Coleman School Approves Energy Efficiencies Contract
In their annual reorganization on Monday, May 8, Coleman School Board by unanimous vote returned all incumbents to office. They are President Ryan Wendt; Vice President Jeremy Hoida, Clerk Joanne Nowak and Treasurer Jamie Graetz. After ascertaining that everyone is satisfied with current committee assignments, Wendt left them unchanged.
Plans are being made for graduation and end of the year events. In April, the board learned that due to days off for inclement weather, the district needed to add two hours of class time. On recommendation from Superintendent Doug Polomis they extended the last day of school to a full day on Friday, June 2, instead of the 12:15 p.m. dismissal that had been planned.
The May 8 meeting was a long and busy one, that included approval of numerous hirings and resignations; setting wage agreements for the coming year with teaching, support and administrative staff; approving numerous extra curricular and summer school assignments, and approving creation of several new positions, including two new extra curricular archery instructors.
The board also approved a resolution to exceed its legal revenue limit for 2017-2018 to pay for improvements spelled out in a $362,836 Energy Efficiencies contract with McKinstry. The project is to be grant funded. The firm guarantees the work and new equipment will save the district that much and more in the anticipated 40-year life of the components. Anticipated savings are $9,281 in utility costs and $14,313 in non-utility costs each year. The project has been under study for some months and was discussed in depth at the April meeting.
The Energy Efficiency contract includes upgrades to the HVAC/Controls system for $151,071, at an estimated savings of $8,171 a year, and a payback period of 18 years; improvements to the "building envelope" costing $27,693, and promising $3,867 in savings each year, with a payback period of seven years, and upgrades to the lighting system at a cost of $184,072, with a projected savings of $11,757 a year and an estimated payback period of 15 years.
At the board's April meeting, McKinstry spokesmen Brent Schmidt and Nick Laubusch presented a facility improvement measure summary that had been updated since the board's last meeting to add suggestions made by board members and Facilities Director Wayne Gross. The board was told they could potentially save over $23,000 year in utility and operational savings by implementing the new strategies. The revised plan was presented to the board at its May meeting and approved without dissent.
Laubusch was present for the May meeting. Polomis said he was there to be sure the district was being compliant with requirements of the Energy Efficiency grant. He added that the contract includes a provision that if Gov. Scott Walker strikes these programs from his budget Coleman will either be grandfathered in for the funds or will be out of the contract. "There are checks and balances in place," he assured the board.
The school attorney reviewed the contract, and Laubusch told them he does a good job of protecting their interests. Work is scheduled to start on July 1 of this year and be finished by June 30, 2018. Laubusch said the work will be none non-intrusively. Laubusch said most of the thick contract spells out savings the district is expected to realize.
Wendt commented that much of the project involves upgrades that would need to be done one way or another in any case, "and this is a way to do it without raising taxes."
He added if the savings do not live up to their projections McKinstry is required to cut the district a check for the difference. Nowak moved to accept, Wendt seconded and all voted in favor.
Laubusch said his company will be coming back at regular intervals to report as the work progresses.
Summer school update shows summer school slips have gone home to notify parents of what classes their children are enrolled in. Elementary/Middle School Principal Yvette Marshall thanked Joy Rohde for organizing this. Classes cancelled due to low enrollment numbers are Computer Camp and a Musical. Students who had been enrolled in those classes will be getting their second choice.
There are four bus routes this year in order to keep the students bus ride down to a maximum of 1 hour. Marshall said last year, with only three routes, some students had to ride the bus an hour and a half each way. Currently summer school enrollment is a little less than last year.
The board approved a list of summer school instructors and the classes they will teach. They are to be paid $22 per hour, which is a $2 per hour raise over last year.
Early in the meeting Polomis distributed copies of a very preliminary budget for the 2017-2018 school year. Projections are for 670 students next year, even with summer school added. This is a slight drop from the current 686 student average. Several factors, including total property values and equalization aid will not be known until mid-October, but revenue limits for next year are known, and Polomis said if the governor's proposal for increased state aid of $200 per student is approved there will be a slight decrease in property taxes this year. If the state aids are less, there could be a slight increase. The energy efficiency numbers are also very preliminary, but he still projects a lower tax rate for next year. The state legislature's Joint Finance committee still has to approve the governor's budget proposals for the added aid to become a reality. Transportation aids are up and sparsity aids are also scheduled to go up, Polomis said. The preliminary budget benefitted from a large reduction in projected costs when they learned last month that health insurance rates will not increase for next year.
