M-P Board joins Living Healthy initiative
WELLMAN — Last April, the Mid-Prairie School District won the first Live Healthy Iowa 10-week K-12 Wellness Challenge and the traveling trophy that came with it. It wants to do it again, and this year the members of the Mid-Prairie Board are joining in. The item was on the board agenda Monday and approval to aim at keeping the trophy was unanimous.
There was equal agreement for the middle school technology plan that will see sixth graders using Chromebooks this spring with more set for the fall; approved a second Behavior Interventionist position to aid with student behavior issues as well as to meet with staff and parents; and approved a special education associate position at Washington Township Elementary School.
There was a brief discussion about the April 1 $10.6 million bond issue that includes a new central office and Alternative Learning Center in the plans. However, Monday the board decided the facility will be on the high school site, not at the original site south of the school along Highway 22, a move that will put the alternative high school next to the regular one that the ALC students left. The offices have been housed in a construction trailer for more than 2 1/2 years with a smaller trailer used for documents and other storage.
During a preliminary budget presentation, the board learned that using $100,000 from the LOST revenues would buy down debt for a year, dropping debt service cost to $2.06, a move that, long-term, would save $760,000 (including $300,000 in interest fees), more than three-quarters of the estimated cost to build a Central Office. The current high school improvement project debt is expected to be retired by 2015.
In other business, the board:
• approved advertising for a middle school assistant basketball coach and a middle school track coach;
•declined an offer to join the rural School Advocates of Iowa; and
• held a lengthy discussion regarding applications for grants from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation (WCRF) ,specifically the idea of seeking numerous smaller grants or one large grant, such as the $2.5 million sought last fall for a $7 million high school auditorium. A $2.5 million grant was awarded to the Washington School District by the WCRF last year. No consensus was reached.