CLEARMONT — After a special musical performance Wednesday night by Tri-M, the Sheridan County School District 3 honor music group, a former Olympic athlete joined the coaching team at Arvada-Clearmont High School, preliminary discussion on how to tighten the district budget by $200,000 began and an architect’s bid to manage summer projects was accepted at the monthly meeting of the SCSD3 board of trustees.
Accounting firm Bennett, Weber and Hermstad presented the district’s annual audit report. The audit was clean and offered some assistance to the discussions beginning in the district surrounding how to “trim the fat” after the district’s funding for next year was reduced from $3.9 million to $3.7 million.
The External Cost Adjustment ensured by the passing of House Bill 1 with language granting it generated an increase to the district’s overall budget that was significant enough for the current staffing levels to be maintained, according to SCSD3 Superintendent Charles Auzqui.
“The ECA was a huge bonus to us and we are so grateful for that being passed,” Auzqui said. “It’s going to allow us to balance out our staffing and keep the people we need in place.”
He added that the administration does not anticipate cutting certified staff but will review areas to make the needed cuts next month.
The board approved Aaron Cleare as head coach of the junior high track team. Cleare previously ran in the Olympics and was an All-American athlete in college. His wife, Ashley, a fellow former All American, was approved as the assistant coach.
Three of four certified staff contracts up for renewal were approved and Roy Doke (7-12 Spanish and K-6 elementary teacher), Elisa Olson (K-12 music teacher) and Kim Davis (.75 time 7-12 English teacher) will all return next year. Also returning, Ross Walker (7-12 science teacher) received tenure.
Additionally, Dale Buckingham Architects was selected to bid and supervise the district’s summer projects. It will get started on prioritizing projects and sending them out for bid next week after asking $17,585 for the job.
Some of the projects the firm will be bidding out include sealing doors at Arvada Elementary, as well as replacing weather siding on the north side of the building. Clearmont High School has some soffits on the roof that need to be replaced as well as gutter issues. The architects will develop a carpet replacement plan for the whole district and address ADA compliance issues on sidewalks as well as safety issues with fencing on recreation fields, among other things.
In other news, Shelby Baumgartner of Clearmont was part of the University of Wyoming range management team that finished third at the International Society for Range Management’s Undergraduate Range Management Exam in February. The UW team won a tiebreaker with the University of Alberta and was one point from tying for second-place with South Dakota State University.
The students are rangeland ecology and watershed management majors in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and have been practicing for the competition since September. The URME is a two-hour professional examination with six subject-specific areas and includes real-world problems requiring complex calculations.
The exam is so similar to the one taken by professionals to earn SRM’s certified professional in rangeland management designation that the exam requirement is waived for students placing in the top 10 percent and have at least five years of experience after graduation.
In other business:
• district Business Manager John Camino reported 44 percent of the total 2014-2015 budget remains available.
• Food Service Director Greg Rohrer reported Wednesday that all district activities requiring concessions are now over and a year-to-date intake report on concessions will be provided at next month’s meeting.
• the new school bus stop sign camera systems have been ordered with a goal of them being installed on all the buses by June.
• the district hired a new custodial services company called Bruco that will provide supplies and training to all of the district’s custodial staff beginning March 27.
• Camino reported the majority of the district housing project paperwork is now complete and a goal has been set of having the new singlewide in place by May 1.
• the board is looking at developing a combination school agreement in order to be able to combine with home schools and other public schools on extra-curricular activities, as they do not currently have a policy in place.
• the School Facilities Commission has asked the district to present its preferred plan in regards to what to do with the old Rock School. District administrators will plan a community meeting to begin gathering ideas and input.
• administrators will host a staff training on March 30 based around everything that is needed to present for Wyoming accountability on the schools that did not meet expectations.