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Mason City School Board outlines celebrations, concerns

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – The Mason City School Board met Monday at the school administration building.

The board OK’d again this school year the use of cameras on its school buses.  “The video cameras will be used to monitor student behavior to maintain order on the school buses to promote and maintain a safe environment.”

A transportation contract was approved with North Iowa Bus Company, Inc.

(PHOTO: School board member Scott Warren peruses the book “Schools Can’t Do It Alone.”)

Superintendent Anita Micich gave an update on the district’s progress toward becoming Blue Zone compliant.  In the spirit of the Blue Zones endeavor, she had the board perform some basic stretches during the meeting.  Micich mentioned that the district has already completed some requirements toward getting the schools up to speed as one of the six sectors of the community that must become certified in order for the city as a whole to reach certification.  Water machines in the buildings, new cafeteria equipment, and the re-design of the lunch rooms were mentioned.

Updates on building construction progress and overall progress on preparing for the first day of school this August were given by other school personnel.  It was said that “some great hires” were brought on board as new teachers joining the district this year.

Micich and the board spent some time outlining celebrations (see photo below; click it to view larger size) and concerns.  The board brainstormed the items by writing on post-it notes and Micich wrote the list.

One major celebration that was mentioned is that the High School has been removed from the “School in Need of Assistance” list for math.  Also, the High School has a 92.7% graduation rate, it was said.

Concerns the board listed for the district moving forward were numerous.  Among them: Lack of funding; decreasing enrollment; technology (bring your own device to school); how to communicate to community that more funds are needed; how to expand use of school grounds; poverty (it was said that 900 pairs of shoes were handed out to needy families at recent shoe drive); staff burnout; unfunded mandates; and preparing students to be competitive after graduation.


School Board:

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$40 million for the high school remodel and RAISES FOR ALL!!! Now they are coming up short and want MORE MONEY…referendum? VOTE NO!!! They sneaked this through with no public input, in this economy! And no swimming pool included (at Lincoln either) but $3.4 million for a safe room…WTH?!

North Iowa Bus Company. Based in Minnesota. Enjoy our tax dollars minnesota.

I’m trying to figure out what’s worse in Mason City. The school board or the city council!
I think both boards need to be completely overhauled and get these people out of their positions!

Here we go again. Spend millions on un-needed construction. Sell perfectly good school buildings for one dollar. Give the superintendent huge pay increases for nothing but wasting money. Then turn around and say you need additional spending. There is a declining enrollment. Why do you need more money with less students. The way I understand all the kids playing sports have to buy their own equipment. Where did the money go. We are paying for inferior education for the kids. When the school board wakes up and cuts cost then we can talk about more funding. Not until.

how to communicate to community that more funds are needed; how to expand

I completely understand there is a need for more funds. So why did Anita accept that pay increase?????

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