maybe she thought I really was a troublemaker, rather than the designated “rights chair” representative of the Highland Education Association.

Following is a note a former school board member gave to me some time ago. I had asked if he could share some memories with me from his time on the board, and this is some of what he sent me.

Regarding Nick Smith:

“When I was elected to the Highland School Board, the superintendent at that time, xxxxxxxxxx, asked to meet with me to tell me a little about Highland. During our meeting, he stated that there were two “trouble makers” in the high school. I pointedly did not ask who they were and instead asked other questions. Before our meeting was over, he returned to the subject of the troublemakers and said that he might as well just tell me whom they were and proceeded to name the two troublemakers as Nick Smith and Jerry Lippert.

“At that time, it was rare to have any one attend the board meetings so most of the meetings were just the superintendent, board secretary, Bev Colbert, and the board members. It was not uncommon during open board meetings for negative comments to be made about Nick Smith and Jerry Lippert. Comments usually were about how nice it would be if they would resign or if the administration could just get rid of them.

“During my first year on the board, I attended a board convention in Des Moines with the other board members. While socializing before dinner, xxxxxxxxxx was again complaining about Nick Smith. One of the board members asked just what the problem was with Mr. Smith and xxxxxxxxxx said, “He’s very intelligent, maybe the most intelligent person I’ve ever met, he’s an excellent teacher and the students and parents all seem to like him, but if it wasn’t for that damn union, I’d fire him anyway.” At that point, I said, ‘Well I guess we wouldn’t want any intelligent, excellent teachers that are liked by students and parents on staff.’ And I walked away, disgusted.”

Green Living Everyday

Later, a former principal at the high school shared their experiences with the superintendent and Bev Colbert concerning my role as the rights chair with the union. He confirms the fact that I was targeted by the administration for special treatment as a troublemaker because I represented the rights of the employees, which the administration seemed determined to ignore or trample on as they saw fit. In addition, I gave them someone to vent their frustrations on when they didn’t get to disregard teacher’s rights and discriminate against them.

“I would like to go on record in saying Mr. Nick Smith was one of the most outstanding teachers and persons I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and knowing. Mr. Smith spent endless hours before and after school working with students from the highest academic levels to our special needs students that required help. Mr. Smith provided summer school help to students before the school had a summer school program. This I might add was without any pay from the district or parents. Mr. Smith served on many committees to help formulate programs and building policies to help benefit students. These are some of the committees Mr. Smith was a member: At-Risk committee, Child Study Team, Alternative High School, SSR reading committee, CSIP School Improvement committee, Student Study Skills, Teacher in-service Committee, Teacher Rep, school calendar committee, MAP testing Proctor, Special reading Program for non-proficient students etc.

“Mr. Smith carried a full load of courses, which included three college credit courses, Comp I, Comp II and Forms of Literature. He was an ado teacher for a local college. Mr. Smith was always willing to give of his time and expertise to other teachers and students.

“I was Mr. Smith’s direct supervisor as principal and did many teacher evaluations of Mr. Smith over the years. He encompassed outstanding teaching methods and knowledge of the content he was teaching. His ability to help students understand the material, and allow them to express meaningful ideas and concepts was exceptional.

“During the time at Highland, I found some of the administrative team, like the school board secretary, superintendent and some school board members rude, unprofessional and filled with comments like, ‘Smith is incompetent, a troublemaker and poor teacher.’ As I first mentioned, I kept [anecdotal] notes over the years. As I searched though my logs, I found comments made about Mr. Smith.

“I was talking with the superintendent and the board secretary. ‘I’m telling you to watch out for Nick Smith he is a big troublemaker,’ Person 3: ‘I have not had any problems with Smith, in fact he has been helpful as a new principal” Sec. ‘You don’t know him, he is always behind most of the problems at the school. Just ask the former principal.’

Board Sec. ‘Smith is out in the hall with a student. I feel sorry for xxxxxxxx.” Person 2: “was the student getting smart with Mr. Smith?” Sec. ‘I don’t know but when Smith is there, there’s going to be trouble.’

