Highland School Board approves budget

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


RIVERSIDE ? The Highland School Board approved the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year at its meeting Monday evening.

The meeting started with a public hearing, which had no public comments.

The budget was approved unanimously by board members. Instructional services will have $6,160,500; $3,070,000 for support services; $440,000 for non-instructional programs and $1,120,068 for other expenditures, such as facilities acquisitions, construction and debt services. The tax rate will be $13.19 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Nate Robinson and Lois Schneider were absent.

The board also approved a request from the Highland Robotics Team to travel with high school science teacher Tim Surine to the World Competition in Detroit later this month.

Last year, the robotics team traveled to St. Louis as the wild card for the world competition there.

?I think that really motivated the kids this year,? Surine said. ?They saw what other teams did that were world level competitors and they really put in a lot more effort and kind of saw what they needed to do to get to the championship themselves.?

This year in order to get to the world competition the team advanced through league championship, he added. They won the Think Award, which is their understanding of the engineering process and documentation. They went to a qualifying competition and won the INSPIRE Award, which is the highest award they could get. This got the team to the state competition and they won the Think Award there, which qualified them for the super-regional competition that had 11 area states and 72 teams that competed. They didn?t win any awards there, but were a finalist for the Think Award there, which advanced them to the world championship.

The competition will be April 25 ? 28, Surine added. Students will leave April 24.

?Do you still need funds to go?? board member Cindy Michel asked Surine.

?Well, I think we have our main expenses covered, but there is always other things that come up and they are still finding stuff that they want to order ? to have for the competition,? he said.

They?ve already paid the $1,000 entry fee and will have $3,200 in hotel fees, Surine said. Eleven members from the robotics team will be attending the world competition.

The board unanimously approved the request for the robotics team to travel to Detroit.

High school social studies teacher Jeff Collins also asked the board to approve a trip for juniors and seniors to travel to Washington, D.C., next March.

They will be traveling with students and staff from the Lone Tree Community School District. The first stop will be Arlington National Cemetery, he said.

?The reason I want to take the trip is to give kids the opportunity to see the nation?s capital,? Collins said. ?We?ve spent all these years talking about [it in] government class and U.S. history. Once you get there it gives you a whole new perspective on our country.?

There are already 16 students interested in going and a few parents who contacted him about going, he added.

The board approved Collins? request unanimously.

Other items the Highland School Board approved included: accepting a bid from Hoglund Bus Company for a 65-passenger diesel bus in the amount of $82,500; an early retirement request from Dr. Mike Jorgensen; adjustments to the 2018-19 school calendar. The first semester will end on Dec. 21, 2018, instead of after winter break; approved the mentoring and consortium agreement with Grant Wood Area Education Services for the 2018-19 school year, approved the summer library program in Riverside and approved board policies 606-607.