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November 12, 2018 Board Minutes

Arapahoe-Holbrook Public School

Board of Education – Regular Meeting

Conference Room

November 12th, 2018 7:00 pm


President Dennis Roskop called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.


President Roskop announced that the Arapahoe-Holbrook Board of Education follows the rules of the Open Meetings Act which is posted. 


The following members were present: Chad Carpenter, Rodney Whipple, Dennis Roskop, Brad Schutz, and Lisa Anderson.  Dan Warner joined the meeting at 7:10 pm.


The following member(s) were absent: None.


Also present was Dr. George Griffith, Superintendent, Bob Braithwait, Principal, and Cassie Hilker, Board Secretary.  Visitors were present.


A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Whipple to approve the agenda as presented.  AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, and Anderson.  Motion carried 5-0.


Roskop opened the meeting up to the visitors and asked for public comment.  Tyler Cox stated that he is with Bluebird and is here to answer any questions that may come up during the bus bid discussion.




Braithwait congratulated the football team and coaches for making it to the playoffs for the 18th consecutive year.  It is quite an accomplishment.  Brandon Tucker qualified for State Cross Country.  He ran his best time on a brutal course and finished 46th out of 148.  Several students participated in the Young Americans Workshop.  They had a performance in Cambridge on the last day.  It was outstanding!  The Musical was incredible once again.  He couldn’t be more proud of the students.  They are so talented and gifted.  We are extremely fortunate to have Mrs. Stephens, Mrs. Leising, and Mrs. Monie spend all of the time they do on preparing for this.  Winter activities are in full swing as of today.  Wrestling has 14 out, Boys Basketball has 20, and Girls Basketball has 10.  All teachers have been formally evaluated.  Probationary staff will be evaluated again in the spring.  Aides will be evaluated by the next board meeting.  The Jazz Band will perform on NTV on December 5th at 9:30.  The K-6 Christmas Program is on December 6th.  The 7-12 Concert is on December 11th.  Both performances are at 7:00 pm and both are worth your time to attend.  Schutz asked Braithwait what the percentage of student athletes was in our student population.  Several would be three sport athletes.  He is just curious what the percentage of athletes was for our school.  Braithwait estimated around 33% and that is just a guess.  We probably have another 20 students that are out of Speech.


Griffith stated he has talked to the high school teachers about beginning to pack up material they will not be using until after the first of the year so they can get those items moved as soon as the rooms can be used.  We are supposed to have the agriculture shop and classroom available to move in to, with the music room not far behind.  We have received a normal warranty for the flat roof with only the normal language related to hail damage.  Hausmann is still planning to have the floor leveling done and the baseboard trim installed in the new building during Christmas break.  The date for demolition of the high school building is January 14th.  He is working with Mr. Mark Hamel on auctioning off all of the items in storage and that are not going to be used by the District from the high school, with all items to be removed no later than January 11th.  This would include a car and a minivan.  The items will be sold in an electronic auction format.  There was an increase in our number of special needs students.  It went from 47 to 52 and at least 5 of those are extremely high need.  As a result he had to hire another Para.  They hired Christina Maaske.  The FCCLA did a great job today with the Veterans Program.  That sponsorship is now split between two people.  Mrs. Spaulding is doing half and Mrs. Burton is doing half.  When that was first proposed, Mr. Braithwait and I were not big on the idea.  They had a good argument to Mr. Braithwait and he told me it would be better for our kids.  It seems to be working out well.  He was approached today by the Sons of the American Legion about hosting the next County Government Day.  It has been at Southern Valley the last five years.  Braithwait stated that they are going to come in and we are going to give them some dates.  Schutz had some concerns about having people come into the school to remove items from a liability standpoint.  Griffith stated that he will check on the liability issues before moving forward.  Whipple stated that he wasn’t aware of the auction.  Schutz asked if there was a list of items that the District wants to keep.  Griffith stated that what we are keeping will be removed from the high school building before the auction.  Warner joined the meeting and apologized for being late.  Anderson asked if there is a list of items showing what will be auctioned off.  Griffith stated that there would be a list with pictures.  Some of the items being auctioned off are air conditioning units.  The original plan was to take the items to Holbrook.  With all of the items we have, that would be a lot of extra work. 


Board Member Reports – None.


