Five things to know from Union School Board

1. During the July 19 regular school board meeting, Union Community Superintendent Travis Fleshner addressed concerns he’s received from parents regarding the class size for 3rd Grade at Dysart-Geneseo Elementary in the upcoming school year.

Fleshner said the board received letters about the topic along with a call he received earlier in the month.

Current K-5 enrollment numbers comparing La Porte City and Dysart-Geneseo Elementary schools illustrate two very different landscapes.

Between the two schools, Dysart-Geneseo has two of the only classes (3rd Grade and 5th Grade) in the district with one classroom section. D-G 3rd Grade looks to have 24 students next year and 5th Grade expects 23. All of the other classes districtwide have two or three sections and are mostly under 20 students per section.

Since those two classes at D-G only have one section, they are highest in class size in the district.

However, even though D-G Elementary has two of the highest class sizes between the two schools, the building as a whole averages roughly one student less per section than LPC Elementary.

That is because class sizes for Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 4th Grade at D-G are the lowest in the district on a per-student basis, averaging less than 16 students per class.

Following discussion the board asked Fleshner to coordinate with D-G Principal Jim Cayton and the 3rd Grade teacher to provide a recommendation at their August meeting.

2. The board approved several personnel items including new staff appointments for Celena Bahr, MS School Nurse; Mackenzie Bruns, HS Volleyball Asst; Rose Brunssen, D-G Elem SpEd Associate; Michael Clair, Sub Bus Driver; Kenda Gleason, HS Secretary; Kelsey Holtmeyer, D-G Elem Kitchen Asst; Morgan Hook, LPC Elem SpEd Associate (voluntary transfer); Jonni Meier, MS Asst Cook; Lora Olson, HS P/T Health Associate; Jared Pospisil, 8th Grade Girls BB Coach; Hansie Schutterle, D-G Elem P/T Custodian; Ellie Uhlenhopp, 7th Grade Girls BB Coach; Katherine Ulaszek, HS Math and Kyle Wieck, HS Maintenance.

Resignations were accepted for Tyson Fleshner, Summer Maintenance; Adrianne Hoppenworth, D-G Elem SpEd, Eric Jesse, HS Assistant VB and Boys BB Coach; Lora Olson, HS SpEd Associate; Val Raub, D-G Elem P/T Custodian; Joe Schmitz, MS Baseball Coach; Brandon Tompkins, Summer Maintenance and Sara Torres as D-G Elem P/T SpEd Associate.

3. Union High School was recently selected to receive a water bottle filling station through a giveaway program sponsored by the Iowa Corn Growers Association. The board thanked Mark Nechanicky for his assistance in completing the application on behalf of the school.

4. The board approved a project agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation on funding to replace two school buses. The funding, in the amount of $88,000, will come through the Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust and will require the school to decommission two of its oldest school buses that does not meet current emission standards. This is the third such grant Union Schools has received for bus purchasing.

5. Following a closed session for superintendent evaluation, the Union Board of Education approved the contract for Superintendent Travis Fleshner with a $1,500 increase, which includes FICA/IPERS.

In other business…

The board approved the district employee handbook and student handbooks for each of the five school buildings.

The board accepted a bid of $200 from Chad Hanson for the 2006 Ford Taurus car owned by the district.

The board approved and submitted legislative priorities to the Iowa School Board Association including Supplemental State Aid, Budget Guarantee, Preschool Funding and School Funding Policies.