October 5, 2022 Work Session




Minutes, Work Session of the North Fayette Valley Community School District Board of Education, Monday, October 5, 2022, in the NFV High School Library, 600 N Pine Street, West Union, IA  52142


NFV Board of Education: Julie Ahrens, Amanda Rodgers, Eileen Schlawin, Stacy 

Cummings, Emily Koch, & Richard Klosterman   LaCreasha Schultz was absent 

Others: Superintendent: Joe Griffith, Business Manager: Sue 

Thoms; Principals:  Travis Elliott, Chris Miller, Lori Westhoff, Micah Gearhart;  Staff: Kirk Jacobsen and Annette Weber; Patrons:  Gary Schlawin.


President Cummings called the Work Session of the NFV Board of Education to order at 6:15 pm and Julie Ahrens led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Roll Call of Board members: Ahrens, Rodgers, Klosterman, Cummings, Koch, & Schlawin.  Schultz was absent. 


Motion to Approve Agenda.  Schlawin/Ahrens  Motion Carried 6-0


Supt Griffith presented information on Right Sizing NFV – facility use and grade level building assignments.  Challenges NFV faces today are class-size imbalance, facilities, budget, transportation, and education of students.  A solution to these challenges is the closing of the Fayette Elementary with the possibility of moving to a grade alike building model.


Current class sizes were reviewed in addition to what class sizes would look like with the closing of Fayette Elementary.  Addressing the imbalance would reduce the need for multi-age classes,  and increase access to learning supports such as Title I, allow the district to react to large or small classes, as well as support access to appropriate special education services for students.


Facility current uses were reviewed as well as the options for moving classes to West Union Elementary and Valley Elementary.  Options include having K-3 at each elementary school with 4-5 at Valley Elementary or all K-3 at West Union Elementary and 4-5 at Valley Elementary.  Closing Fayette Elementary will allow the district to support the number of classrooms aligned with our student numbers, reduce the number of facilities to update, and remove the most inefficient building from use.


The budgetary issues were reviewed next.  NFV has benefited from ESSER funding during COVID as well as increased enrollment.  However, the budget is still tight.  By closing Fayette Elementary, NFV would save approximately $107,000 annually.  Increased shuttling of students to the West Union and Valley Elementary buildings would decrease this savings to $64,000 for the grade alike option and to $99,000 for the 4-5 to Valley Elementary option.  In spite of increased transportation costs, the budget will see a decrease in utility expenses, a reduction in staffing needs, maintenance funds will be spread over fewer buildings, as well as staffing and program efficiency.


Transportation was then addressed by showing current routes and shuttles with student numbers.  Additional shuttles would be added to move students to the West Union and Valley Elementary buildings.  The grade alike option estimated cost increase is $43,000 and the 4-5 option estimated cost is $8,000.  Regular routes will not change.  There will be a need for shuttle changes which will increase the transportation expense and possibly create the need for increased bus sizes in the future.


Improving education for our students is our primary concern.  Potential improvements with these options would create single grade level focus, efficiencies in teacher collaboration, provide quality intensive needs programming, support improved curriculum alignment, less daily travel of specialized staff between buildings which will increase teaching time, and services will be provided more equitably for students.   


The Board will continue to discuss this issue in future meetings and will seek input from staff and patrons through surveys and public meetings.  No action was taken during this work session.


Motion to adjourn at 7:23 pm. Ahrens/Rodgers  Motion Carried 6-0


______________________________ _____________________________

Stacy Cummings, President Sue Thoms, Business Manager