Board Committee Reports – Griffith stated that he included the NASB Update.  The minutes from the Administrative Review Committee meeting are included and will be discussed later on in the meeting.  The minutes from the Transportation Committee meeting are also included and will be discussed later on in the meeting.  The Finance Committee met prior to tonight’s meeting.  One item that was discussed was a check for $386,000.  Griffith stated that this was the money received from the insurance claim.  It was deposited into the General Fund, but after hearing back from the Finance Department at NDE they recommended depositing the insurance money into the Building Fund.  That check is to transfer the money from the General Fund to the Building Fund.  Roskop stated that most of what has been discussed at recent OAC meetings is going to be discussed later on in tonight’s meeting.  We also have a Pay App.  They are hopeful to have construction done on the Ag Shop and be moving in by the end of the month.  They are also trying to finish up the locker rooms and weigh room area by December 1st.  They did a walk-through of the renovated area and they are moving along very well on that.  A lot of cabinetry being installed and tile work.  There will be a lot of construction workers around these next couple of weeks.  They are telling us everything is getting done on time. 




A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Schutz to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.  AYES: Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, and Carpenter.  Motion carried 6-0.


A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Whipple to approve claims including the General Fund, Equipment Depreciation Fund, Employee Benefit Fund, Lunch Fund, Building Fund, and Student Fee Fund totaling $777,106.01.  Roskop stated that as Griffith said earlier the general fund numbers are higher due to the transfer to the building fund of the insurance money.  AYES: Roskop, Schutz but abstaining from Claim No. 30210 to the Arapahoe Public Mirror for $757.72, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter but abstaining from Claim No. 30264 to W&J Repair for $259.83, and Whipple but abstaining from Claim No. 30213 to ATC for $351.85.  Motion carried 6-0.


Olivia Leising stated that this fall she went through a pretty vigorous audition process and was selected to be a member of the Nebraska All State Choir.  It will take place in Lincoln the second half of this week.  It is a 400 member choir.  They are all excellent musicians and it is a great honor to be a part of this choir.  She requested per diem funds for a portion of Wednesday, all day Thursday, and all day Friday.  Schutz asked where it was held.  Leising stated that she thought rehearsals are held at one of the hotels in downtown Lincoln and the performance is at the Lied Center on Friday afternoon.  Schutz asked who was sponsoring and going with her.  Leising stated that Mrs. Leising and Mrs. Stephens are taking her.  They will also be attending the teacher portion of the convention.  A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Carpenter to approve the per diem request of Leising to NMEA.  AYES: Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, and Roskop.  Motion carried 6-0.  The board congratulated Leising.  Griffith asked her what time the performance would be on Friday.  Leising thought it started at 4:30.  The choir also performs with the Jazz Band and she is estimating 1 ½ to 2 hours for the performance.  The choir sings about eight different pieces and they are a variety of styles.  It is pretty challenging stuff and she is really looking forward to it.  She thanked the board and left the meeting.


Griffith stated that we currently have two checking accounts.  One is for all of the funds that were combined before and the other account is for the activity fund.  He stated that Hilker can explain the reasons for combining the two accounts.  Hilker stated that the primary reason is for payroll.  Since we are complying with IRS now and paying ticket takers and so on out of the activity fund that includes payroll taxes and retirement.  These are things that have been automatically paid out of the main account through the general fund.  Payroll taxes can only be paid out of one checking account with our Tax ID Number.  She has to move money between the two accounts since the activity fund now has to pay payroll taxes and retirement.  It would make things easier to combine the checking accounts.  Griffith stated that the financial part would still be kept separate within the system.  Katey Hamel takes care of the activity fund and she will only have access to that fund within the system.  She will not have access to the other funds.  The change on checks would that President and Vice President would not be listed on the two signature lines.  They would only show as two signature lines.  Currently, we only have one signature on activity fund checks and this change would force us to have two signatures which is something that the auditor has pushed for.  Other reasons are due to the accounting changes we have been forced to make to provide more transparency.  Roskop stated that when this was originally discussed he was concerned about how they were going to continue to keep track of each individual activity.  They will still be able to do that.  So if a patron makes a donation to FFA, that money will go to that specific activity account rather than just going into a pot and getting lost.  Warner asked how deposits will be done.  Hilker stated that she plans to roll the money in the separate activity fund checking account into the main checking account pot.  It will still be kept track of separately within Aptafund, the accounting software.  FFA, Girls Basketball and so on will still be tracked separately.  It is no different than the general fund, building fund and so on.  Warner stated that as long as it makes Hilker’s job easier he doesn’t see a problem with it.  Hilker stated that in the past there was a lady that did a workshop on this topic at the state conference and she encouraged anyone going to the state conference to attend that workshop if it is being held again.  She talks about this very thing.  We pay a significant fee for the accounting software and it has the capability to track everything with one checking account.  She has been corresponding with her about this.  Griffith stated that he recommends moving forward with this change.  A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Anderson to combine checking accounts.  AYES: Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, and Schutz.  Motion carried 6-0.


