Board selects school improvement advisory members

The Red Oak School Board has finalized the members of the district’s School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) for the 2021-22 school year. 

Red Oak Superintendent Ron Lorenz said Iowa Code required the district to appoint a committee consisting of students, parents, community members and stakeholders to provide the district recommendations regarding its programming and instructional needs and help with long-term planning. 

“If you recall last year, we used a different approach, a crowd-sourcing platform to try and get feedback from anyone who wanted to participate, and we used that feedback to try to create themes, and broke the SIAC committee into subcommittees to really dig into those and it worked really well,” said Lorenz. 

Based on how positively things went, Lorenz said they were looking to follow the same approach for the upcoming school year. 

“This first semester, we want to bring those folks back, update them as to where we are in satisfying the recommendations they made last spring, and next spring, we would do a very similar process and build upon the work we did last spring,” explained Lorenz. 

The members selected for the SIAC committee include:

Community: Dr. Edward Grass, Mabel Rico, Ed Pedersen, Ryan Beesen, Amy Rydberg, Corrine Jenkins, Richard Fisher, Kevin Bruning, Lisa Schmid, Dave Jenkins, Ginny Kells, Tianna Fisher, Sam Beesen, Jen Lydon, David Rydberg, Aaron Schmid, Mark Kells, Jessie Bruning, Joe Lydon, Dr. William Butz, Christie Butz, Kim Bond, Stacy Querry, Mallorie Sampson, and Jed Westover.

Staff: Jane Chaillie, Leanne Fluckey, Nate Perrien, Kevin Herrick, Justin Williams, Ron Lorenz, Kelsey Mangold, Sharon Allison, Janelle Erickson, Barb Sims, Tracy Vannausdle, Josh Kippley, Kelly Jones, Andrea Wonio, Kendall Candor, Debbie Graber, SueAnn Crouse, and Zoey Baker.

Student: Grayson Hewett, Aedynn Graham, Chloie Bruce, Joshua LaRette, Ashlyn Blackman, Kate Edie, and Tessa Rolenc.

Board Members: Kathy Walker and Jackie DeVries.

Board Member Roger Carlson asked how much the board met in person last year due to the pandemic, and Lorenz said they only met once in-person in the spring. Lorenz confirmed that the committee was composed of the same people, and Carlson was in agreement that the committee would remain the same to keep some continuity. Lorenz agreed, and reiterated that he felt it was important they bring them back to review the progress that had been made on last year’s recommendations. 

The board approved the 2021-22 SIAC members, as presented. 

Additionally, Lorenz was pleased to report that the meeting was being streamed through the new virtual learning classroom. 

“Everything during the meeting was run through our new technology, including the audio. This has been a long time coming, but finger crossed it works well. 

Lorenz also issued praise to student Jonah Wemhoff, who was selected for the All-State Chorus for the second time, and said it was the highest honor a high school vocalist can receive. Red Oak’s marching band also received a one rating at the recent State Marching Band competition in Glenwood. 

In other business, the board:

• Approved the use of ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds for the hiring of a math interventionist at Red Oak Jr./Sr. High School through the end of the 2022-23 school year, at a salary of roughly $60,000 per year, including FUICA, IPERS, and insurance benefits. 

Lorenz said the interventionist was very similar to the one that was hired a few weeks ago at Inman Elementary. 

“This is a person who will work directly with students and staff to help close achievement gaps, particularly those created during the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented Lorenz. 

• Approved the use of ESSER funds for the purchase of bus wi-fi equipment and a data plan for the 2021-22 school year. Lorez said it was not simply to provide internet for kids on the bus. The service selected was Premier Wireless, at a cost of $22,242. 

This allows us to take remote internet to underserved spots, and project internet up to 300 feet. It also allows us to track the buses, so if one gets lost, or encounters trouble, we can dispatch help, so there are a lot of parts to this, and I think it’s going to be a good thing.”

• Approved a special education contract with the Stanton School District for the 2021-22 school year.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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