—by Todd Thorson

The Roland-Story school board held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 10, and continued their work on the proposed budget for FY 2015. The public hearing legal notice concerning the proposed budget can be found in the legal section of this week’s Herald (page 8).

The board also made a motion to close open enrollment requests for the Home School Assistance Program, effective immediately. Any family currently enrolled in the program will be grandfathered in.

"With the change of law regarding the home school law, many school districts are dropping their Home School Assistance Program (HSAP)," said Superintendent Mike Billings, "and many of those families across the state are looking to open enroll into schools who have decided to maintain it. We will continue to offer our program, but it will be offered to resident district families. We will honor the families who are currently open enrolled, but the program will be closed to future open enrollments."

For the 2014-15 school year a host of fees charged, including text book rental, will not change from the previous year. Other fees that will go unchanged from 2013-14 include fees for band uniforms, driver’s education, choir robes, activity passes, summer school, discretionary busing, as well as bus rental. School lunch prices, however, are still being determined.

"We are currently working with the state hot lunch office to determine where we will set our lunch/breakfast prices, but they have not given us the final word yet," added Superintendent Billings. "As soon as we have that information we will be adopting those prices and notifying our parents."

The board also approved several other measures, including open enrollment in and out requests, various district resignations and new or renewed 2014-15 contracts, as well as approval of voluntary coaching contracts. The board also gave approval naming Aaron Stensland as the new Roland-Story varsity football coach (see last week’s Herald for further information on Aaron’s new position). Stensland will be paid an additional 11 percent of his teaching salary (approximately $5,100) to take on the new position.

Resignations, with appreciation, including school nurse Laura Pepin, Dalyn Varela, eighth grade softball coach, and Jeff Staker, middle school assistant football coach were approved. The latter pending a suitable replacement.

New teaching contracts were issued to Michael Oleson, middle school guidance counselor; Jacob Sheahan, middle school history/assistant football coach; Katharyn Sandquist, middle school language arts; and Connor Koppin, high school vocal music. Colton Calvert was also given a contract for the middle school assistant track coach position.

Volunteer high school coaching contracts approved included Chad Gilroy, boys’ track; Natalie Whipple, girls’ track; Ben Knutson, girls’ track; Brian Gast, boys’ track; and Peter Elmore, boys’ track.

The high school portrait photography agreement between Pete Tekippe Photography and the R-S school district will also continue, and Superintendent Billings praised the decision: "In my many years as an administrator, I don’t remember partnerships that have gone this well," he said. "Tekippe Photography has been working with us for many years, and they have done a fantastic job. Their dedication to detail, their flexibility and the quality of their product has been great."

The next regular Roland-Story school board meeting will be held Monday, April 14.