Roskop stated that the bond balance as of today was $445,387.72 which will require a transfer from the general fund to the bond fund of $249,387.72 to complete the December bond payments.  Whipple asked if the Finance Committee looked at this and asked if it was their recommendation to do this.  Roskop stated that they looked at it and they have to make the bond payment.  We knew that we collected less than we needed to last year again.  We have changed it with this year’s budget and tax asking.  This will be the last year that we will have to transfer funds to complete these bond payments.  Griffith stated that this is his recommendation as well.  Anderson asked if they were planning to pay it back at all.  It was budgeted to do this.  Griffith stated that it is not a loan and will not be paid back.  Warner asked if this would be the last time general funds are used to make a bond payment.  Griffith confirmed that was correct.  A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Warner to make the bond payment of $694,422.50 and transfer $249,387.72 from the general fund to the bond fund.  AYES: Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, and Anderson.  Motion carried 6-0.


Griffith stated that he went out and looked at the weight equipment and evaluated what we had and determined what he thought would need replaced to protect the flooring in the new weight room.  The dumbbells are used and he looked at the rack and basically it just takes the paint off.  He thought those could be forgone.  He thought they had adequate bars that could be used for now.  One item he thought was needed but could be gotten next year was medicine balls.  That would be $300-$400.  When running your hands around the plates there are sharp edges that could damage the new floor.  He thinks it would be beneficial for the protection of the flooring to purchase new plates.  The cost is $3,391.34 for the middle price range.  The higher one is $4,127.76 and the lower one is $2,295.07.  Schutz asked Griffith if he checked with Nova Fitness about piecing out these items and them still honoring the prices in the quote.  Griffith stated that anytime he has talked to them in the past they have honored the prices themselves.  The only thing that would be added would be shipping.  Whipple asked if there was a reason to not take the lowest bid and asked for a recommendation.  Griffith stated that the life expectancy was better with the middle bid.  There wasn’t much difference between the middle bid and the high bid on life expectancy.  He stated the lower bid would work as well.  In talking with the AD’s and coaches the middle price ranged items are what they would prefer.  He recommends purchasing one or the other, the bid for $2,295.07 or the bid for $3,391.34.  He doesn’t see any reason to go with the high bid.  The benefit of the middle range bid is that the coating on the weights is better.  It is less likely to chip.  Warner asked about the flooring in the weight room.  Griffith stated that it is rubber flooring and there will be additional rubber mats in the lifting areas.  Roskop stated that he looked at the current equipment as well.  One of the concerns Blackmore shared with him was that some of the weights we have are cracked.  That is a bigger concern for me.  We have enough wear and tear on the plates that it is time to replace them.  He asked Blackmore if it was normal wear and tear or if it was lack of care.  Blackmore indicated to Roskop that it was some of both.  Blackmore understands the amount of money they are asking for and that it is up to their due diligence to make sure the equipment is better taken care of.  Roskop stated that there are some cracked plates and dumbbells and it is just time.  Griffith stated that these new plates have additional grip on the bar.  It is another safety feature to keep them from sliding off.  Braithwait stated that they also have patrons that use the weight room facilities and he didn’t know what the plan was for that in the future.  Blackmore asked Roskop about that as well.  Roskop stated that they had talked about it at one point but hadn’t made a decision.  Warner stated that he asked the question because if we have a more up to code weight room and the proper flooring he asked if we would be better served saving $1,000 and going with the low bid.  He is not discrediting the fact that there is a need for them and they need replaced.  Braithwait stated that his defense of the coaches is that if they weren’t looking at this stuff they would have gone for the high bid.  They are at least looking at it and saying they could work with the low bid, but it would be nice if they could get the middle bid.  Warner asked if there was more longevity in the items in the middle bid.  Braithwait confirmed there was.  Griffith stated that longevity is the big difference between the low and middle bids.  Braithwait thought the coaches would go right to the high bid, but they didn’t.  They looked at all of the bids.  Griffith stated that his recommendation is the bid for $3,391.34.  A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Carpenter to accept Griffith’s recommendation of Estimate 132389 in the amount of $3,391.34 for weights.  AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, and Warner.  Motion carried 6-0.


