Editorial by Matt Marquardt -
MASON CITY – The Mason City School Board raised the cost of student breakfast and lunch meals by 10 cents for the next school year. The new costs will be: K-6 breakfast $1.20, 7-12 breakfast $1.45, K-6 lunch $2.20 and 7-12 lunch $2.45. The increase was attributed to costs associated with the number of students taking free and reduced price lunches. That number was said to be 1,534 students.
A presentation was given by an outfit called “Skills Iowa” from the Iowa School Board Foundation that offers assessments for students so teachers can understand what they are teaching. The tests are described as “an educational practice involving both teachers and students. Students take assessments and are provided instant feedback on their performance. Teachers use the information from student assessments to determine what to teach next based on what kids have demonstrated they know and can do (or don’t know and can’t do).”
The program used to be free, but the board was told that the price of the assessments had “changed considerably.”
Skills Iowa associates Kelly Kirstein and Program Director Susie Olesen (pictured, right; Olesen on left) made a sales pitch to the board to continue the program. “It’s not everyday we get to thank someone for buying our products,” Kirstein told the board, who nodded in approval.
According to Finance Director Ramona Jeffery, “The Mason City CSD participated in the Skills Iowa Assessment for school year 2011-2012. It cost the district $7,250.00 per building to participate. The following six buildings participated: Harding Elementary, Hoover Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, Lincoln Intermediate and John Adams Middle School for a total cost of $43,500.”
Anderson-Erickson of Des Moines will be providing dairy products for the district after submitting the low bid of $133,335.55.
Pan O’Gold of St. Cloud will be providing baked products after submitting the low bid of $12,545.
The district’s enrollment continues to decline. The board stated that it hopes the numbers “plateau” soon.
The board went into closed session to discuss a new contract for Superintendent Anita Micich and a one-year sharing agreement with the Clear Lake School District for her services. The Clear Lake board will also discuss her contract in the near future.
School Board and Superintendent questioned by NIT Publisher Matt Marquardt:
MC School District Finance Director Ramona Jeffrey describes district’s finances:
Board discussion- Change orders, student fees, design of tables and booths, dairy and bakery contracts:
Board discussion- District enrollment numbers: