Cozad School Board Approves Teaching Contracts For 2017-2018

The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, March 20, 2017. Board member Edd Albrecht was excused due to illness.
Under Public Comments, CHS Business Instructor and SkillsUSA Sponsor Dawn Beans informed the board members that five students would be competing at the state competition in Grand Island on March 31st. She also requested approval to sponsor a ‘Mother-Son’ Prom from 2 – 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 23rd.
High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that the juniors would be taking the ACT test on April 19th. MAPS testing is scheduled for half days on April 24th and 25th. “This test is great for monitoring students’ progress since it is administered once in the fall and then again in the spring,” Beckenhauer explained. The annual Senior Seminar is scheduled on the morning of March 31st with numerous speakers coming from the community. 
Middle School Principal Brian Regelin reported that 82 students started track practice last week. The annual Monsanto Safety Day is scheduled for the morning of April 13th and NeSA science testing for 8th graders is being done this week. The remainder of the NeSA tests in Language Arts/Reading and math for all middle school students will take place in April. “We are continuing to coordinate the woodworking and Intro to Ag classes that will be taught by the new ag instructor with the high school,” Regelin said. “8th grade students will be given the opportunity to sign up for these classes,” he continued.
Elementary Principal Dale Henderson reported that he was disappointed in the numbers attending the recent parent-teacher conferences in first, second and third grades. Jill Beckenhauer, a team of elementary teachers and Henderson will be traveling to McCook on April 4th to observe the PLC program. “They have a tightly structured system with good student achievement that we want to garner information about,” he explained. The 4th and 5th grade students will be treated to an assembly about the North Platte Canteen by Humanities Nebraska on March 31st and kindergarten screening will be conducted on April 19th.
Early Education/Special Education Director Jill Beckenhauer shared that Linda Myers from the State Early Education Department had visited with her and her staff to over the results of the internal study that was recently conducted. She also noted that Steve Millican, the new director of the State Department of Special Education would be visiting on April 11th. 
Superintendent Joel Applegate reported that four different companies have responded with RFPs (Requests for Proposals) for our lunch program. They will be visiting on April 11th prior to presenting their bids. The school system was outbid by $3,000 on their bid for the used modular and will be looking for others that are available. Discussions continue with NCTA on dual credit courses for students. 
Board members approved the hiring of the following certificated staff members for the 2017-2018 school year: Jordan Pick, Elementary Counselor; Taylor Martin, Elementary Teacher; Laura Johnson, 9 -12 Life Science Teacher; Tuyet Sansone-Wilcox, 9-12 Language Arts Teacher and Sophie Daniel, 6-8 Language Arts Teacher.
Board member Ann Burkholder asked if any of these hires would be coaching volleyball as the search for a new head coach continues.
CHS Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that three Activities Director candidates had been interviewed on Monday and three additional candidates will be interviewed on Wednesday. “I am also excited to report that we have a candidate this year for our FCS position,” Beckenhauer noted.
Also approved were the resignations of these certificated staff members effective at the end of the 2016-2017 contract year: Kathleen Halouska, Elementary Counselor; Debra Keller, School Psychologist and Middle School Counselor; Mary Poore, Middle School Language Arts Teacher; Cory Spotanski, Activities Director and High School Assistant Principal; Tara Groteluschen, Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher and Sondra Terry, Elementary Title 1 Teacher.
Board members approved the proposed Cozad Community Schools 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 School Year calendars.
Also receiving approval were meal price increases for the 2017-2018 school year with ten cents additional charge for student breakfasts and lunches, ten cents for adult breakfasts and twenty cents for adult lunches.
A resolution on fifteen present board policies to become new policies with the revisions added was approved. 
Activities Director/Assistant HS Principal Cory Spotanski presented the Sport Safe Random Student Drug Testing Programs. “I was approached by a coach about this program and have checked with other school districts including Central City who have utilized the program with great success,” Spotanski explained. Based out of Ohio, the company does all the testing on those students who voluntarily participate in activities. This removes all of the bias out of the testing. The cost is $30/test with the completely randomized tests being conducted every two weeks. A minimum of 15 tests must be completed each go-around. “I would suggest 15 tests every two weeks for high school students and five for middle school students making the total cost for 360 tests during the school year $10,800. Board members took the proposal under advisement.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 10th at 7:00 p.m. This is a change from the April 17th date on the school calendar due to that being a vacation day for students and staff.

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