Griffith stated that he got more information on the floor scrubber that was tabled at last month’s meeting.  We are going to have more square footage that the floor scrubber will be used on including the gym and other areas.  Currently, we don’t really use the floor scrubbers in the high school.  Some benefits of a riding floor scrubber are that it is twice as fast as a walk behind, it takes less time to change the fluid, it has one speed and is more consistent with the fluids, and it has bumpers to protect the base boards.  He asked if they use the floor scrubber on the gym floors and they do, but they use a different pad.  Warner asked how long it takes to change a pad.  Whipple stated that without a strong recommendation it is going to be hard for board members to go along with this item.  If there is a strong recommendation and a real need he would be able to support it.  Roskop stated that at last month’s meeting they asked for bids on other walk behind scrubbers and they are being presented with the same bid for the riding scrubber.  Griffith stated that the last scrubber we purchased was $4,700.  Schutz asked what size that scrubber was.  Griffith stated that it was a 20 inch.  Schutz asked if the walk behind scrubber they just purchase will sit idle if they get a riding scrubber.  Griffith said it would not.  Schutz asked if he could guarantee that.  Griffith stated that would be guaranteed.  Anderson asked if we just have the one walk behind scrubber.  Griffith stated that we have one and another one that is on its last leg.  Roskop stated that they may want to check the warranty information on the gym floor because he thinks they said it would void the warranty if a floor scrubber was used on the gym floor.  He is pretty sure that is one of the things they talked about at the gym floor installation.  He thinks we need to make sure of that before we use it on it.  It may not have any influence on this purchase, but it needs to be checked out.  There is no question that there is plenty of tile to be cleaned.  Warner asked how often all of the tile gets cleaned.  Griffith stated that he knows they use the new walk behind scrubber every day in the Commons Area after lunch.  Warner asked if all of the tile is scrubbed once a week or twice a week or what.  Griffith stated that he thought it was done twice a week, more depending on weather.  Another walk behind scrubber like the one we just got would be $5,000.  Carpenter stated that for $1,100 more we could get two walk behind scrubbers and get twice as much floor space covered.  Griffith stated that he will bring more bids on walk behind scrubbers to the next meeting.  Carpenter stated that he would just like to compare the two.  Griffith apologized and stated that he didn’t recall being asked to get more bids on walk behind scrubbers.  Roskop stated that it would be beneficial if we knew how much they were being used as well.  No action was taken.


Griffith stated that CFA #008 basically zeroes out the contingency fund balance.  This includes everything up to Change Order #89.  There are other change orders later on in tonight’s meeting.  Roskop stated that this basically gets the work completed and up to date with what we have.  We have approved everything up to now.  This adjustment will leave them with a zero balance in the contingency fund.  Griffith stated that he plans to work with Hilker on determining what items were changes we requested and what items were truly contingency items to ensure the contingency fund is accounted for appropriately.  Any contingency items over the contingency fund amount will be eaten by Hausmann.  Anderson asked Griffith to explain it again.  Griffith stated that the contingency fund was designed by Hausmann to cover unforeseen items.  They added about $145,000 worth of items that we requested to that.  At any time when an item comes up that they say we have to fix is above that $145,000 it will be paid for by Hausmann.  Roskop stated that Griffith is going to go back and look for those items that they requested be done, for example the glazing on the windows versus the brick work where the two buildings came together that they could not have foreseen.  Things that they came across that they wouldn’t have known about before tearing into the project should go against the contingency fund.  Griffith is going to go back and look at those items that we requested that were outside of the scope of the project.  Warner asked what kind of recourse we would have if an item has already been approved.  Roskop stated that we approved those items as contingency fund items not change orders.  Since the contingency fund is now exhausted Hausmann will go back as needed and change those District requested items to change orders.  Griffith stated that they cannot go above the total of those starred items, which is around $145,000.  Schutz stated that we also have retainage.  A motion was made by Warner and seconded by Carpenter to approve CFA #008.  AYES: Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, and Carpenter.  Motion carried 6-0.


