It was back-to-school time at the Clay Community School Board meeting Thursday.
All board members were present, and it was green light time for all the various departments to give their reports in preparation of the new school year.
Kathy Knust was pleased to announce that Clay Community is fully funded for all-day kindergarten.
"We have 313 students enrolled in all-day, and we expect more. Our teachers have been training and are ready for this," Knust said. "We went to teacher workshops where they gave out sample schedules, and I'm proud to say that ours were superior to those samples."
"We anticipate that there will be a cost to parents who enroll their children in all-day kindergarten," Knust said, "However, that cost will only be $1.65 a week, or $59.40 per year. It's a lot less than what we expected."
Clay Community Schools will run all-day kindergarten in all elementary schools, and will have a five-day week, not a three-day week as was previously in some schools.
Board President Terry Barr expressed the board's appreciation to everyone for their help in getting this new school year off to a great start.
"We should be proud to be a part of this corporation," Barr said. "Problems and concerns aside, the administration, staff, faculty, transportation, construction and custodial teams have done a great job."
Meanwhile, Lynn Stoelting discussed the corporation safety update with the board.
"We have decided to leave our safety plan intact. We don't want to miss anything," Stoelting said.
The safety committee has received confirmation from the police departments and the sheriff's departments that they will accompany team members on walks through all the schools to determine safety concerns. They expect to begin these evaluations by mid-September.
The bus inspections this year went well. Board President Terry Barr thanked Transportation Director Frank Misner for again having all his busses pass inspection.
Bill Milner presented the Technology Information Plan, and the board approved it.
The plan will take the district through 2010, and in addition, needed revisions based on technological updates will be addressed when needed.
"We want to make sure we're heading in the right direction," Milner said.
In addition to 300 computers that were installed in Northview and Clay City High Schools, Milner has also installed servers at the secondary level.
New software is up and running, and staff has trained on the new technology. The software will give instant feedback on writing skills, writing prompts, and essays in the English Department.
An additional set of rules for usage of the new computers puts the accountability for the equipment in the student's hands. They will be responsible for reporting problems to the teachers after each class.
Mike Fowler delivered the good news-bad news about the CAPE (Community Alliances to Promote Education) grant. The grant helps fund early childhood education, family literacy and GED studies.
According to Fowler, funds are available to complete this year, and the 2008-09 year, and after that, new funding will need to be found.
"We really need to do some serious work to find funding for this project after next year," Fowler said.
In other news, the board:
o Said that contract negotiations between teachers and the board are ongoing. Both groups met in July, and will meet again Aug. 13 to further negotiate terms.
o Heard from area resident Jim Brannan who said that he hopes the board will take a closer look at the proposed $53 million rehabilitation project.
The Clay Community School Board meets regularly on the second Thursday of each month at North Clay Middle School's Media Center. The next scheduled meeting will be Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m.