September 14, 2020 Board Minutes




Minutes, Regular Meeting of the North Fayette Valley Community School District Board of Education, Monday, September 14, 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, Carolyn Roys,  Eileen

Schlawin, LaCreasha McNeese, & Marc Rue.  Emily Koch was absent.  Student Members: Baylie Shrubb, Kailee Ginger, Nathan Crooker, & Madison Clausen


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, Rachael Strong, Mandy Smith, John Bendt, Shaylie Stortz, Kennedy Balk, Jasmine Stocker, & Ashley Becker,  Public: Megan Molseed – media, JK Prentice, Chris Lundgren, and others by Microsoft Teams


President Cummings called the Regular Meeting of the NFV Board of Education to order at 6:00 p.m. and led the board and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.


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


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


Motion to approve the consent agenda with the following items:

  • Minutes of the August 10, 13, & 21, 2020 regular & special meetings
  • Review/approve invoices
  • Approve Financial Reports
  • Approve Resignations: Joan Boleyn – Valley site cook
  • Approve New Hire:  Rachael Strong – Asst XC, Alexandria Glass – Valley Elem para, Marta Grove – .4 Title I para, David Riemer – MS/HS TAG, Katie Riemer – HS Girls Soccer coach, Donna Fink – bus route driver, & Bonnie Fisher – bus route driver
  • Gifts – for the bowling team in the amount of $178 from Ron Bills, $700 towards Valley site sign from Rusty Phillips, and STEM BEST award in the amount of $22,000.

Ahrens/ Roys  Motion carried 6-0



New teaching staff were introduced to the group.


Rachel Strong along with the Spark class gave a presentation on their program.  The Spark class provides a different style of learning which is student led.  This community and project based learning was piloted last year at the High School that students receive an elective credit for.  Ms. Strong is very excited about this program consisting of 7 students.  The group did apply for and receive the STEM BEST award from the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.  This grant of  $22,000 is to be used for the classroom.


Student Ex-Officio members reports were received.  The Student Council did a great job on homecoming.  Students are glad to be back and have a bit of normalcy.  The Wednesday remote learning has been great to get back up to speed.  Ms. Shrubb reported that full time remote learning is a bit stressful having to follow the daily schedule without the flexibility or extended deadlines.  The group expressed there is some concern in the student body regarding recent spread of the coronavirus.


Principal Reports were received.  Students have done an outstanding job with the start of the year.  WUE did unveil their new playground.  Teachers are working many hours to deliver instruction both in class and virtually.  They are seeing a different skill set of technology in the online classroom.  The set up of instruction is allowing students to flow freely between onsite instructions as well as remote learning.


Curriculum report was received.   On the remote Wednesdays, there is professional development from 8 to 10 concentrating on online learning.  A survey is going out to teachers asking them about self-care, how effective their time is, and how the students are doing.


Business Manager Thoms gave an update of the CARES Act funds, Special Education Supplement, Annual Transportation Report, Certified Annual Report, and the summer feeding program.


Superintendent’s report included information on the Return to Learn plan.   Anyone within 6 feet for 15 minutes of an infected person will be required to quarantine 14 days from the last contact. No one can test out of the quarantine.   Masks, face shields, and plexi dividers are not 100% effective for not catching the virus and do not affect contact tracing.  School nurses did work diligently today on contact tracing.  The district will call if your child is deemed a close contact.


Valley Elementary does have a 21st Century Grant – VELC – which is having issues with staffing.  Student groupings/pods in this after school program also may create issues with contact tracing.  We do have until October 15th to decide if we are going to be able to continue this program.


As of September 28th, we will be offering a free meal to all students through the USDA’s extension of the summer feeding program.  Students will still be charged for all second meals and ala carte items.


November 18 & 19 are the dates for the IASB virtual convention.  Julie Ahrens volunteered to be the IASB Delegate for the delegate assembly on November 17.