Griffith stated that based on where they are at with the renovation he agrees with the percentage complete on the Pay App of 89.39%.  He recommends making the payment of $396,789.24.  A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Whipple to approve the Hausmann Pay App #016 for $396,789.24.  AYES: Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, and Whipple.  Motion carried 6-0.


A motion was made by Roskop and seconded by Carpenter to enter into executive session at 7:49 pm for the protection of public interest.  AYES: Schutz, Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, and Roskop.  Motion carried 6-0.


A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Whipple to exit executive session at 8:05 pm.


Griffith stated that Change Request #097 for $3,153.46 is for breakmetal to cover areas of the brick and clean up.  Change Request #098 for $6,517.70 is for some electrical changes done in the shop for the exhaust fans.  They were not properly called out in the initial bid.  Change Request #100 for $1,095.68 is for redoing irrigation north of the preschool room due to water issues.  Change Request #101 is a credit for $876.00 to not reinstall ceiling fans in eight rooms due to the lower ceilings.  Change Request #102 is for $13,948.47 and is for items damaged in the June 30 hail storm.  Some items are missing in that change request so Griffith recommended withdrawing it until clarifications are made.  Change Request #103 is for $4,549.66 and is for making changes to the kindergarten room door.  Change Request #104 is for $2,818.50 and is to have wiring properly installed for the plasma cutter.  What was originally done was not adequate.  Griffith recommends approving Change Requests #097, #098, #100, #101, #103, and #104.  A motion was made by Schutz and seconded by Whipple to follow Griffith’s recommendation and approve Change Requests #097, #098, #100, #101, #103, and #104 totaling $17,259.00.  AYES: Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, and Schutz.  Motion carried 6-0.


Griffith stated that at last month’s board meeting he brought bids for a replacement roof for the north gym.  The discussion was to get bids for a sloped roof.  In order to do that, he needs a structural design.  He asked Clark Enersen for a bid on what they would charge for that structural design.  Their cost came in at $15,840 plus trip expenses and printing.  Schutz asked what the cost of the bid was from last month.  Griffith stated that it was $38,097.  Whipple asked if that was to repair the existing roof.  Griffith stated that was to replace the ballast roof.  Schutz asked if that bid was from Weathercraft.  Griffith confirmed that it was and that they were the low bid.  The other bid was $59,357 from Buffalo Roofing.  Whipple asked about the warranty on the bid from Weathercraft.  Griffith stated that it was a fifteen year warranty.  Buffalo Roofing had the same warranty.  Anderson asked if the insurance money from Travelers covered that roof.  Griffith stated that it did not.  It is hard to get hail damage on a ballast roof.  He added that the insurer for that roof is NASB-Alicap.  He stated that he thinks the idea of having metal roofs is great, but financially replacing it with a ballast roof might be best at this time.  However, if this is something we want to look at doing in the future it will cost more.  It is a now or later kind of thing.  Schutz stated that he prefers metal as well, but Clark Enersen is asking for $16,000 just to design it.  We really don’t know what we are looking at.  Griffith stated that we are looking at well over $100,000.  Schutz stated that this is also now our backup gym.  He asked how we justify it considering what money we have already spent.  Roskop stated that he went up on the roof with one of the construction guys and he said that the benefit we would get is that water would flow away from where most of the water is flowing.  It would take away some of the flow onto the flat roof.  Griffith stated that the water retention plan was designed with the roof that we have now.  His recommendation is to go with the $38,097 bid from Weathercraft.  Roskop stated that this would be paid for out of the equipment depreciation fund.  A motion was made by Warner and seconded by Carpenter to replace the north gym roof with a ballast roof and approve the bid from Weathercraft in the amount of $38,097 to do so.  AYES: Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, and Anderson.  Motion carried 6-0.


