Each month the North Cedar School Board shares two or three highlights of our monthly board meetings. These takeaways are messages that the board collectively feels are important for the public to know. Here are the highlights from the Feb. 15, 2021 meeting:
- Little Knights Daycare. North Cedar continues to work to enhance the daycare offerings in Lowden and Mechanicsville. The district has been operating the programs for about 18-months and while parent meetings and a recent survey showed above average satisfaction, leaders are committed to strengthening the curriculum, improving communication and adding stability to the program. A new childcare management app, Brightwheel, will soon launch to improve daily communication with parents and offer families improved billing and payment choices. Semiannual surveys will be used for continuous improvement and to gauge satisfaction.
- Legislative Update. The board is actively monitoring a number of bills at the statehouse that could impact students and families at North Cedar. Both the House and Senate approved a measure that was recently signed into law by Governor Reynolds to increase Supplemental State Aid for the coming school year by 2.4%. While any amount is appreciated, the reality is that for a district like North Cedar with steady or slightly declining enrollment, this amount is not enough to keep up with rising costs. In 2020, 66% of Iowa school districts experienced a decline in enrollment. Board members also continue to closely monitor school choice, or voucher, legislation. Vouchers have the potential to take tax-payer dollars away from public schools and redirect them to private schools with little or no accountability. A bill was passed in the Senate earlier this year but it did not receive traction in the House. This issue may come up again during the current session in a modified form. The district also encourages legislators to consider funding full-day preschool and allocate additional resources to offset the increased costs that we have taken on to prepare for and keep offering in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To view the full agenda and attachments of North Cedar School Board meetings, click the Online Board App button at https://north-cedarstu.org/Board_of_Education. Meeting minutes are also posted online following each meeting.