“A member of the administrative team that works with another area educational agency was part of an administrative staff meeting, and Mr. Smith’s name came up in the conversation. ‘Smith again, we all know he creates problems at the school. I’ve worked with him many times.’

“The school board secretary makes the comment about Smith is a troublemaker.

The superintendent makes the comment that Mr. Smith is complaining about the teacher mentor selections. He is not very professional; he’s a pain in the butt.”

This is enough for now, Cal-Em. Let it suffice that when teachers stand up for their own rights, demand that the agreed upon contract be followed and insist that the dignity provided them by the Constitution of the United states not be violated through discriminatory actions by the school administrators or board members, someone will be labeled as a troublemaker. That person was I for many, many years. As for the administrators, they all do great for themselves, receiving large severance or retirement packages that no one else in the system gets. I’ve been trying to locate these secret packages, but I have not been able to locate them as of yet. I know that most of the superintendents received money packages, principals received money packages, and the board secretary received a money package as did the operations manager. Why these severance and early retirement plans are not reported up front with all the other normal expenditures, smacks of a little secretive club action to me. I will find the money, and I’m betting it’s hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars that’s gone to the administrators’ club of hidden benefits.

 

Largest selection of Halloween Costumes on this planet!

Posted in Community, Government, Guest Post, Op-ed, Opinion, School Tagged with: , , , , ,

IA Dept of Natural Resources (PR)

DNR logohttpwww[dot]osceolacountydailynews.comwp[hyphen]contentuploads201208DNR-logo.jpg
Pheasant Opener Prospects are Good
Posted: 10/14/2014
Iowa pheasant hunters should see more of what they came for, as they step into the field this fall. More pheasants.A strong rebound in August roadside counts of Iowa’s most popular game bird has buoyed expectations, heading toward the October 25 opener.

“It’s not the ‘good old days,’ but hunters will see noticeable improvement,” says DNR pheasant biologist Todd Bogenschutz. “We have the best pheasant numbers since 2008. People are telling me that more birds are flushing; that they are hearing more crowing and cackling out there.”

Counts this summer averaged 17.4 pheasants per 30 mile survey route, up 151 percent from last year’s 6.9…an all-time low. Of the nine regions monitored, eight had increases ranging from 102-290 percent. Only northeast Iowa showed no change.

Bogenschutz says drought conditions across the past two summers probably kept pheasants in the fields on August mornings, rather than pushing up to road edges, to escape heavy dew. That may have kept many from being tallied on the 200 gravel road routes surveyed. Hunters harvested 10,000 more pheasants in 2013, despite the record low counts.

So, where do you find them, on a fall morning?

“The best habitat will hold birds; good winter cover, good nesting cover, too. Hunters should be happy hunting those areas, over just decent nesting cover,” predicts Bogenschutz.  “Hunt around the best habitat, and you will be pleasantly surprised. Talk to the farmers where you will be hunting. Ask what they have seen while harvesting the crops.”

With a better bird outlook, the numbers of hunters should climb, too. Last year, only 41,000 pheasant hunters were in the fields.

“If word gets out of the early season success expected, we could see 60,000 hunters this fall,” predicts Bogenschutz. “We could have a harvest of 200,000 to 300,000 birds.”

Early in the season, standing crops are going to be a factor.

“Harvest is running a little behind. The season is starting a couple days earlier, too,” reminds Bogenschutz. “That could be a challenge for hunters, until the corn is out. Our counts were up; hens with broods were way up. There will be a lot of young roosters, who aren’t wise to the ways of the wild, yet.”

 

Hunting hours for Iowa’s pheasant seasons are 8 a.m. until 4:30 each day. The daily limit is three rooster pheasants. The season closes on January 10.

