QC School Board Report Card

[The Quad City Times] QC School Board Report Card

A roundup of key highlights and agenda items from recent local school board meetings:

Davenport Community School District

JAN. 23 — All board members were present; President Dan Gosa opened the meeting with a moment of silence for the two students killed and staff member critically injured by gun violence Monday at Starts Right Here education center in Des Moines.

The board then held a public hearing on the plans and specifications for the roof replacement project at Central High School’s George Marshall Gym before unanimously approving the item.

The board recognized the district’s many fine arts students and staff achievements in theater, visual arts and music. Davenport schools earned the most awards in the Festival of Trees 2022 High School Art Show, and Central High School band Director Alex Wilga shared they were invited to perform at the Granger Concert Band Festival in Chicago this March.

The board then heard a presentation on the district’s 2022 financial audit. Sarah Bohnsack of Bohnsack & Frommelt LLP highlighted the district’s governmental fund revenues increased by $9 billion from last year, while total governmental fund expenditures landed at $2.5 million compared with $200 million last year.

Another presentation on the district’s “iJag” (Iowa’s Jobs for America’s Graduates) program followed; the program serves 193 students total — 69% being on free or reduced-price lunch plans. iJag partners with school districts statewide to create a bridge to the workforce for students, through skill development, work-based learning, job shadows and site tours, mock interviews and other opportunities.

Jaxon Beliveau announced West High School’s yearbook and “Beak ’n’ Eye” student newspaper took first place at the American Scholastic Press Association’s high school competitions. Landen Freeman, of North, shared that he and other student board representatives planned to organize student leadership groups to support elementary students impacted by the recent school closures.

The board then unanimously approved the consent agenda and remaining action items.

Highlights:A $57,000 design contract with Bray Architects for the 2023 Madison Elementary Window Replacement Project.A $798,062 contract with Specialized Education Services, Inc. for the fiscal year 2023-24 and a $328,801.72 contract for the remainder of FY 2022-2023.A slew of board policy revisions, including: licensed and non-bargaining employees group benefits, employee records and release of credit information, among others.

Next meeting: 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6.

Moline Coal-Valley School District No. 40

JAN 23 — Board President Erin Waldron-Smith was not present. The board quickly approved all consent agenda items; board member Maria S. Trigueros abstained on an item dealing with the appointment of staff to differential assignments for the 2022-2023 school year.

The board then approved all remaining action items unanimously.

Highlights:A Memorandum of Understanding with United Way Quad-Cities for its "United for Schools" grant program at Washington Elementary School; programming and services will begin following a needs assessment of the school.First and second readings of a laundry list of board policy revisions, including: school district elections, waiver of student fees, equal employment opportunity & minority recruitment and school accountability, among many others.

Superintendent Dr. Rachel Savage noted the district's upcoming "Portrait of a Graduate" project in her report, which will be a collaborative process with internal and external stakeholders. The project aims to identify shared aspirations with the broader community and "reimagine" a collective vision for district students.

Following closed session, the board also unanimously approved up to 20 transitional workdays during June, July and/or August to assist with end-of-year teacher retirement system reports. All daily pay rates will be $313.97.

Next meeting: 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13.

Pleasant Valley Community School District

JAN 23 — All board members were present. Superintendent Brian Strusz offered condolences to the family of district staff member Deborah Menke for the passing of her husband, Rich.

Mike Zimmer, director of secondary education, shared that 35 high school students passed the University of Northern Iowa’s personal finance exam, earning three hours of college credit. Because of the increase in participation and success rate among PV students this year, their instructor, Rita Brown, was asked to serve on UNI’s Department Advisory Board.

Zimmer also recognized the 13 speech and debate students who competed in regionals — nine continuing to the state competition. 

The board then unanimously approved all consent agenda items and bills, before doing the same to all old and new business items.

Highlights:An updated map for PV’s Director Districts, as required by Iowa law following each federal decennial census. The boundary changes won’t impact student attendance but aim to balance the overall district population between school board directors’ respective districts.A $404,500.00 bid from Midwest Tennis & Track Company for the Spartan Stadium track and junior high track resurfacing projects.A $595,940 total bid from Midwest Field Turf for the Spartan Stadium turf replacement project.The 2023-24 board meeting schedule and all December financials.

Next meeting: 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13.

East Moline School District No. 37

JAN 23 — All board members were present. The board quickly approved all consent agenda items unanimously.

The board held first readings on revisions to a slew of board policies, including those on access to district public records, Title IX sexual harassment grievance procedure, fiscal and business management and student support services, among others.

Superintendent Dr. Kristin Humphries recognized longtime district educator Sanchia Sommer for her work in his Central Office report. Sommer also leads the district’s “Robogators” Lego robotics competition team. The board then approved all new business items unanimously.

Highlights:The 2023-24 school district calendar.Purchasing two Ford F-150 trucks from Sexton Ford for the district’s maintenance and operations department, which won’t be delivered until after July 1.Appointing Blanca Leal as the new director of English Learners and equity.

Next meeting: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27.

North Scott Community School District

JAN 23 — All current board members were present. The board quickly approved all consent agenda items unanimously.

Mia Frommelt, of Bohnsack & Frommelt LLP, gave a summary of the district’s 2021-22 audits — all earned unmodified opinions with no findings to report. The board then held a public hearing on the proposed 2023-24 school calendar before recognizing the tireless work of district food service staff.

John Glenn Elementary staff gave a presentation on the school’s improvement journey over the past year, highlighting how they’ve fostered a collaborative structure and whole-child approach to interventions. They also spoke about the impact of layered intervention meetings, featuring student testimonials.

The board unanimously approved all items requiring action.

Highlights:All 2021-22 district audits.The 2023-24 school calendar.All recommended bids and contractors for the Alan Shepard Elementary addition project, which is slated for this spring.Ten-year board member Glen Keppy’s resignation and board vacancy procedure.

Next meeting: 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13.

Bettendorf Community School District

JAN 26 — All board members were present. 

The board recognized five high school seniors who were selected to perform in the Meistersinger Honor Choir next January and six students on the high school’s speech and debate team who placed in the Bulldog Shuffle Tournament last weekend.

Matt Gillespie from Piper Sandler financial firm gave an update on the district’s upcoming general obligation (GO) bond referendum, which will fund several facility improvement projects. He shared that the Iowa Department of Management used the incorrect rollback percentage when calculating property values for all municipalities across the state.

Because of the miscalculation, Gillespie said the district’s taxable property evaluation number will likely decrease slightly, but that the district should expect to remain at the $2.70 debt service tax levy range for several years until all bonds have been issued. He said the tax levy would come down upon GO bond project completion and that the district’s per-student sales tax revenue number would likely increase in the future due to the recent Students First Act.

The board heard an update on the district’s Therapeutic Learning Community (TLC) services, a piece of its Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) intervention plan. Starting in February, Bettendorf students and families will be invited to begin TLC services. The district received the state’s “Therapeutic Classrooms” grant this fall to provide increased services for students whose social, emotional or behavioral needs aren't met in their current educational environment.

The board then unanimously approved the consent agenda and all items requiring action.

Highlights:Two board policy revisions aligning with Iowa Association of School Board recommendations.All December 2022 financials.

Next meeting: 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9.

Photos: Pleasant Valley girls wrestling takes on Bettendorf











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