Sigourney School Board Discusses Door Locks and AEA Money

Casey Jarmes
The News-Review

SIGOURNEY – During the April 10 meeting of the Sigourney School Board, the board approved purchasing security door locks for the high school from Liberty Door at a price of $42,000 for the High School and $31,500 for the Elementary. Superintendent Kevin Hatfield noted that there are currently a lot of keys out there, some of which don’t work. The new locks will have a shared key, meaning every teacher can get into any classroom. The district plans to collect old keys and have teachers lock their doors all day. Board member Adam Clark asked what the district’s policy was for keys being left on desks or in classrooms; Hatfield stated teachers would be required to keep keys on them at all times.

Also at the Wednesday meeting, Hatfield discussed the effect that the recent AEA overhaul will have on Sigourney. There will be no change in Special Education funding during the upcoming 24/25 school year, but the following year a 90/10 split will go into effect, with Sigourney receiving 10% of Special Education funding formerly given to the AEA. During the 24/25 school year, Sigourney will be given 60% of Media and Educational Services funds; beginning in the 25/26 year, the district will receive 100% of the funding. Hatfield stated that the school will have roughly $21,000 for media services and $20,000 for educational services in the upcoming school year. He stated that the school might continue giving funds to the AEA during the next year.

Hatfield noted that, because of the teacher pay raise included in the AEA bill, eight teachers will have salaries increased to $47,500 this coming year and $50,000 the next year. He also noted that 14 teachers will be bumped up to $60,000. Hatfield stated that there would not be as big of an increase for everyone else, but that the school would try to thoughtfully scale salaries.

The board reviewed handbook changes to the student handbooks spurred on by new state requirements. Instead of a 30-day ban from activities for students who fail classes, students will be banned for only 20 days. Beginning with the week four grade checks, students failing classes will have to come in three times a week. At the elementary and preschool, children will not be allowed to bring toys or live animals to school.

Work-based learning coordinator Wade Van Vark talked about the district’s Iowa Clearinghouse digital project board, which now features projects for making websites, marketing, and table manufacturing. The website also features a career cluster section, split into 16 career groups with sample academy schedules for each. Van Vark stated that he was looking into having business partners for each grade.

A representative from SitelogIQ gave a report on the elementary infrastructure project, including a tentative schedule for the 2024 phase of the project, which should end just before the fall semester begins. Hatfield brought up a group that paid off some student lunch debt this year and plans to do so again this year; he stated the district would review families before giving out the donation money, to ensure it went to families who need help instead of families who can day.

Webb brought up the fact that Open Road Driving, the company that currently provides drivers’ ed for Sigourney, plans to stop coming down to Sigourney. She discussed starting a Sigourney-run driving program and opening it up to other nearby schools.

The board approved a budget with a levy rate of $11.38; this budget is centered on the assumption that the district will receive a 3% increase in State Supplemental Aid and may be adjusted by the Department of Management by a penny or two if the SSA increase is smaller.




The News-Review

120 East Washington
Sigourney, Iowa 52591
Phone: 641-622-3110

601 G. Avenue/PO Box 245
Grundy Center, IA 50638
Telephone: 1-319-824-6958
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