 Posted: 10/14/2014
Improving the living conditions for Iowa pheasants is at the heart of the Pheasant SAFE habitat program thatis designed to give pheasants a kitchen, bedroom and living room altogether in one spot to maximize pheasant survival and reproduction.Iowa received 50,000 acres for the program that was divided between primary and secondary counties, based on pheasant counts from 2002-06. Around 27,500 areas remain in the primary pheasant counties, (see the SAFE link at www.iowadnr.gov/habitat).

“We would like to keep the momentum going and keep our pheasant numbers increasing and this program is one way to accomplish that,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the DNR. “But we can’t ask for more acres in the program until the initial allotment is gone.”

Pheasant SAFE is one tool to help boost the bird population. Bogenschutz said Iowa received $3 million through the USDA-NRCS Voluntary Public Access-Habitat Incentive Program to benefit the DNR’s Iowa Habitat Access Program (IHAP). IHAP plans to add more than 20,000 acres of improved habitat on private land and make those lands available to hunters in the coming years.

He said the Wildlife Bureau is also working with Pheasants Forever to improve pheasant/quail habitat on 40-50 wildlife management areas through the Enhance A Wildlife Area program.

Better Bird Numbers Could Attact Former Hunters
Posted: 10/14/2014
Iowa’s August Roadside Survey pheasant count was the highest since 2008 and that good news has people talking.“These are our best bird counts in six years and people are telling me they’re seeing and hearing birds more than in recent years,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa DNR. “It’s not the good old days, but it’s the best we’ve had in a few years.”

Bogenschutz said he’s hoping the increase is enough to bring back hunters who dropped the sport when the population hit an all-time low in 2011.

In 2008, there were around 86,000 resident pheasant hunters. In 2013, that number had fallen to 41,000.  Nonresident hunters had fallen from a peak in the 1990s of 60,000 to 5,700 in 2012, rebounding to 6,300 in 2013.

“Pheasants have some buzz right now, but is it enough buzz to bring some of the former hunters back? We’ll have to see,” he said.

Youth Season October 18-19
Posted: 10/14/2014
Iowa’s higher pheasant counts mean this will be an excellent year to take kids pheasant hunting, said ToddBogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the DNR.“We have a lot of young birds that haven’t been hunted yet so there could be a good opportunity for kids to be successful,” Bogenschutz said.

One issue could be the late harvest. Bogenschutz suggested youth hunters target habitat near areas where beans have been harvested.

Youth hunters age 15 and younger are allowed to harvest one rooster each day of the two day season.  Shooting hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the youth must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult. Participants must comply with the blaze orange clothing requirement.

Looking for Places to Hunt? Start Online
Posted: 10/14/2014

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources created a hunter atlas showing all areas in the state open to public hunting and included what type of wildlife would be associated with those areas, open seasons and any restrictions.

The interactive hunter atlas is on the front page in the links at the lower left on www.iowadnr.gov.

“The atlas allows hunters a bird’s eye-view of the area and allows them to print maps, if they want,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa DNR.

Another resource is the Iowa Habitat Access Program (IHAP), where private landowners receive assistance to improve habitat on their land in exchange for opening the property for hunter access.  The program has added 8,100 acres where hunters can access private property.

Site maps are available at www.iowadnr.gov/ihap showing boundaries, which species would be most likely attracted to the habitat and the location of a comment box where hunters can leave their thoughts on the program.

Walk-in public hunting through IHAP is available between September 1 and May 31.

“We need hunter input on this program so each site has a drop box and survey cards to collect hunter comments. They can either drop the cards in the box or mail them from home,” said Kelly Smith, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau who manages the program.

Areas are posted with signs, are regularly patrolled by Iowa DNR conservation officers.

“Hunters should respect private property, stay on the land enrolled in the program and pick up after themselves,” Smith said. “This program is only available because landowners were willing to participate in it.”

Posted in Government, Informative, News, Press Release Tagged with: , , ,

IA Department of Agriculture (PR)

agriculture

COVER CROP PLANTING DEADLINE EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 1 FOR FARMERS PARTICIPATING IN STATE COST SHARE PROGRAMS

10/13/2014 Press Release DES MOINES –Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today said that farmers participating in the state cost share programs that are intending to plant cover crops have until November 1, 2014 to get the cover crops planted and still qualify for assistance.