Griffith stated that they received three bus bids.  All bids included air conditioning.  One bid was from Blue Bird and it was for a 59 passenger bus.  It is only a couple inches shorter on the length.  It has a little bit longer distance between the seats than we requested.  Everything else was per the spec sheet.  It was $98,900.  Coach Master came in at $96,617.  Roskop asked what the recommendation was from the Transportation Committee.  Carpenter stated that they went with the low bid, which was the Coach Master bid.  Roskop asked about maintenance.  Warner stated that would be out of Kearney.  Schutz asked what this bus would be doing.  Carpenter stated that it will be a new activity bus, so it will be parked.  They plan to sell the 2004 bus because it is the smallest and then park the 2003 bus and use it as a backup.  Schutz stated that nothing would be new to help out on routes.  Warner stated that they will move 2014A and 2014B to routes.  Schutz stated that those are our most unreliable buses.  Warner agreed that they have had issues.  Our two most reliable buses are 2003 and 2004, but they are old too.  Carpenter stated that the 2003 bus is a bit of a money pit as well.  Schutz stated that they are spending $100,000 for a bus to sit.  He asked how many students are being transported on that $100,000 bus.  Carpenter stated that they checked and athletes are riding together if they are playing in the same place.  Roskop and Carpenter agreed that it is around 30 kids.  Schutz stated that 30 kids are going on a 50+ passenger bus.  Carpenter agreed.  Griffith stated that the Coach Master bus is a 56 passenger.  Schutz asked if there was any discussion about buying smaller buses, gas motors and buying two of them and putting them on the routes instead of updating from an activity kind of bus on down.  We have two activity buses that have been giving us problems and now we are going to rely on them on a daily basis.  For the amount of money being asked to spend, he doesn’t think they are solving some of their problems.  Carpenter understood and stated that the diesel will get better mileage than a gas motor and that is why they stuck with a diesel motor.  Schutz understands that.  Carpenter stated that they already have one bus that is too small for a route now and that is the 2004 bus.  He thought that bus was a 45 passenger one.  If we have a bus go down now, we have to rely on that bus and it is too small.  What has been done in the past is the new buses become activity buses.  We would then move 2014A and 2014B to route buses and then the 2003 bus becomes a spare.  Griffith stated that the 2004 bus is a 53 passenger, but it is three to a seat.  The new buses are two to a seat for a 56 passenger or a 59 passenger.  Warner agrees with Schutz and stated that when it comes to routes we really need to rethink some things.  We have trouble with having enough drivers.  He would much rather have two more drivers and put them in suburbans that we can maintain, but that’s not really feasible financially or operationally.  In his opinion, they have themselves in a real situation.  They have two relatively newer buses that have been a real headache and wonders how to update and move forward without utilizing those buses.  They did discuss gas versus diesel.  We could do two cheaper new route buses that are gas engines and our reliability may go up.  He doesn’t like it when patrons are calling and a class can’t go on a field trip because a bus is broke down.  Schutz asked how many miles per year are put on a bus.  He estimated around 10,000 miles per year.  Looking at the warranty of 100,000 miles is great, but we are probably going to keep them longer than that.  He understands the diesel.  He is looking at the bang for the buck.  It is $100,000 for one bus.  Carpenter stated that he understands where Schutz is coming from.  No matter what bus we get, we have to get something that has warranty.  It is so costly to fix them when the warranty runs out.  We would be better off, but it will cost a little, if we could find a way to trade the buses before they run out of warranty.  If we don’t get rid of them before warranty it is going to cost us $15,000 a pop when things come up.  Schutz stated that it is kind of like ag equipment and it is getting to the point where we need to look at alternatives.  He asked if we could lease buses and turn them back in after three years.  Griffith asked Tyler Cox from Nebraska/Central Equipment what the purchase price difference is between a diesel motor bus and a gas motor bus.  Cox stated that the cost savings with the same size bus would be around $4,000-$5,000 in purchase price.  We run various total cost of ownership calculations for customers and it takes into consideration maintenance and looks out fifteen years.  Typically, diesels tend to cost more, but we have other alternative fuels like propane and they are starting to become more popular.  