H-W upgrading bus cameras

CRESCO - Howard-Winneshiek School Board voted to upgrade the cameras in the buses at the April 12 monthly meeting.
Chad Jackson, Director of Transportation, said, “The cameras on the buses need to be updated.” He then introduced Jeff Freidhof, who also works in transportation.
Freidhof explained, “It is mainly the route buses where we want to get new cameras. Some of the current systems are not working. For a lot of instances, we rely on the video systems, and they’re not working.”
Supt. Kris Einck added, “The cameras are really important for drivers and students. We check the cameras more than you would think.”
Board member and Iowa State Patrol officer Tom Williams noted, “This school is probably the worst with violations. Sometimes I have to go to court with no video or bad video.”
Jackson later clarified the corner on Highway 9, near Camp Site, was confusing to drivers. With the road being wider with the turning lane, drivers didn’t think they had to stop. “We took care of that. Now we pull into the driveway.” He added the safety of the students is the most important thing.
The system approved was for nine buses for $31,500, with an additional $1,350 for a one terabyte hard drive, rather than 500 gigabyte.
Jackson also reminded board members How-Winn, along with most other districts, has a driver shortage. Einck said the district wants to support the drivers and would also be willing to pay for all or part of the training to become licensed.
• In other business from the meeting, Einck gave his report, starting with the Cadet Capital Campaign. The committee is trying to raise $1 million for equipment and other items not originally built into the cost of the addition and remodel project. “We just crossed the $600,000 mark at $602,000. The golf tournament is coming up.”
He joked the district was in good shape for snow days. “It’s 80ºF out today. I don’t know what it’ll be next week, but we are okay.”
Einck noted the district has to follow the law, which means having proper signs for who can use restrooms. “Iowa passed a law that says people entering a school restroom have to go in the one that corresponds with their birth sex.”
Although the original school did not have family restrooms, the new addition will have one private restroom for anyone to use.
“The tax rate for the Northeast Iowa Conference has us right in the middle (11.9) for a tax rate. We are at 12.2, just a little over,” he added.  FY23 tax rates for the NEIC schools were shared as follows: Allamakee $9.8503, Charles City $13.0544, Decorah $12.3591, Howard-Winneshiek $12.2042, New Hampton $10.5644 and Waverly Shell Rock $12.3359.
• Doug Sickles, TK-6 principal, reported, “Out of 567 possible parent-teacher conferences, 523 were held making it 92%. That’s a good number.” Others agreed with him. Sickles added, “If there was no in-person conference, the teachers were instructed to reach out to the parents.”
He said the elementary students were lucky in March as the PTO gave a reading book to every student in preschool through sixth grade. Then author Erin Soderberg Downing visited the elementary school through a grant from Oneota Valley Literary Foundation. All those attending the presentation received a book as well.
Sickles said the Buddy Program meets about once a month. This is where an older student reads with a younger student.
• Lisa Dursky, 7-12 principal, was happy with the Spring Spotlight. 
She was also impressed with the simulator brought in by J.B. Holland. It was held at the bus barn and simulated working on big machinery. “Six of the students ended up signing up for the program.”
In addition 17 students entered 20 pieces of art in six categories at an online art show. “Julia Loden received 1st place in Mixed Media, Amber Harmening, Sarah Anderson, Ava Ferrie, Samantha and Alex Rempfer placed second; Brandon Munkel and Jaylee Vobr received honorable mention. We tied with Decorah in receiving the most awards for the show.”
• Brenda Lentz, Director of Special Education / Student Services, spoke on the benefits of the Edmentum program.
She explained this past year, 3,521 units were completed and 43% of Semester Tests were completed with 70% mastery.
“The most popular class is Strategies for Academic Success, which is a required course for freshmen,” she said.
The program also allows for extra classes not offered in school, including health, cosmetology and Greek Mythology.
The school board approved the $17,634 cost for a 12 month license.
• Facilities Director Larry Trende updated board members on the renovation/addition project. He said that week a lot of concrete was being laid. In addition the windows were going to be put in, and most of the painting was done.
• Resignations were approved for Keith Anderlik, Head Varsity Girls Wrestling Coach; Brandon Kerian, Assistant Varsity Football Coach; Chris Sullivan, Assistant Varsity Football Coach; and Casey Rausch, Elementary Teacher.
New hires included Danielle Chihak, Full-time Special Education & ELL Paraprofessional; Elle McConnell, Success Team Teacher; Keith Anderlik, Head Boys Wrestling Coach; Robin Gossman, Head Varsity Volleyball Coach; Cassie Lichty, Volunteer Softball Coach; and Laken Lienhard, Volunteer Softball Coach.
Summer Buildings and Grounds hires are Jason Ahern, Brayden Thompson and Kyler Curtis.
• In addition, the board approved the 2022-2023 budget amendment; 2023-2024 certified budget; payment of $171,711.55 to Cresco Building Service; payment of $6,662.23 to Emergent Architecture; weight machine inventory list; 2023 graduating class; 2023-2024 Pre-K tuition agreement; 2023-2024 TK-6 and 7-12 fee sheets; 2023-2024 master contract and handbook for H-W Education Association; contract of $81,586.42 for special education facilitator; sharing agreement with Keystone AEA for a school-based curriculum director for $37,239.57; and 2023-2024 AEA purchasing agreement.
The next school board meeting will be held on May 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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