This extension is only available for winter-hardy, small grains that are likely to establish yet this fall, specifically winter rye, winter triticale and winter wheat.  Other species such as, oats, radishes, turnips and legumes are not likely to provide the desired growth to be effective this late in the season.  There are an estimated 108,000 acres of cover crops supported by state cost share programs.

“Everything has been behind this year due to delayed planting, cool temperatures and the wet fall, so some farmers have been unable to get cover crops planted as timely as they had anticipated,” Northey said.   “Based on the research available in Iowa, November 1st is still a reasonable date to get certain species of cover crops seeded.  It may be necessary for farmers to work with their seed vendor to alter the mix they had planned to use.”

The recommended cutoff date for seeding cover crops in Iowa previously was October 15th.  The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in consultation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have decided the date could be extended. Guidance from Iowa State University confirmed cover crops planted after this date still have the potential to provide substantial reduction in nutrient losses and soil erosion, so the Department extended the deadline until the November 1st.

Farmers who had been approved for cost share assistance and are still unable to get cover crops seeded should contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office.

 

 

 

EnvLeaderAwards

Press Release

The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award is a joint effort of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources to recognize the exemplary voluntary efforts of Iowa’s farmers as environmental leaders committed to healthy soils and improved water quality.

It recognizes those that have taken steps in their farming operations that improve or protect the environment and natural resources of our state while also serving as local leaders to encourage other farmers to follow in their footsteps by building success upon success.

As environmental leaders, these farmers have adopted best management practices and incorporated environmental stewardship throughout their farming operations. True stewards of the land, they recognize that improved water quality and soil sustainability reaps benefits that extend beyond their fields to reach the citizens of Iowa and beyond, and have made environmental stewardship a priority on their farms.

IFELA in the News:
A Call for Conservation Leaders! | by Clare Lindahl | Iowa Corn Stalk
Bob Lynch Conservation Success Story

Nomination Form

This year our awards ceremony will be August 13, 2014 at 9:00 am. If you have any questions, contact Shawn.Richmond@iowaagriculture.gov.

Practice Examples

Example of Nomination Form

Flyer

2013 Awards Program

Posted in Community, Government, Informative, News, Press Release Tagged with: , , ,

Influenza Cases Identified in Iowa

stock-illustration-8299532-dcotor-fighting-a-cold-and-flu-virus

First Influenza Cases of the Season Identified in Iowa

Press Release The flu season appears to be off to an early start in Iowa, as the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced testing by the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) has identified three cases of influenza in the state. While influenza activity remains at a low level, the identification of the first flu cases of the season indicates the virus is circulating in the state.

The flu cases announced today are in Henry, Johnson and Polk counties.

“It’s understandable the public has been watching coverage of the Ebola outbreak and is concerned about that infectious disease,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “While Ebola is grabbing headlines, we need to remember it is the flu that poses the highest risk to the health of Iowans. We estimate an average of 300,000 Iowans get the flu every year and together, flu and its complication of pneumonia cause an average of 1,000 deaths yearly in Iowa. There is no vaccine for Ebola, but there are several good vaccines for the flu. The most effective way to prevent influenza illness and death is the yearly flu vaccine.”

IDPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend annual influenza vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older. It’s especially important to be vaccinated if you have regular contact with people more vulnerable to the complications of flu, including babies, children with asthma, and the elderly. IDPH also recommends pregnant women be vaccinated to protect themselves, and to pass on some immunity to their baby.

The flu is a serious respiratory illness caused by viruses. The flu comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days, and often puts healthy people in bed for days. Influenza may cause severe illness or even death in people such as the very young or very old, or those who have underlying health conditions.

Influenza is not a ‘reportable disease’ in Iowa, which means doctors are not required to notify IDPH each time a patient tests positive for influenza; however, IDPH conducts year-round influenza surveillance through the Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network. This surveillance indicates what types of influenza viruses are circulating and how widespread influenza illness is. For more information about where and what kind of influenza is in Iowa, go to www.idph.state.ia.us/Cade/Influenza.aspx?pg=FluHome.