Loomis runs all propane buses and they are saving on average $3,000 per bus per year running a propane versus a diesel.  Schutz asked if that was just fuel savings.  Cox stated that it was fuel savings and maintenance savings.  Each service a diesel takes about 24 quarts of oil and a propane takes about 7.  Propane motors don’t have a DEF system.  Schutz asked about the DEF system on their diesels.  Cox stated that all three manufacturers are about the same and they all three have problems with the DEF system.  It is just a system that tends to fail.  The EPA gets stricter and stricter.  Our answer to that is to go with an alternative fuel.  Griffith asked about the cost difference between a propane and a diesel.  Cox stated that he just did a bid for a group of buses for another school and the purchase price for a propane bus came in only around $2,000 more.  The gas motors tend to catch up to the diesels in years 14, 15, and 16.  Years 10 thru 15 tend to be years for major repairs in diesel buses.  He stated that he does have more and more schools looking at a fleet replacement program with three and five year leases.  Rather than owning the buses they prefer to stay on a set payment and rotate the buses out.  That is just another option.  Warner asked what the dollar figure is for something like that.  Carpenter is concerned about the damages that can occur on the leased buses and getting costly charges when they turn them in.  Cox stated that Blue Bird does their own leases and they are not done through a finance company.  They actually want those buses back.  They can move used buses.  They understand that they are driving a school bus and that they will come back with some damages, but they are equipped to fix those things themselves.  The leasing option is becoming more and more popular because schools don’t always stay up on their rotation schedules.  Griffith stated that he called four other companies and they all said that they do not do leases.  Cox said he would do it.  Carpenter asked a dollar figure.  Cox stated that it depends on how many buses.  There are better rates if they do three or four at a time.  He can’t provide a number.  He would have to get a quote.  It would be either a 3, 4, or 5 year lease and then there would be a balloon payment at the end and you could pay that and own the fleet or we would guarantee the balloon payment and pay it and take the buses and put out another quote for another set of buses.  Carpenter stated that he likes the sound of that a lot better.  Schutz asked if the Transportation Committee could look into this a little more.  Warner recommended tabling this until getting further information on a fleet leasing program.  Schutz stated that he is not saying anything against anybody, but it is not like we have a group of professional drivers over the road taking care of these vehicles.  Carpenter stated that if propane will save money he is open to doing that.  Cox stated that they just started a program.  They hired a service tech that is mobile.  He can come down and work on warranty or service items so a bus should only be down for a day or so.  He is not certified in Cummins or Allisson.  If there was a Cummins issue it would still go back to Kearney.  Any bus components will be fixed on location.  Carpenter stated that they have a shop in town that can do that but if it is going to be warranty they will just take it to Kearney.  Cox stated that if it is warranty work except Cummins their mobile service tech will come on site to fix it.  Our warranty location was Grand Island and that is inconvenient because a bus could be down for a couple days.  With this new program, we will just send the tech out to your location.  Carpenter agreed that we need to table this and get more information on a lease.  Griffith asked if it would be unreasonable to think that a lease for four buses would be more than $100,000 per year.  Cox stated that if it was a five year lease it would still be under that.  He can get hard and fast numbers, he just can’t provide that kind of information on the fly.  He offered to come to Transportation Committee meetings.  A motion was made by Warner and seconded by Carpenter to table the bus bids in order to gather more information on lease programs.  Cox stated that their mobile service rep can do warranty work on propane buses.  Warner requested detailed information on the routes for the next Transportation Committee Meeting, specifically number of riders and miles per route.  Schutz asked how many vehicles are going to activity events and how many people are in those vehicles.  Braithwait stated that a lot of times administrators and cheerleaders ride together.  He stated that for a football game it could be up to three vehicles.  Cox stated that if we wanted to look at a lease it could be done for buses of different sizes.  They don’t have to be all of the same buses.  The board thanked Cox for coming to the meeting.  AYES: Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, and Warner.  Motion carried 6-0.