Because of these anticipated income additions and unexpected savings, Polomis recommended adding some staff, and all the recommendations were approved. Those additions, plus raises for district employees approved later in the meeting were already figured into the preliminary budget, Polomis said, and even with them, the budget includes the probability of a lower property tax rate next year.
Wendt thanked Polomis for providing sufficient detail for board members to understand the numbers and make informed decisions. Polomis said thanks should be directed to Administrative Assistant Lorie Karban.
After completing regular business the board went into closed session for about 40 minutes, and then returned to open session to approve administrative contracts for Gross, director of buildings and grounds; Sean McGough, director of technology; Karban, administrative assistant, and Lori Beland, district bookkeeper, all with raises as recommended by Polomis.
They also agreed to create two new part time special education aide positions and to move Ellen Liptak from a part-time secretary position to full time, all as discussed in closed session. Liptak will work in both elementary and district offices, Polomis said.
Earlier in the meeting the board had approved the Coleman Education Association Compensation Agreement for 2017-18 with no increase in base pay. The district is transitioning this year to a step increase plan, and the approved package provides funding for total pay increases of $51,854 to be dispersed among certified staff in accord with the "migration" agreement approved earlier this year.
The board also unanimously approved increasing pay for all support staff by 25 cents per hour. Some paid holidays are being added or support staff who work less than 30 hours a week.
Board member Barbra Krause-Klug, reporting for the Personnel Committee, said she and Polomis had met with staff and added, "Overall, everyone seemed satisfied with everything that is going on."
Extra curricular and summer school staffs were approved as presented. Some vacancies remain on the extra curricular staff list. Board members expressed some concern with pay discrepancies for extra curricular positions. Polomis explained some positions are hard to fill, and some coaching posts require more time than others.
The board readily accepted a $1,000 donation from an anonymous donor for a scholarship from the Board of Education. They also, with thanks, accepted donations of $500 from Coleman/Pound Lions Club for the weight room and $1,500 from Coleman Music Boosters for High School "Trills and Thrills" Choir performance trip.
Thanks to archery equipment donated by a local organization, Coleman has the opportunity to become the first school in this area to have an Archery Club, Polomis told the board, in explaining why he wanted them to add two Archery Advisors to the extracurricular advisor list. He said the closest archery club is in De Pere. They had done a survey of Middle School students and found there is definitely strong interest. "This is a very unique opportunity for our district," Polomis declared. He said there will be after school practices and activities and weekend tournaments. Board Member Scott Herzog asked if approval at this point would violate board policy, and Wendt reminded him they had changed the policy previously. The board then approved Polomis' recommendation to add the two Archery Advisor positions starting at $991 each per year to make the activity possible.
Other positions created on recommendation from Polomis included two data information specialist positions at $750 a year; an Elementary Special Education Teacher, and an Elementary Regular Education Teacher.
Polomis explained the extra special ed teacher is needed because some students with high needs are coming into the district.
He said with the governor's funding proposals the district could support adding the new elementary teaching position, which will cost $70,000 to $75,000 a year with family plan insurance.
Wendt was sure the board "will take some flak" for this. Nowak asked if enrollment numbers warrant the additional teacher. Polomis said with open enrollment the number of students does justify the increase. He said with the new instructors they can accept all 12 new applicants for open enrollment, and it means an extra $160,000 income for the district.
Overload pay of $7367.50 for the year was approved for Technology Education Teacher Derek Tate, who again has agreed to reach more than the standard number of classes. Nowak asked Polomis if he ever considered adding an aide for Tate. Polomis explained he is not comfortable with having a non-certified instructor assist students working with these machines.
An overnight field trip to Northern lakes Impact Center for fifth graders in February of next year was approved.
Resignations of Joanna Gross as J.V. Girls Basketball Coach, Rebecca Shuman as District Band Director, Janice Yenter as elementary teacher, Kim Henry, as Varsity VB Coach, Deb Heitman as 8th Grade Volleyball Coach, Shelly Patz as VI Aide, and Kasandra Kostreva as Aide were accepted. Resignation letters were included in the meeting packet, and several had high praise for their time in the Coleman School District.
