Community Garden Brought Up At Cozad Board of Education Meeting

A regular meeting of the Cozad Community Schools Board of Education was held on Monday.
Under Public Comments, Cozad citizen Bill Clark presented a proposal to board members for a community garden he would like to see implemented east of Haymaker Stadium. The proposal had already been given to Superintendent Joel Applegate. The board will discuss and take action on the garden at the next regular meeting.
Under Administrative Reports High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that he is hoping for good attendance at Wednesday’s parent-teacher conferences.
Beckenhauer reported that the district’s brown bus ‘died’ in Broken Bow on Friday.
The send-off for our cross country teams who will be competing at State on Friday is scheduled for Thursday at 10:45 a.m.
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin complimented the ESU10 personnel on the Marzano Training session held on October 5th. He also thanked Activities Director Cory Spotanski and the high school students who are hosting the ‘Habitudes’ sessions on early-out Wednesdays for middle school students prior to their athletic practices.
Regelin noted that the first activities session is almost completed and prior to the second session students will be meeting in their homerooms for character education and digital citizenship classes. “Students who are failing multiple classes will be assigned to a homework room instead of activities classes during the second session,” he continued.
Cozad Elementary Principal Dale Henderson reported that he had been approached by a CHS senior about helping with the NHS Food Drive and that the elementary has consented.
On Friday, October 28th Mrs. Halouska, Mrs. Brock and Henderson will be attending the Region IV Elementary Principal’s Leadership Conference at the Student Union at UNK. 5th grade students Nayelle Castillo, Blaire Davis, Shree Dyches-Chandler, Cole Lighthall, Hayden Russman and Juan Tapia will also be attending the conference.
On November 8th there will be an Afterzone/Title I Family Night beginning at 6 p.m.
Special Education Director Jill Beckenhauer reported that preschool teachers Kristi Albrecht, Jacque Yocom and herself attended class training to improve building relationships with preschool and special education students in addition to strengthening student-teacher interactions. This is one protocol that will be evaluated by the state department this year.
“We have also opted to participate in The Kindness Revolution ponsored locally by State Farm Agent Heidi Bazata,” Beckenhauer reported. 
Applegate stated that the district is in dire need of receiving training and understanding on how to address the huge poverty gap in the school and its effect on instruction.
He also reported that Ed Kucirek from Kucirek Engineering would be coming to discuss the boilers and ventilation system with Facilities Director Lonnie Dutton and himself so that parts may be ordered well ahead of next summer’s installation. 
“It’s ridiculous to spend an average of $9,000 per month on air conditioning and $7-$8,000 a month on heating in the high school,” Applegate explained.
High School Counselor Bruce Hird, Applegate, Larry Paulsen and Lyle Davis will be meeting in the near future to continue discussion on career tech education. “We need to look across the state and ask ourselves what can be added or changed to enhance our program,” stated Applegate.
The Employee Assistance Program that had been tabled and sent back for revision at the September board meeting was again discussed.
The new pricing structure was $33 per year/per employee with a total yearly cost of $4,950. 
The board members concurred that with the district’s mill levy and funding needed for other projects and staffing for next year that they could not justify even this minimal expenditure and did not approve the EAP services.
Discussion led by Cozad Community Schools Business Manager Ramona Priel on changes to the Cozad Community Schools 403(b) plan document continued. CHS Art Teacher Kent Ross had appeared at a previous meeting and expressed his concern about not being able to move money from the account in this plan offered to the district’s employees. Marcy Luth will assist Priel with revisions.
Negotiations Committee members John Peden, Jeremy Geiger and Ann Burkholder will be meeting with Cozad Education Association representatives Dawn Beans and Woody Blackmore on Wednesday evening.
Priel visited with the board members concerning the possible revision of Board Member Excused Absences. By state statute a vacancy occurs when a board member has had three consecutive unexcused absences from regularly scheduled board meetings. Board members are requested to communicate with Board President John Peden or Superintendent Applegate if they need to miss a meeting.
Marcy Luth will conduct the annual Auditor Report via teleconference with board members at 11:40 a.m. prior to their noon meeting at the November regular board meeting.

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