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Open enrollment discussed at recent Linn-Mar meeting
by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · January 11th, 2018

At its first meeting of 2018, the Linn-Mar school board heard information from Associate Superintendent Shannon Bisgard about the topic of open enrollment.

Bisgard defined the term "open enrollment" and shared some of the regulations which the district must follow, based on state law. He noted some of the special cases a district might face and what it would need to do in certain instances. In addition, he and JT Anderson, Chief Financial/Operating Officer explained the effects of open enrolling "in" and open enrolling "out" on a district. They showed tracking information for the past few years and made comparisons between Linn-Mar and some of the other local districts, showing how financial figures and enrollment numbers have flexed.

Other special reports presented during the work session included information on the Formative Assessment for Teachers data (FAST) as well as the Iowa School Report Card.

Lisa Breitfelder, Executive Director of Student Services, introduced members of the Student Assistance Team. They contributed information about their areas of responsibility so that Board members could understand to some extent the various programs and what they accomplish.

Other topics of interest included measures being taken to assist students with various situations, such as when they experience anxiety and need someone to talk with, or when a situation is more serious and steps to intervene need to be taken.

Over the course of the evening, the concept of free breakfasts for some students was considered a number of times, although no firm steps were taken.

Superintendent Quintin Shepherd pointed out items he wanted to emphasize from the current Board Book, primarily all of the student achievements.

Two items of unfinished business were considered. One was a motion to approve the application and certificate for final payment for the completion of the Westfield Elementary Classroom Addition. It was unanimously voted to make the final payment of $32,204.27 to Larson Construction.

A motion also carried unanimously to award the bid for Phase II of a sprinkler system for the Learning Resource Center to Iowa Fire Protection. The base bid was in the amount of $49,890.

Twelve early graduation requests were approved and the consent agenda also was approved. It included classified staff assignments, reassignments and transfers as well as resignations for both classified and certified staff.

Also included were board meeting and visit minutes from December and approval of bills and contracts. Some student desks, teacher desks and tables are to be posted on for disposition.

School finance and cash balance reports as of November 2016 and also as of November 2017 were part of this set of business items, too.

Among future school dates of interest are the following:

Parent University, January 11

Next Board meeting, January 22

Invention Convention, January 25

Iowa Assn. of School Boards to Des Moines Capitol, January 30

For locations and times, consult the official Linn-Mar website.

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