Hirings approved included Glen Ziemer as Girls Varsity Basketball Coach, Todd Olson as Boys Jr. Varsity Basketball Coach and Cindy Peterson as Summer School Teacher.
Agreements with TRITON and WERMC (Wisconsin Educator Risk Management Cooperative) for the coming school year were approved as presented.
Six students were approved for early graduation. Nowak commented they really should stay in high school as long as they can, "but who am I to stand in their way?"
At the most recent Building and Grounds Committee meeting there was an update on the concession/restroom facilities at the ball field complex. Chair Jamie Graetz said plans are being worked on with Mike Dura. There will be another committee meeting before the next regular board meeting and then recommendations will be made to the full board. Wendt asked if any of the existing buildings will stay, and Graetz said that decision has not been reached, but they will have a recommendation for the next board meeting.
In his administrator's report, Polomis said since the last board meeting the Community Facilities Committee has toured 3 schools and held another meeting, Option 1 and 2 building plans have been gone over and a combined plan of 1 and 2 was agreed upon. Drawing for that is being finalized. A survey is being formulated to go out in September to district residents.
Polomis provided the final draft of the membership audit (student count) for board members to review if they wish. Auditors found no errors, so no corrective action plan was necessary.
ACP (Academic and Career Planning) is a new requirement from the state for 2017-18. This focuses on grades 6-12. Each student is supposed to have a plan in place for where life will take them after graduation from high school.
Committee members include: Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Seyler, Ms. Beschta, Mr, Tate, Mr. Brady, and Mrs. Delzer. They will use the free program of Career Cruising offered by the state. They were at CESA 8 in April and will meet again next week. Coleman must have its plan in place by July 1 of this year.
Wausaukee Principal Jared Deschane presented to the Coleman staff on the ACP program at a recent inservice. Polomis said Wausaukee has been a pilot school for that program for the last two years. There students at graduation must have a portfolio on future life plans to present to the board.
In his report as High School Principal, Polomis thanked Ms. Schermer and the Junior Class for creating a memorable prom. Theme was Once Upon A Time.
He said there was a successful community blood drive in April, and for the school's efforts throughout the year there will be several scholarships for deserving graduates.
FFA, led by Cindy Wautier, will host Ag-venture Day on Friday, May 12. Elementary/Middle School Principal Marshall reported that students will learn a variety of items related to the agriculture industry and there will be a petting zoo.
The FAA the plant sale will start on Wednesday, May 17.
The all school academic recognition for high school students will start at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 15.
The fine arts evening and spaghetti dinner fundraiser is Wednesday, May 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. Seniors will have scholarship night on May 24 at 7 p.m., and graduation is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 27.
The annual Memorial Day Service in the high school gym will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 29.
Final exams for middle school and high school students are June 1 and 2, and the last day for students is Friday, June 2, with a 3:15 dismissal.
Bryce Karban, Student of the Month, hd been nominated by Mr. Kaufman.
Marshall proudly reported that elementary students had met their 100 million word reading goal. To celebrate, they will enjoy a walk to the park on the last day of school for a fun afternoon of activities and recognition.
Teacher appreciation week was celebrated last week. Each day staff members were treated to a little something and the week ended with an all school cookout on Friday. On Monday, May 22 Mrs. Chaltry will put on a science program for elementary students. Elementary teachers are busy planning the year end field trips. Middle School will go to Mt. Olympus on Tuesday, May 30.
The PTO held their last meeting of the year earlier on the evening of the board meeting.
Last month the Junior Class gave permission to the elementary school to use their prom decorations for an elementary school dance the next day. Marshall said it was a great success and thanked Ms. Schermer and the prom committee.
Board member committee assignments for the coming year are: Auxiliary Services Committee (Transportation/Food Service/Finance & Insurance) - VanDrisse, Chairperson with Hoida and Krause-Klug; Building and Grounds - Graetz, Chairperson with Nowak and Hoida; Board Policy/Curriculum Committee - Wendt, Chairperson with Herzog and Nowak, and Personnel (Certified and Noncertified)- Herzog, Chairperson with VanDrisse and Krause-Klug.
The Peshtigo Times was again approved as the official district newspaper and Herzog is WASB delegate, and Hoida alternate.
The next regular board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 19.
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