School board updates: Jan. 10

An overview of what was discussed at the ICCSD school board meeting on Jan. 10.

Rosemary Timmer-Hackert, Print Opinion Editor

The ICCSD school board meeting kicked off with student representatives from Tate High, City High and West High sharing the recent accomplishments of students at their respective schools and updates on current student-led initiatives.

The school board then approved the consent agenda, with the personnel agenda, Dr. Elizabeth Pfohl’s volunteer health care practice agreement and the decision of the date of the public hearing and bid opening for the Horn Elementary school project withheld. After some discussion, these items were unanimously approved.

Then the Annual Audit Report was presented to the board by a representative of the RSM US LLP accounting firm. The district earned an unmodified “clean” opinion of their financial statements and usage of the funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief and Title 1 programs. The presenter noted that the district’s revenue grew by about 5%, and expenditures also shrunk by about 5%. 

The next item on the agenda was the Annual Enrollment, Demographics and Class Size Report. Notable findings from the report include that the racial and ethnic diversity of the district is still growing and enrollment in special education programs is at an all-time low of 9.4%, which was attributed to the multi-tiered systems of support the district has been implementing. It was also noted that West and City both have larger class sizes and more Free and Reduced Price lunch qualifying students than Liberty.

The school board also listened to an update on the fighting, assault and physical aggression policy that was announced Oct. 31 2022. The new policy has led to only two students across the four high schools earning two offenses and being placed in the Online Learning Center. The school board also learned about the success of another initiative, a community-led enrichment program to connect with young colored women in the district who had earned multiple suspensions or one suspension lasting more than a day. The program brought in black and brown staff and administrators from around the district to connect with the 60 participating students and lead reflective training. The program was viewed as a success by those who participated, and data is currently being collected to see if the numbers agree. A second session is being planned for sometime in March.