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Sprowls re-elected president of USD 408 Board of Education

USD 408 Board of Education elected to stay the course Monday by re-electing President Chris Sprowls to another term.

“It’s always an honor. I enjoy it most of the time,” Sprowls said. He was first elected as board president in 2007.

“It’s an honor to be a part of the great district we have. It seems like since I came onto the board it’s gotten better and better each year. I can see the improvement and that’s exciting,” Sprowls said.

Sarah Cope was elected vice president.

Holding the line on the district mill levy is a priority as the 2012-13 budget is being finalized, Superintendent Lee Leiker said.

“Our mill rate last year was 48.967 mills, and I certainly want to be in that same ballpark,” Leiker said.

District revenue will benefit from a $50-per-pupil raise in state aid, and anticipated increases in vocational funding from additional enrollments in new courses, Leiker said.

A public hearing for the budget will be conducted at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 prior to the regular board meeting, Leiker said.

Leiker showcased the redesigned district web site, and highlighted ways the site can improve communication and access to information for the public.

BoardDocs is a software package Leiker is evaluating that would integrate with the website.

“I like it because it’s easier to post items to it, but the main reason is that you can go to the webpage and access board agendas and the information that goes with it, so anybody in the public can have access to it,” Leiker said.

Leiker said the open access to information is worth the $1,000 setup fee and $2,700 annual fee.

Leiker said district policies will also be posted on the website.

The website district event calendar, with improved sorting and a user print option will bring an end to district-printed calendars.

“We’re going to try to go without printing them this year. We’re going to encourage everybody to go to this site,” Leiker said.

Board member Jan Helmer voiced support for the change.

“We’re in the technology age, and of course it does change, and if those things change you can go online and see exactly when something may have been changed from Friday to some other time,” Helmer said. “I think we need to push that as a school to go online.”

In other business:

  • Board members approved the option of using 1,116 attendance hours for the upcoming year, changing from 186 days. Leiker said the switch means days lost to weather or special events will not have to be added to the calendar, as long as the 1,116-hour requirement is met.
  • A school meal price increase of 5 cents per meal was approved. The increase will offset the additional cost of meeting new federal mandates for increased servings of fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. No change was made for those qualifying for reduced meal costs.

Last modified July 12, 2012

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