David Dyb had a busy first year as district administrator for the Iola-Scandinavia schools.
He summed up his whirlwind experience during the annual meeting of the I-S School District on Monday, Aug. 11.
“When I first got here, it seemed like we were into everything,” Dyb said. “It seemed we have had to do everything all at once this year.”
Since he was hired in the spring of 2013, he has been involved in finding a new business manager, transportation director, buildings and ground coordinator, restructuring the office staff and replacing retired teachers.
Dyb thanked the I-S School Board for putting their faith in a first-time district administrator.
“Without their support, I couldn’t do what I did,” he said.
He commended the board for getting “a lot of good people on board,” and thanked his leadership team for doing a great job during the 2013-14 school year.
“The leadership team gives their time to really go out there to talk and collaborate with their staff and bring it back to us,” Dyb said. “It’s a structure that will continue to grow.”
He noted that the I-S School District was ranked as “exceeding expectations” on the state’s 2012-13 report card. It was one of the highest ranked school districts in the area.
Although the results for 2013-14 are still embargoed, he indicated it will be “good” news.
“It is a truly awesome feeling to come to school every morning and to be making a difference in the lives of our community’s greatest resource – our children,” Dyb said.
In other business, the district’s electors approved a tax levy of $4,130,771 for the 2014-15 school year. This is up about $113,000 from 2013-14.
After discussion, the electors approved resolutions authorizing the board to dispose of surplus real estate, property or equipment and to acquire real estate through purchase or condemnation for school district purposes.
Board President and meeting chairman Charles Wasrud explained that these resolutions will allow the board to address these issues at regular board meetings instead of setting special meetings. He noted any pending sale or disposal must still be officially posted twice in order to inform the public.
Class sizes were discussed at the regular board meeting that followed the annual meeting.
Board member Kristen Hoyord was concerned by the number of students enrolled in the fourth, fifth and sixth grade levels. She wondered if the numbers exceeded the district’s student-per-classroom limits.
“I think that’s something we need to look at,” Hoyord said.
“It also depends on how many open enrollment students still decide to attend,” Dyb said.
The numbers are close to the maximum limit, according to Elementary Principal Tess Lecy-Wojcik. She said the final student per class count will be taken on Friday, Sept. 5.
The board noted the solution to overcrowding the classrooms would be to hire another teacher.
“It would be nice to have another full-time teacher,” Lecy-Wojcik said.
“The board has an early September meeting, so it will be easy to adjust,” Dyb said.
The board members asked why open enrollment students were accepted when these classes were so full.
“We need to accept open enrollment by a certain date,” High School Principal Sara Anderson said. “Whatever happens to the numbers after that, happens.”
Dyb announced the district’s decision for handling student alcohol and drug use will not involve training of staff. He explained the required drug impairment training is expensive.
“We will have a uniformed on duty police officer at significant school events, such as dances,” Dyb said.