School Board Discusses Bringing Third Party To Evaluate District

The Oskaloosa School Board met in session on Monday, November 25th.By Eduardo Zamarripa, CRI Weekly News

Oskaloosa, Iowa – On Tuesday night, the Oskaloosa School Board revised the board policy that establishes the amount of board meetings per month, and discussed bringing in a third party to evaluate the needs of the district.

A meeting on Nov. 12 established the board now meets twice per month. That motion passed on a 4-3 vote. In that Nov. 12 meeting, Vice President Tom Richardson, and board members Nik Rule and Charlie Comfort voted “no.”

“I’ve never considered a 4-to-3 vote to be very good policy,” says Board President Carl Drost.

Drost says he asked Richardson to revise board policy to come up with something that everyone agreed with. Now, the board policy reads that the board will meet on the second Tuesday of each month, and the board will then decide during that meeting if a second meeting is necessary that month. The board unanimously approved the revision. The policy will still need a second reading before it’s approved.

The board also discussed the possibility of bringing in a third party to evaluate the district needs. Drost ended the meeting by discussing the future of the Oskaloosa Community School District. Drost says Superintendent Russ Reiter and himself are on the same page, and they want to make the necessary changes to move the district forward. Here are a few excerpts from Drost:

In addition to that, the board unanimously approved an application to the School Budget Review Committee for modified allowable growth (dropout prevention) in the amount of $450,114. Director of Curriculum and Instruction Mary Cooksley says this money is used for a variety of different programs, but specifically targets the at-risk population. For example, the funding for a counselor that works with at-risk students comes out of this budget. The board also unanimously approved the second and final reading of the revised Board Policy Series 400, as well as the the third party administration service agreement.

The board received presentations from the District Leadership Team, and by the Professional Learning Community.

The board discussed who it should vote for in the Iowa Association of School Boards election for the district nine director. Comfort recommended voting for George Wheeler. Comfort says Wheeler has nine years of experience in the Fort Madison School Board. The board unanimously approved Comfort’s recommendation.

In addition to that, the board unanimously appointed Oskaloosa Elementary Principal Mike Durksy and Neal Hadden to the Oskaloosa Preschool Board of Directors.

The next school board meeting is on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.

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