Griffith shared a few examples of board self-assessments to review.  Some are similar to the superintendent evaluation where comments can be entered.  Some are only narrative, some are numerically rated.  There is no particular reason why he grabbed the two he did.  He asked the board if they wanted to have a committee review these tools and bring a recommendation to the board.  Roskop stated that he would like to table this item and visit with people about it at the state convention.  He looked at all four options.  Any of them would help get the process re-started.  He would like to talk with people at the state conference and see what is working for them.  A motion was made by Roskop and seconded by Whipple to table the board self-evaluation tool.  AYES: Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, Anderson, Warner, and Carpenter.  Motion carried 6-0.


A motion was made by Roskop and seconded by Carpenter to enter into executive session at 8:42 pm for the protection of public interest.  AYES: Anderson, Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, and Schutz.  Motion carried 6-0.


A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Whipple to exit executive session at 9:43 pm.


Roskop stated that they went over the superintendent evaluation and will have the continuation of contract and negotiation of salary as an action item at December’s regular board meeting.  They thanked Griffith for what he has taken on with the building project and everything else that goes along with that and continue moving forward with where we go from here after the building project.  No action was taken.




Griffith stated that the plan is to leave for the State Conference at 8:00 am on November 14th.  The pre-conference starts at 1:00 pm.  He asked what members would be riding with him.  Whipple stated that he would be attending but would not be riding along.  Anderson stated that she is driving herself.  Carpenter is riding down with Anderson, but will ride back with Griffith.  Roskop is driving himself.  Warner and Schutz are not going.


Griffith shared some changes to the mission statement that staff came up with during a workshop.  He asked the board to review it and let him know if they would like to see any changes.  This will follow the two reading process.  This will also help with the strategic plan.  He stated that he did share some policy goals with staff at the last in-service and asked staff to try to come up with measurable goals.  He got a lot of good ones and some were pretty flowery.  He will work on them to try to get them measurable.


Griffith shared the Bullying Policy with the board to review.  It is exactly the same as what Perry Law has.  There are some statements in other parts of policy, specifically discipline, that are more specific to electronic bullying.


Griffith shared two job descriptions with the board based on the discussion from the Administrative Review Committee Meeting.  One job description was for a PK-12 Principal and the other job description was for an Assistant Principal / Activities Director.  He also shared an ad that he prepared for the PK-12 Principal position.  He did include a deadline since they are planning to have Student Council, Board Members, Administration, Classified Staff, and Certified Staff as part of the interview process.  They are looking at either a half-day or full-day interview.  The goal is to have a decision made at the February regular board meeting.  The application deadline is December 21, 2018 with interviews the week of January 14, 2019.


Griffith shared a sample of an Extracurricular Drug Testing Program.  This is something for the board to look at it initially and then Griffith and Braithwait will make changes to it to fit our school.  They have had a couple of drug instances at school.  The sample provided is from Elwood.  He thinks it is something that we definitely need to look at.  He thought Braithwait was in agreement.  Braithwait stated that he has had three of the student leaders asking if they could do something.  We did have an incident where a student sold to someone on campus.  That is a red flag.  Our area schools are doing something already.  It is something we need to look at it.  He didn’t know if it was something they wanted the new person to implement or if it is something they would like him to implement in the spring.  He is okay either way.  Schutz stated that it looks like the student has to sign the consent before they can participate and he asked if that was correct.  Griffith confirmed that was correct and stated that if the student doesn’t sign the consent they won’t get to participate.  Schutz stated that the earliest it could be implemented would be spring for track and golf.  Braithwait agreed.  Carpenter asked if students that participate in multiple sports will have to sign it once for the year or for each sport.  Roskop stated that this one would be signed once for 7th grade through 12th grade.  Braithwait stated that students can opt out at any time.  Whipple asked if it was written for all extracurricular activities.  Braithwait confirmed it was and stated that it includes Speech, FFA and all activities.  He stated that he looked at Southern Valley’s policy and Elwood’s and liked Elwood’s best.  Carpenter stated that it is probably something that we need to seriously think about.  Warner asked if this covers the majority of our students.  He asked what the legalities were for random drug testing any student.  Braithwait stated that the student can opt out.  If the student wants to participate in an activity they have to participate in the drug testing program.  Griffith stated that there is a lot of legal stuff involved for school-wide drug testing.  Whipple asked how many schools in our conference have this kind of a program.  Braithwait stated that he didn’t know.  He only looked at the closest proximity schools.  He stated that he could get that information.  Whipple stated that he would be interested to know what he finds.  Braithwait stated that he would be interested as well.


Public Comment – None.


A motion was made by Roskop and seconded by Carpenter to enter into executive session at 9:56 pm for the protection of public interest.  AYES: Warner, Carpenter, Whipple, Roskop, Schutz, and Anderson.  Motion carried 6-0.


A motion was made by Carpenter and seconded by Whipple to exit executive session at 10:42 pm.


Roskop stated that the discussion was to give Griffith direction to advertise for a PK-12 Principal.


OAC Meeting, Thursday, November 29th, 2018 at Noon.

Finance Committee Meeting, Monday, December 10th, 2018 at 6:00 pm in the Conference Room.

Regular Board Meeting, Monday, December 10th, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Conference Room.

Americanism Committee Meeting, TBD.

Transportation Committee Meeting, TBD.


A motion was made by Whipple and seconded by Carpenter to adjourn the meeting at 10:45 pm.






Respectfully submitted,

Cassie Hilker, Board Secretar