Priorities are approved for PPEL and SAVE projects at BP school

Belle Plaine, Iowa

Belle Plaine Longfellow Elementary

February 12, 2020

A meeting of the Belle Plaine Community School District Board of Education was held on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at Longfellow Elementary, Belle Plaine.

Members Present: Val Coffman, Rima Johnson, Ben Reineke, Alicia Jacobi-Stephen Beck arrived at 7:35 p.m.

Members Absent: None

Administration Present: Chad Straight, Heather Coover, Todd Werner

Board Secretary Present: Stacey Kolars

Visitors Present: Interested Patrons

Press Representative: None

The meeting was called to order by President Coffman at 6:30 p.m.


Motion Johnson, second Reineke to approve the agenda. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.


There were no delegations.


The consent agenda items were considered. There was motion by Jacobi, second by Reineke to approve the consent agenda items. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried. The consent agenda items that were approved are listed below:

  1. Approval of the minutes of the January 8, 2020 meeting, and the January 14, 2020 special board meeting.
  2. Approval of bills and financial statements.
  3. Personnel/Business Items:
  4. Acceptance of the resignations: John P. Long resigned as assistant baseball coach.

PRINCIPAL REPORTS – Secondary Principal, Todd Werner and Elementary Principal, Heather Coover gave their respective reports to the board.


Superintendent Straight gave his report to the board


Principal Werner congratulated the wrestling team on their recent victories. Superintendent Straight thanked John P. Long for his service as assistant baseball coach.


  1. Action/Discussion on Parking and Pick Up at Elementary-Discussion took place regarding options for the parking and student pick up at the Longfellow Elementary. There was motion by Jacobi, second by Reineke to have the shuttle bus load in the back and leave out the back entrance beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.


1. Approval of Employment of Personnel-No action was taken on this item.

2. Action/Discussion on Setting Public Hearing Date and Time for 2020-2021 School Calendar – Superintendent Straight presented the draft copy of the 2020-2021 school calendar to the board and recommended the setting the date for the public hearing to approve the 2020-2021 district calendar for March 11, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. After discussion regarding Professional Development days, and early-out times, there was motion by Johnson, second by Reineke to set the public hearing for the 2020-2021 school calendar for March 11, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

3. Action/Discussion on First reading of Board Policies 603-603.8R1 – Superintendent Straight present board policies 603-603.8R1 to the board for review. After discussion, there was motion by Reineke, second by Johnson to approve the first reading of policies 603-6038R1 with the discussed changes and verifications. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

4. Action/Discussion on Making up School Days/Hours – Superintendent Straight informed the board that the board has the opportunity to decide if the district needs to add days to the school calendar for make-up days. So far, the students have missed just three days of school due to inclement weather. After discussion, there was motion by Johnson, second by Jacobi to approve Superintendent Straight’s recommendation to not add days to the school calendar for make-up days at this time. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

5. Presentation and Discussion of School Report Card Results – Superintendent Straight presented the ESSA School Report Card results to the board. Both school buildings improved their scores.

6. Discussion on Current Grades, Enrollment and Possible Restructuring in Future Years – Superintendent Straight presented current class sizes in the elementary grades K-6 to the board. Discussion took place regarding the current building placement of the sixth grade with points on academic offerings, classroom settings, maturity levels of sixth graders vs. seventh and eighth graders and fiscal advantages/disadvantages.

7. Discussion of Library/Media Specialist Time and Sharing – Discussion took place regarding introducing additional media specialist position time in the district. Points were made on electronic book usage, collaboration with the City’s public library, possible use of categorical funding, and extending instruction. After further discussion, the board was in agreement to ask that the administrator’s look creatively at certain categorical funding to see if the district can utilize for at least a part-time or shared media specialist position in the future.

8. Action/Discussion on Identifying PPEL and SAVE Priorities for the Next Year and Beyond – The board discussed future PPEL and SAVE priorities for the next year (2020-2021) and future years. The board compiled a future priority list as follows: new paint on the hallways at Longfellow, paint/redecoration of rooms at high school with new tile/carpet in the business classroom, staff-identified cosmetic needs in classrooms, a storage facility, solutions for the old Lincoln Junior High building (quotes on demolition, quotes on clean-up, new roof and remodel, professional opinions on whether the building can be salvaged versus demolished), possible seizure of condemned property for parking/storage purposes, zoning out of the Jr/Sr HS gym for HVAC solutions.

There was motion by Reineke, second by Johnson to approve the priorities for PPEL and SAVE as discussed. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

9. Action/Discussion on Setting Date and Time of Workshop on School District Goals – The board was in agreement to tentatively set the date and time of the workshop to set school district goals for Monday, February 24, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. No action was taken on this item.

10. Action/Discussion on Tree Removal Bids – The board received two bids for tree removal at the elementary; one bid from Hupfeld Stump Service in the amount of $650 and another bid from Wiese Tree Service in the amount of $575. There was motion by Beck, second by Johnson to award the bid to Wiese Tree Service. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

11. Action/Discussion on Offering Summer School for Summer and Possible Hiring of Summer School Teacher – Superintendent Straight recommended the board approve a summer school program for this upcoming summer. There was motion by Reineke, second by Jacobi to approve this recommendation. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

After the board approved the summer school program offering, Superintendent Straight recommended the hiring of Beth Parrott as the summer school teacher. There was motion by Beck, second by Jacobi to approve Beth Parrott as the summer school teacher. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

12. Action/Discussion on Electronic Door for Weight Room and Cameras for Gym, Weight Room and Wrestling Room at High School – Superintendent Straight recommended that, with recent request to use the weight room, the board approve the purchasing of an electronic door for access to the weight room as well as cameras in the areas of the weight room, gym and wrestling room. After discussion took place, there was motion by Jacobi, second by Johnson to authorize Superintendent Straight to get quotes for the electronic door and cameras to bring back to the board for approval. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

There was motion by Beck, second by Johnson to adjourn the meeting at 9:23 p.m.

Val Coffman, Board President

Stacey Kolars, Board Secretary

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