Belle Plaine School Board, September 9, 2020

Belle Plaine, Iowa

Belle Plaine Longfellow Elementary

September 9, 2020

A regular meeting and public hearing of the Belle Plaine Community School District Board of Education was held on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium at Longfellow Elementary, Belle Plaine.

Members Present: Val Coffman, Ben Reineke, Stephen Beck, Rima Johnson, Alicia Jacobi

Members Absent: None

Administration Present: Chad Straight, Heather Coover, Ryan Devereux

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. Community members/parents were present who stated they wished to speak to Old Business Item 1. Action/Discussion on Return to Learn Plan.


The consent agenda items were considered. There was motion by Reineke, second by Jacobi 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 August 24, 2020 meeting minutes.
  2. Approval of bills, payroll, financial statements.
  3. Personnel/Business Items:
  4. Acceptance of the resignations: There were no resignations.

PRINCIPAL REPORTS – Secondary Principal, Ryan Devereux and Elementary Principal, Heather Coover gave their respective reports to the board on the following topics:


Superintendent Straight gave his report to the board


Condolences were sent on behalf of the board to Terri Jo Hinschberger and family after the passing of her husband, Kurt last week. Congratulations to elementary teacher, Amy Schulte and her husband after the birth of their first child, a baby boy.


1. Action/Discussion on Return to Learn Plan – President Coffman informed the audience that was present that the board was not considering changing the Return to Learn plan at this evening’s meeting. Action was taken and approved at the last meeting to go brick-and-mortar with face coverings being required, and parents having the option to opt for online instruction for their children. Interested Parents and community members were present to discuss their interest and asked questions regarding the Return to Learn plan for the 2020-2021 school year that was approved at the August 24, 2020 board meeting. After listening to parents and community members, open discussion took place between the board and community members/parents present regarding the current plan. After questions were received and answered by principals, the superintendent and the board, further discussion took place regarding school bus sanitation practices, gym locker and locker room usage. No action was taken on this item.

2. Action/Discussion on PPEL/SAVE Projects – Discussion took place regarding the current projects that have been completed to date and project priorities for future dates. The board agreed that they would like to have a public hearing at the October board meeting regarding the old junior high building. Discussion also took place regarding storm damage that the school sustained from recent storm. Approximately $500,000 in damages were sustained, and the district is working with the insurance company regarding repair projects.


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

2. Action/Discussion Equity Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator – There was motion by Johnson, second by Beck to approve Superintendent Straight as the Equity Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator.

3. Action/Discussion on Level I Investigator and Alternate, and Homeless Liaison – There was motion by Jacobi, second by Beck to establish Ryan Devereux as the Homeless Liaison, Level I Investigator, and Heather Coover as the alternate. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

4. Action/Discussion on 1st Reading of Board Policies 700-705.1R1 – There was motion by Jacobi, second by Reineke to approve the 1st reading of board policies 700-705.1R1. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

5. Action/Discussion on SIAC Committee and SIAC Members – Discussion took place regarding the current SIAC committee member listing that was presented to the board by Superintendent Straight. After further discussion, here was motion by Jacobi, second by Reineke to table this item until a future meeting after letters are sent to current committee members asking if they would agree to continue to service on the committee. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

6. Action/Discussion on Out-of-State Trips – There was motion by Jacobi, second by Johnson to approve out-of-State trips for the 2020-2021 years given the district is able to go according to possible additional COVID-19 travel restrictions. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried. The trips approved include: Music Department senior trip; Surviving Single Chicago trip; Robotics World Championship; and possible Close-Up trip to Washington, D.C.

7. Action/Discussion on Apprenticeship Program – Superintendent Straight provided information to the board regarding information on Iowa apprenticeship program opportunities for Belle Plaine high school students. Discussion took place, no action was taken on this item. The board was in agreement continue to develop an apprenticeship program that could focus on developing skills/trades and opportunities with local businesses.

8. Action/Discussion on Bus Quotes – Quotes were received from Blue Bird and Hoglund bus companies for a new bus for the district. Blue Bird’s bid was $103,177. Hoglund’s bid was $103,000. The Hoglund bus included seatbelts and two cameras. Transportation Director, Brock Haigh added that he would like to add an additional two cameras to the bus since this would specifically be used for activities. There was motion by Beck, second by Jacobi to approve the bid from Hoglund Bus Company for $103,000, with the addition of two extra cameras. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried. A grant was received from the State for $25,000 to be used towards the purchase of this new bus.

9. Action/Discussion on Learning Center Monitor – There was motion by Reineke, second by Jacobi to approve Bette Kratoska as the Learning Center Monitor at the Jr/Sr High School. Ms. Kratoska would receive an additional stipend of $2,300 in addition to her current salary for this position. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

There was motion by Johnson, second Beck to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m. All voted, “aye.” Motion carried.

Val Coffman, Board President Stacey Kolars, Board Secretary

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