Akron School Board holds reorganization meeting – Akron News reporter
Akron’s school board met on Tuesday, November 9, for its working session and regular meeting. The working session started at 5.15 p.m. Board members present were Jessica Filla, Vice President; Nathan Quick, treasurer; Andy Molt, director; and Megan Bower and Fred Raish, new board members.
Superintendent Brian Christensen began the working session by introducing Platte Valley Superintendent Glenn McClain. McClain has been CFO and Superintendent for several years and is very familiar with school finances. Then he presented and discussed the basics of school financing and mill taxes with the board of directors.
President Kory Kessinger came during the presentation and chaired the remainder of the working session. After the presentation of the finance and mill levies, Technology Director was Greg Clarkson. Clarkson reported that additional security cameras were installed, speakers were bought for the desktop computers, Mimeos and projectors needed to be replaced as technical assistants that made for a great hands-on learning experience.
Elementary school principal Kendra Anderson said students are engaged on a daily basis and that 90 to 100 percent critical thinking is used in all classrooms.
“Kudos to our teachers for using data, planning collaboratively, and adapting to the current needs of each classroom,” she said.
BOCES specialists provide guidance, tools and support to teachers. The consultants cater to individual needs and the tele-health slots are full. The MTSS model is going very well this year and our students are receiving tremendous support. The district accountability committee will meet on Monday, November 15, and Anderson encouraged members to visit the school’s Facebook page to find out about the school’s overall teaching and learning process.
Shawn Randel, middle and high school principal, said he continues to work with NJC to develop additional opportunities for our students. Ms. Dreitz will be attending a welder boot camp to give our children additional lessons, and he is continuing to work on bringing the NJC brake trailer to the district as well. He concluded by saying that October was very busy for our school as there was a lot of activity, but he is looking forward to a great start to the school year.
Superintendent Brian Christensen noted in the director’s reports: Maintenance: preparation for all activities carried out, the overflow parking lot lighting is installed, the window grilles, which unfortunately serve as pigeon seats over the preschool playground, have been removed for hygiene reasons, and the systems have been wintered if necessary . Transport: The fuel and mileage report was included in the on-board package and the activity bus failed due to repairs. Sporting Director: Both volleyball and football teams play after the season, juniors’ basketball continues, and the Veterans Day program will not be postponed due to state volleyball. Advisor: CMAS training, ASVAB tests, college visits, and individual student meetings took place over the past month.
In the Superintendent Report, Christensen noted that the one-day virtual S-CAP review went very well. The focus of this year’s review was âreaching all learnersâ and âsafe and inclusive cultureâ. The survey data was included in the board drive and the results are similar to last year. He then provided an HVAC update and the district is currently on hold with the HVAC engineers as they make sure the appropriate selection process is followed. Akron hosted the Denise Pickens Invitational Knowledge Bowl last week, which was attended by nine high school and 10 junior high teams.
Christensen concluded by complimenting Tony Claflin and Kory Kessinger on their years of service with the Akron School Board of Education and presenting them with an engraved watch. Jessica Filla also presented the two outgoing members with a basket full of goodies
Bill Dorrenbacher gave a scripture reading and a prayer to close the working session. Kory Kessinger, outgoing President, led them all in the “Pledge of Allegiance”.
The reorganization meeting was called at 7:15 pm by President Kory Kessinger in the Akron School library. Members present were; Kory Kessinger, President; Jessica Filla, vice president; Tony Claflin, secretary; Nathan Quick, treasurer; and Andy Molt, director; and Megan Bower and Fred Raish, future directors.
Kelli McCaffrey took the oath of office to new board members Megan Bower and Fred Raish. Then nominations were made and approved by the board for the reorganization of the new school board. Jessica Filla was sustained as president; Nathan Quick, vice president; Andy Molt, secretary; and Megan Bower, treasurer. Quick has been appointed CASB representative and Fred Raish has been appointed BOCES representative.
Kessinger and Claflin then left and Filla called the meeting to order. The agenda and the approval agenda were approved. The board approved Katie Thompson and Brent Chapman as backup drivers for school buses. A CASB report was received from Nathan Quick on the last fall conference he attended in Ft. Collins.
Ms. Dreitz and FFA officers Janessa Shook, Jackson Filla, Shay Benish and Daisha Riofrio presented the latest events in the FFA and their annual program. They discussed the events and things they did that year. During the fair they held the pedal tractor competition and then an ice cream parlor on August 19th. You have 45 members this year. They took part in the District Greenhand Contest, held games and participated in workshops. They also took part in running the haunted house during the fall festival, held a corn hole tournament, sold pumpkins, and helped art students paint pumpkins. They wanted to fly to the National Conference, but due to restrictions, they stayed home and participated virtually. A new national director for the FFA has been elected and everyone is excited about future conferences.
FFA organized the Veterans’ Day program. This year they decided to sell calendars and they worked very hard on it. On January 19th and 20th they will take part in the stock show and visit some other locations. Membership sales take place in March and Barnyard Day will be in late April. Their year-end awards program will take place in May and they will also attend district awards ceremonies. The members are all working very hard trying to get a grant to work on the greenhouse so that it can be used more than it is. Jessica Filla put a lot of work into writing a grant for the greenhouse.
During the discussion, Scott Szabo von Lauer, Szabo and Associates, Certified Public Accountants presented the 2020-2021 school audit. The audit went extremely well and he highlighted each fund, noting in particular that the initial fund holdings in each fund increased. The district has five months in reserve plus a nice saving in the capital reserve account. Szabo then checked the trend in enrollment, which has increased by 50 students since 2018, and the general fund balance has increased by around $ 463,000 since 2018. Overall, the district is in a good financial position.
Christensen ended the discussion part of the meeting with the news that the COVID numbers in our county have decreased in the last few weeks and the school age report shows very few cases in our county. He continues to attend weekly meetings with the health department.
In the action points, the Board of Directors approved a resolution to refinance the repayment of bonds. Business Manager Kelli McCaffrey reported that the bond’s new refinancing rate fell from 4.082% to 1.904415%. The refinancing will lower the annual payments made to our taxpayers over the past nine years that remain with the school. The Board also approved the second reading of the revised CBD-E, GBGGGBGJ, GCA-E-3 and GCD / GDD guidelines.
The next board meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 14th, with a working session at 6:00 p.m. and the regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the school library.