Contact your health care provider or local health department to find out where the vaccine is available in your community or use the Flu Vaccine Finder at www.flu.gov/.

Contact Information: Polly Carver-Kimm at (515) 281-6693

Posted in Community, Government, Press Release Tagged with: , , ,

10/13/2014 Highland Community School District School Board Meeting

school board president Kevin Engel
school board president Kevin Engel

Engel Sworn in 2014-15 Bd. Pres

school board vice president mike golden

Golden Sworn in 2014-15 Vice-Pres

Organization Meeting 2014-15 school year Election: Kevin Engel was re-elected board President, 7-0; Mike Golden was re-elected board Vice-President, 7-0.

2014-15 Board Committee member appointments remained the same, no vote required.

The board then determined its committees. Financial and Personnel: Kevin Engel, Tara Black and Cindy Michel; Transportation—buildings and grounds: Kevin Engel, Mike Golden and Rachel Longbine; Student Activities—curriculum/board procedures and policies: Kevin Engel, Lois Schneider and Laura Temple; Legislative Network/IASB Delegate representative: Kevin Engel; Washington County Conference Board: Kevin Engel; School improvement committee: all board members; Technology Committee: Kevin Engel, Mike Golden, Rachel Longbine and Lois Schneider and Sue Rich; Highland Foundation Board Member- Vice President: Mike Golden; Level I and II Investigators: Level I—Building principals; Alternate—Chris Armstrong and Level II—Washington County Sheriff’s Department; and EEO/AAC (Equal employment opportunity/affirmative action) coordinator: Chris Armstrong.

 

2013-14 school year Certified Annual report was accepted with a vote of 7-0. Board Secretary Sue Rich informed the council that the general fund went up this year. Total expenditures: $7,381,212. Salary and benefits was 80% of the general fund budget, which is “pretty typical” said Superintendent Chris Armstrong); total revenues $7,924,751. 2013-14 School year Special Education Supplement was also unanimously accepted 7-0. Net revenue for the fund is a deficit of $289,339.70. 2013-14 school year transportation report was accepted 7-0. Net transportation costs: $426,631.59. The Average cost per mile traveled: $3.81. Average cost per pupil transported: $905.23. 2014-15 Title1 application was approved 7-0. Programs funded through Title I are Reading Recovery and Reading/Language Arts. .4 of one staff is for reading recovery and .6 is for language arts. Money received from the Federal Government for the program is less than the district needs for expenses. The difference will be made up in the general fund. The Board unanimously approved the 28E Sharing agreement of ELL [English Language Learning] instructor with Lone Tree. Highland’s ELL teacher, Cassie Goodwin, will spend the equivalent of 1/10 time in Lone Tree school district. The teacher’s “schedule will be mutually agreed upon by the administration of the two school districts. Lone Tree will reimburse Highland CSD $7,426.” Preliminary report on certified enrollment for the 2014-15 School year The report needs to be certified by Wednesday the 15. Enrollment was 649.5 last year (down from the previous year) and increased to 652.3 this year. This number determines how much funding the HCSD gets next year. For the 2014-15 school year 94 students open enrolled into the district, while open enrollment out was 91.3. Personnel: Modifications: Megan Eaton BA+8 to BA+16 Approved 7-0.

Board of Directors Report

School Board Member Tara Black said people were upset because the Highland fight song was changed. Armstrong said the only thing that has changed is its arrangement. It is a University of Iowa fight song, so Jill asked permission to make it more up to date, and they sent the new arrangements. Will talk to Jill. Black also asked why the students had to pay to get into the dance when there wasn’t any decorations. Armstrong will look into it.

Ainsworth library is waiting on the computers, electrical which should be completed October 14.

There will be no meeting on October 27, 2014, but there will be 2 in November (tenth and sixth).

 

 

Posted in Community, Government, Informative, News, School
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