Supt Griffith reported that a graduation date has not been set for the class of 2021.  Seniors last day is May 19th.  He recommends that graduation be held on the 28th.  The Board approved setting graduation on May 28th.   Schlawin/Roys  Motion Carried 6-0


The Board approved lane changes for FY21 for Lauren Thoms – BA+15 to MA and Kris Wickham – BA+15 to BA+30.    Rue/Schlawin Motion Carried 6-0


Supt Griffith reported on the Special Education deficit for FY20 in the amount of $780,669.74 –  FY19 deficit was $588,152.82.  This deficit can be covered by property tax.  The Board approved the following resolution:


RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the North Fayette Valley Community School District, will request allowable growth and supplement aid for the FY20 Special Ed deficit in the amount of $780,669.74 or as adjusted by the Department of Education.  Ahrens/Schlawin  Motion Carried 6-0


Supt Griffith reported on a $15,000 grant that Mr. Holthaus was awarded to pay for a sizable portion of a skid loader to be included in his class curriculum.  In conjunction with FFA funds ($5,500), the FFA tractor trade-in ($3,000), and district funds ($8,000), we can purchase a loader that will meet the goals of the grant and program.  The Board approved the purchase of a 2016 New Holland L228 from Baumler Implement in the amount of $31,500, a donation from the district funds for $8,000, and the trade-in of the FFA Farmall tractor.  Schlawin/Roys  Motion Carried 6-0


Supt Griffith reviewed the progress of the childcare center at the Valley site which will be up and running by the middle of October.  He also presented the rental contract with Valley Preschool, Inc.  The Board approved the contract with Valley Preschool Inc.  Ahrens/Rue  Motion Carried 6-0


The Board approved the sale of old wrestling mats to the TigerHawk Wrestling Club in the amount of $400 total.  Mats sold are as is and will be removed as soon as possible.  Rue/Roys Motion Carried 6-0


Hacker Nelson did complete the FY19 audit – the first since the merger.  The District is in good financial shape.  The Board approved the FY19 audit.    Roys/Ahrens  Motion carried 6-0


Supt Griffith reviewed the Instructional Support Levy which is set to expire on June 30, 2021.  Schlawin made the motion to  approve the following resolution to set a public hearing in October to reauthorize the levy continuation for 5 years.  Roys seconded the motion.



WHEREAS, the Board of Directors has determined that to continue the current level of services and to fund the ongoing programs of the School District, continuation of participation in the Instructional Support Program for a period of five years is necessary and in the best interests of the District and its residents and students; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors wishes to consider continued participation in the Instructional Support Program as provided in Sections 257.18 through 257.21, Code of Iowa; and

WHEREAS, the authorization for the current Instructional Support Program will expire on June 30, 2021; and

WHEREAS, this Resolution sets forth the proposal of the Board of Directors, including the method that will be used to fund the program; and

WHEREAS, notice of the time and place of a public hearing must be published:

NOW, THEREFORE, it is resolved:

  1.     The Board of Directors wishes to consider continued participation in the Instructional Support Program as provided in Sections 257.18 through 257.21, Code of Iowa, for a period of five years, commencing with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.
  2.     The additional funding for the Instructional Support Program for a budget year shall be determined annually and shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of the total regular program district cost for the budget year and moneys received under Section 257.14, Code of Iowa, as a budget adjustment for the budget year.
  3.     Moneys received by the District for the Instructional Support Program may be used for any general fund purpose.
  4.     The Instructional Support Program shall be funded by instructional support state aid and a combination instructional support property tax levied annually upon the taxable property within the School District commencing with the levy of property taxes for collection in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, and an instructional support income surtax imposed annually, the percent of income surtax to be determined by the Board for each budget year to be imposed upon the state individual income tax of each individual income taxpayer resident in the School District on December 31, 2021, and each year thereafter.
  5.     The Secretary is authorized and directed to give notice of a public hearing to be held in the North Fayette Valley High School Performing Arts Center, 600 N. Pine Street, West Union, Iowa 52175, on October 12, 2020, at 6:00 P.M.
  6.     Following the public hearing the Board intends to take action on the question whether to continue participation in the Instructional Support Program.

Roll Call Vote:  Ayes:  McNeese,Cummings,Schlawin,Rue, Roys, Ahrens, Nays: None  Motion Carried 6-0


Motion to adjourn at 7:00 pm.   Rue/Roys  Motion carried 6-0


______________________________        _____________________________

Stacy Cummings, President                Sue Thoms, Business Manager