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School board hears status of Dist. 20

Clark recognized for years of service on board

Enrollment at Gothenburg Public Schools has steadily increased since 1998.

And the number of students who qualify for special education services is lower than the state average, according to statistics reviewed by Dist. 20 school board members at their Dec. 10 meeting.

Long-time board member Bruce Clark, who attended his last school board meeting on Dec. 10, has witnessed the enrollment increase, the passage of a bond issue to build the new school and its construction and more.

Clark, who served as board secretary for many of those years, chose not to run for re-election to the board after 17 years. He was recognized at the meeting and afterwards at a holiday party he and wife, Joyce, hosted.

Jeremy Sitorius was elected to the board in November.

In addition to enrollment and special education trends, data coordinator and junior high principal Ryan Groene shared more information about Gothenburg schools from the State of the Schools 2011-12 report, issued by the Nebraska Department of Education.

For example, 838 students were enrolled in Dist. 20 in 1998 compared to 909 at the end of September.

Special education services are offered to 11.6% of children in the district. That figure is 15.03% for the state.

Other demographic information and how students fared on state tests was shared in earlier issues of The Times and can also be viewed on the NDE website at www.education.ne.gov.

In other action, the board voted to accept an addendum to a negotiated agreement with the Gothenburg Education Association.

Insurance rates, for the second year of the two-year contract, had not been determined when a salary and benefit package was ratified earlier this year,

The addendum defines premium contributions for medical and dental insurance in 2013-14.

Superintendent Dr. Mike Teahon said the only change is that the medical deductible increases from $600 to $750.

On a related matter, the board recognized the GEA as the bargaining agent for certified teaching staff in 2014-15.

Under state statute, bargaining units must be recognized by Sept. 1.

Board members also accepted the resignation of special education teacher Judy Jensen.

Jensen, who will resign at the end of the school year, has taught in the district for 16 years.

In other business, the board:

accepted a proposal from Eakes Office Plus of Kearney to lease copiers and printers to the district and manage and maintain them.

Eakes had the lowest bid, at an estimated $2,987 a month, compared to the other bidder—LaserTec of Nebraska from Shelton—that bid $3,302 a month.

learned that heat pumps, air handlers, exhaust fans and heat exchangers have been inspected for the year and that the district replaced a heat-pump compressor for $3,000.

heard that 80 veterans and spouses were served lunch by the school on Veteran’s Day and that nutrition services officials are looking into a service that allows parents to pay for lunch accounts and other activities on-line.

heard that a letter about sportsmanship for parents and students was sent and that 56% of high schoolers are participating in a winter extracurricular activity.

were informed that the superintendent is working with staff to review employee-owned benefit programs.

were shown that high school detentions and tardies have dropped substantially, starting with the 2010-11 school year, because of policies that try to curb discipline problems.

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