On behalf of the Forest City Board of Education, we want to let you know what a privilege it is to serve you and the children of this community. As president, I would like to provide periodic updates to keep you informed about some of the initiatives we are discussing.

The Board of Education is comprised of seven elected members who serve four year terms. The members and their years of service are: Myself (6), Dave Bartlett (19), Keila Buffington (12), Jesse Olson (2), Cindy Carter (20), Pat Hobbs (5) and Eric Kingland (6).

We serve as the policy making body for the district within the framework provided by law. During the monthly meetings, we receive administrative updates and discuss policies, personnel matters, contracts and courses of study. We review financial statements, enrollment numbers, budget items and expenditures.

Our board operates by a strategic plan with success strategies in place. Recent examples of initiatives in each of the areas include:

• Infrastructure: The board thanks the community for approving the Voted PPEL (funds can be used for equipment, technology and improvements). Currently, an outside resource is evaluating our buildings and will provide improvement recommendations so that we can prioritize and plan well into the future.

• Curriculum and engaged learners: We believe that with increased emphasis on critical thinking skills, the new elementary reading curriculum, standards based learning practices in our middle school, best practice implementation at the high school and STEM praise from Governor Reynolds and the Department of Education — we are on our way to positioning our students for success.

• Parent/community involvement: We continue to work to find effective and efficient ways to increase communication between all of our stakeholders — students, parents, staff, administration and the community. Examples are the SchoolWay, calendar and Infinite Campus apps, e-newsletters, and social media.

• Staff: The effects of recent changes brought by state legislative action to the bargaining rules with our local teachers association will continue to evolve. We are entering new waters and our plan is to continue to support each other.

• Budget alignment: Local school boards control a small percentage of the operating budget. The majority of the financial support for public education comes in at the state and federal level. In these trying financial times for our state government, we promise to continue to press our local legislators to properly fund our district. We will be hosting a local legislative forum on November 29.

We can best represent you when you express your opinions, ask questions or communicate your wishes. Board member email addresses, board policies and minutes are published on www.forestcity.k12.ia.us under the “Departments” tab. We invite you to attend meetings (held the second Monday of each month) as your continued interest and support will guarantee the excellence of our schools.

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