The Waverly-Shell Rock School District is continuing construction of two new elementary buildings.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for May 11. After gathering feedback from stakeholders, Invision Architects, the Waterloo-based firm responsible for the project, now has its sights set on the Shell Rock Elementary and High School renovation projects.

The board approved a required contract for concrete, steel and masonry testing with Chosen Valley Engineering for $56,160 and amended a contract with Estes Construction Management.

“Management companies like Estes work on a percentage of the offers received,” W-SR Superintendent Ed Klamfoth said. As the bids increased, an adjustment was made. Estes cut its fees from 3% to 2.5%, removing $175,000 from that total for a net increase of $94,788. »

The amended budget of $81 million for 2022 passed, as did the significantly higher budget of $112 million for fiscal year 2023 with a tax rate of 12,337 per $1,000.

No public comment was received on the previously released 2023 budget. To reassure the public, Board Chairman Dennis Epley said, “However, revenues and expenses are parallel due to the additional funding.”

Leading the agenda, Danielle Mummelthei, Lynn Bolin and Alyssa Miller urged the council to consider creating a Home School Support Program.

“The homeschool community is big and growing,” Mummelthei said.

Bolin, who lives between Clarksville and Waverly, recounted his connection to Waverly through church and shopping. She has enrolled her three homeschooled children in a homeschooling program in Iowa Falls, where a supportive teacher and after-school activities are available.

“Peer time will help build community and relationships and would be an asset in attracting families to the area,” Miller said, adding that the cost of materials is currently borne by homeschooling families.

“Less than half of Iowa’s school districts offer home school assistance programs. A program like this should stand on its own,” Klamfoth said in a subsequent phone interview.

He added that these programs involve additional staff and that state money allocated for a homeschooling assistance program would come to the district, not homeschooling families.

The board also reviewed and approved policies, including the public comment period and the procedure for the public to request items to be added to the agenda.

Public comments are limited to three minutes per registrant, with a maximum of 30 minutes during a meeting. The approved policy also outlines board member responsibilities, trustee evaluations, new language regarding postings and student expression, the daily Pledge of Allegiance from grades 1-12, and raising the flag in each school if time permits.

The board enjoyed presentations from happy and successful high school and college students from Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), a professional and technical student organization, on projects ranging from sports nutrition to made sushi. house through the observational experiments of veterinary medicine.

FCCLA LuAnne Bibler and Kristie Kuhse have secured approval for students to attend the national convention in San Diego June 28-July 3.

Klamfoth reported continued difficulty “fitting in” with the Northeast Iowa High School Athletic Conference, which currently includes Charles City, Decorah, Cresco, New Hampton, Waukon and W-SR.

“The process is frustrating, but that’s what it is,” he said.

“The size gap between conference schools is widening. We have 176% more registrations than some, and that’s a problem,” Klamfoth said later.

A change in conference affiliation will be decided in the coming months and may result in longer travel distances for the competition.

The next monthly meeting of the W-SR School Board will take place on Monday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the administration building.