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After rejecting bids last April for a comprehensive roof repair project at the school, Wapello school officials Wednesday agreed to restart the process and seek new bids in January.

Last spring the board received only two bids for the work and both were higher than expected, which prompted the decision to postpone the project.

During its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, the school board agreed to pay $2,500 to ETHOS Design Group, Polk City, to develop new bid documents and complete other work to re-bid the project.

School officials said the amendment also identified a January 2020 re-bid, with actual roof replacement work postponed until the summer of 2020.

According to previous reports, the original architectural estimate for the work was $402,685, but the only bids the school received in April were $599,157 and $708,395.

In other building and grounds action, board member Doug Housman reported new identification signage would be installed on the elementary building. He said the signs would be manufactured by Metal Werx, a local business operated by Dave Patrick, at an installed cost of $1,268.

Housman said if the sign project goes well, similar letters may be installed at the high school to provide visitors with entry information.

In other action Wednesday, the board finally approved a non-certified staff pay scale for 2020-'21, after twice delaying action because of concerns over job performance.

Superintendent Mike Peterson told the board he and other administrators would use an existing form to complete evaluations of non-certified staff, which would help ensure employees meet expectations before receiving any wage increases.

Board member Doug Housman said the evaluation was a key factor for him.

“I’ve never agreed with the fact that if someone is not doing their job they should get a raise,” he said.

The board also approved a request from Spanish teacher Maribel Kral to partner with the Louisa-Muscatine school district on a student trip to Puerto Rico. Peterson said the student-funded trip is scheduled for June 22-26.

Several board policies were also reviewed and approved by the board. While most of the policies were already established, Peterson said one dealing with school bus passenger restraints was new.

He said the new policy would put the school in compliance with new state law regulations.

Four legislative priorities for the upcoming Iowa legislative session were also approved by the board. Peterson recommended the priorities, which will include increased funding support for pre-school, support for mental health programming, additional federal funding for special education and timely approval of state funding support.

The board also approved a list of fundraisers, including one that will sell parking lot spots to students and staff for $25. The fundraising would support PBIS programs in the school.

Although the board approved the fundraiser, it agreed to raise the initial $10 deposit to $25, require only latex paint be used and specify the reserved parking spots only apply during school hours.

In final action, Peterson warned the school board to expect less than encouraging news about student enrollment. He said the certification count had been taken on Oct. 1, but final numbers likely would not be available until Oct. 15.

“It’s definitely down from last year, so we are going to have some decisions to make,” he said.

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