November 9, 2020 Minutes




Minutes, Regular Meeting of the North Fayette Valley Community School District Board of Education, Monday, November 9, 2020 in the NFV High School Performing Arts Center, 600 N Pine St, West Union, IA  52175


NFV Board of Education: Julie Ahrens, Stacy Cummings, Eileen Schlawin,

LaCreasha McNeese, Marc Rue & Emily Koch.   Carolyn

Roys was absent.  Student Members:  Nathan Crooker.  Baylie Shrubb, Kailee Ginger, & Madison Clausen were absent.


Others: Superintendent: Joe Griffith, Business Manager: Sue

Thoms, Superintendent Secretary:  Susan Winter, Principals:  Micah Gearhart, Travis Elliott, & Lori Westhoff, Curriculum Director: Betsy Nefzger, Staff: Ryan Holthaus & Julie Frieden,  Public: Megan Molseed – media, and others by Microsoft Teams.


President Cummings called the Regular Meeting of the NFV Board of Education to order at 6 p.m. and led the board and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Roll Call of Board members: Ahrens, Cummings, Schlawin, McNeese, Koch & Rue.  Roys was absent.


The agenda was approved as presented.  Schlawin/Ahrens Motion Carried 6-0


Motion to approve the consent agenda with the following items:

  • Minutes of the October 12 & 26, 2020 regular & special meeting
  • Review/approve invoices
  • Approve Financial Reports
  • Approve Resignations: None
  • Approve New Hire: VELC positions for FY21, Tricia Anderson – .75 MS Spec Ed & .25 VELC Director, Elise Vandersee – asst play director, Kimberly Kraft – ms para, Jayde Blue – bb cheer coach, & Alex Snyder – play tech director
  • Approve Volunteer:  Koby Moore, Gary Bemiss, & Kevin Bemiss – football, Robbie Kerr, Aaron Grimes, & Brock Sorensen – wrestling.
  • Gifts – South Winn Vet Clinic Zoetis gift for NFV FFA

Ahrens/Schlawin Motion carried 6-0



Student Ex-Officio members reports were received.  Nathan acknowledged the teachers for all of their hard work.  Students are concerned about the recent upsurge in cases.  He asked about when we may go to remote learning – Supt Griffith stated that the Dept of Public Health feels the students are better off in the buildings.


Principal Reports were received.  Principal Westhoff talked about the fall play which is this weekend.  Seating for the event will adhere to social distancing.  The Veterans Day Program will be held on Wednesday and will be available on the NFV website.  Principal Elliott talked about social distancing at lunch.  Instructional coaches have helped to get the teachers up and running as well as becoming liaisons with virtual students.  Principal Gearhart reported that there is 40% occupancy at the daycare.  Conferences went well districtwide with online, phone, and in person options.  The attendance percentages were as follows:  HS – 79%, MS – 95%, FE – 90%, WUE – 90%, and VE – 95%.


Curriculum report was received.  Director Nefzger talked about the instructional coaches helping with the virtual students 25% of the time working on engagement.    Virtual Learning survey results were discussed.  Technology is working well.


Business Manager Thoms gave an update of the CARES Act funds.


Superintendent’s report included the following:

Water purification – thanks to Tom Martin for his years of monitoring at the Valley site.  He is going to be done in December.  Several options are available for providing this long-term monitoring.

2021-2022 Calendar – Labor Management has a subcommittee that is working on a calendar and will bring this back to the Board in December or January.

Snow Days – many questions revolve around having virtual learning rather than snow days.  The administration along with the District Leadership Team are working on options.

COVID Update – The Upper Iowa Conference has put out a statement mandating masks at all events – other surrounding conferences are mandating this as well.  Limited seating and limited attendance may be put in place for home events.  11 staff members were out today and 23 students were sent home due to contact tracing.  Some area schools are looking at remote learning during the week of Thanksgiving.  NFV may look into this option if numbers continue to increase.

Wednesday early dismissals – Superintendent Griffith would like to extend these early dismissals to the end of the first semester.

AJ & Associates is working to put together a facilities analysis proposal.  This will be important in looking at in determining future facility projects.

IASB Conference – This is online on November 18 & 19 – please let Sue know if you want to register for this.

Discussion was held on the continuation of the water testing, amounts spent already for training and stipends, as well as possible sharing with other entities in the area.



The Board held the 2nd and final reading of Board Policy #406.7 – Voluntary Early Retirement.  The changes were approved.    Schlawin/McNeese  Motion Carried 6-0



The Board approved the FY21 Voluntary Early Retirement Proposal, a summary includes a $60,000 benefit paid out over 3 years to an HRA.  Offerings will be limited to 10 participants by the January 5, 2021 deadline.  Additional applications may be approved by the Board on a case-by-case basis. Early retirement will not be offered in the 2021-2022 school year.  Ahrens/Schlawin  Motion Carried 5-1 (Rue)


Supt Griffith presented a COVID-19 statement regarding mask wearing in the district.  This statement mandates that masks will be worn at all times.  Those who do not cooperate with proper mask wearing, after communication with the family, will be required to access their education remotely.   The District will work with public health to determine when we can relax the restrictions.  If the positivity rate reaches 15%, the building will be closed to use by all outside organizations.  Use can resume once the rate reaches below 10%.  The district appreciates the support of the community as we work to keep our students and staff safe and continue learning in person at school.  The Board approved this statement to start on November 11, 2020.    Ahrens/Rue  Motion Carried 7-0  Board discussion included social distancing should be practiced both at school as well as outside the school day.  The UIC mask mandate at sporting events will be monitored by building administrators.  The HUDL camera system is in place and ready to broadcast our winter events.


The Board approved the application for request to the SBRC in the amount of $135,536 for MSA for open enrolled out students not included in the district’s previous year’s certified enrollment count.   Schlawin/Ahrens  Motion Carried 6-0


The Board approved the application for request to the SBRC in the amount of $15,657 for MSA for providing an English language learner program for students who have exceeded five years of weighted funding in Fall 2020.    Ahrens/McNeese  Motion Carried 6-0


The Board approved the application to the SBRC in the amount of $1,736.39 for special education administrative costs associated with the LIED Center Consortium program for the 2021/2022 school year.    Schlawin/Koch  Motion Carried 6-0


Supt Griffith reported that no bids were received for the 2006 Bluebird 65 passenger bus.  The Board approved disposing of this bus.  Schlawin/McNeese  Motion Carried 6-0


Marc Rue asked if there is a dedicated area where someone can be quarantined in the buildings. The dedicated areas are available and vary between buildings.  Most students and staff are notified of a quarantine situation and do not come into the buildings.

Possibility of strength and conditioning hire – should consider this more strongly.  To the benefit of the students.


Motion to adjourn at 6:46 pm.   Schlawin/Ahrens Motion Carried 6-0


______________________________ _____________________________

Stacy Cummings, President Sue Thoms, Business Manager