Cozad Board of Education Discusses Options Of Elementary Expansion

The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a meeting on Monday.
Under Reports, High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer and Middle School Principal Brian Regelin noted that they were working on scheduling and course offerings for the 2017-2018 school term.
Tasia Aden has been hired as the ELL Para-Professional at the high school and elementary. 
Resignations were accepted from Lizabeth Guerra, Nutrition Service Staff, effective December 9th and from Cheri Ziebell, MS Para-Professional and Jessica Carbaugh, AfterZone effective December 22nd.
The proposal submitted by Kucirek Engineering, Inc. for the MEP Design Fee Proposal for the high school boiler, water heater and central plant renovation project was accepted. Also accepted was the proposal from Kucirek Engineering, Inc. to provide mechanical and electrical engineering services for the high school locker room HVAC renovation project.
According to Superintendent Joel Applegate, the new toilets, sinks and a handicapped-accessible shower will be installed in the renovated high school girls’ locker room over holiday break.
“Work on the boilers and piping could begin as early as April or May,” noted Applegate. “As the students leave out of the front doors in May we plan to bring in the personnel to install the HVAC systems in the high school locker rooms to provide much-needed ventilation.”
Approval was also given for the Cozad Schools 403(B) Plan Amendment, Adoption Agreement, Loan Procedures, Summary Plan Description, Summary of Material Modifications and Procedures for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. This allows employees over 59.5 years old to move their money out of the plan.
Under advisement from legal counsel the policy for the outdated Oath of Office from Cozad Community Schools Board Policy was eliminated. The oath was archaic and illegal.
The Board of Education will be offering the Temporary Early Retirement Incentive Program to the 16 employees who meet all nine criteria. The TERIP is offered for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years with a $24,000 max buy-out.
School Attorney Scott Trusdale attending a hearing in Lincoln on garnishment of wages for a civil suit against a former school secretary. The secretary was also in attendance and claimed that she couldn’t afford the 15 percent garnishment of wages from each paycheck for money that she is to reimburse the school district. 
Discussion was held concerning the needed expansion of Cozad Elementary School. A minimum of four classrooms need to be added although six would be even better according to Superintendent Applegate. “We are out of space and will be as tight as we can be next year and out of space after that,” Applegate reported. “We are in dire need of classroom space, and at the present time it looks as if we might have to move music out to the trailer which is not an ideal situation for the music teacher or students,” he continued. “It would also be advantageous to have rooms for art instruction and a computer lab once again.”
Discussion continued on the Cozad Community Schools Negotiated Agreement for 2017-2018. “We have had good discussion with the Cozad Education Association, probably the best since I have been here,” Superintendent Applegate commented. The agreement will be brought up at the January meeting for approval.
Board members gave Superintendent Applegate a positive evaluation and he will be back at the helm for the district for the 2017-2018 school year.
Outgoing board members Dennis Worrell and Jeremy Geiger were thanked and recognized for their years of service at the conclusion of the meeting. Incumbent board member Ann Burkholder and newly elected members Joel Carlson and Michele Starman will be sworn in at the January 16th meeting.

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