Wheatland school board convenes

Mark DeLap
Posted 4/19/22

WHS school board

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Wheatland school board convenes


WHEATLAND – The Platte County School District No. 1 board meeting met April 11 at the district office boardroom.

The meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. school board chariman Dustin Kafka. After the pledge of Allegiance, the approval of the agenda for the evening with additional bills was introduced. Travis Lockman moved for to add a new Action Item (9) for Isolation Payment. The motion was approved, seconded and passed unanimously.

Under the agenda item of good things happening, The Future Business Leaders of America from Chugwater and Wheatland were in attendance to discuss their recent participation and successes in the program including the sharing of their results. They shared the types of test/projects they completed during the FBLA State Convention.

“It was primarily business as usual, but it started with some excellence as the FBLA students talked through their recent experiences and successes with a really strong showing at State,” said school board chairman Kafka.  “Visitor's comments was basically a report from two Science teachers and their recent attendance of a National Science Conference.  There are a multitude of networking and new technology opportunities out there to benefit students, and how Platte 1 is actually doing some cutting-edge stuff already.”

Following the good news, the board recommended and approved the Consent Agenda unanimously.

In action items, there was no old business to discuss and there were nine items of new business to take care of.

  1. Personnel hiring and resignations: The administration recommended the approval of Personnel hiring and resignations. The motion passed unanimously.
  2. City easement approval: The administration recommended the approval of the City Easement and the motion was unanimously passed. (According to Kafka, The easement for the Town of Wheatland is something that should have been done 30+ years ago, but as the town's utility upgrade near West Elementary is about to begin, it was discovered that no official easement was on file, so now we are dotting i's and crossing t's.”)
  3. Bank depositories: The administration recommended the approval of the Bank Depositories at First State Bank, Platte Valley Bank and Rolling Hills Bank & Trust. After discussion on how the depositories were selected, the motion was unanimously passed.
  4. The 2022-23 and 2023-24 calendar adoption: the administration recommended the approval of both years of the calendar and after Superintendent Cory Dziowgo discussed the calendar committee process and explained the calendar’s days as presented, the motion was passed unanimously. “The Calendar item had a fair bit of discussion, and we were voting on a two-year action,” Kafka said. “The easiest way to explain this action is that the calendar for School Year 22-23 is approved as recommended, and the School Year 23-24 Calendar is the approved "model" that will be discussed if there is a need to amend or alter it in any way one year from now.  What I can say about that is that we return to a more normal calendar with a late August start, and students end the year before Memorial Day.  That is a big deal.” 
  5. Policy Adoption: CB: Office of the Superintendent. The administration recommended the approval of Policy CB and the motion was passed unanimously. Policy items continue under the intent to update, consolidate, and streamline the District's Policy Manual.  “Combining similar or related policies into a more efficient document or easier to use to locate is a good thing,” Kafka said. Recently the Policy Committee had to go through a process to add the language of adopt, amend, revise, review or repeal as policy actions.  Until a few months ago, there were no provisions to repeal any policy after it was consolidated or found to be outdated/irrelevant to current (21st century) operations.  “There are many policies that were adopted in 1997 and 1998 that frankly struggle to have relevance today,” Kafka said. “The Policy Committee is conducting a huge lift to clean those up.”
  6. Policy Revision: Policy DBG: Admin Evaluation. The administration recommended the approval of Policy CBG and the motion passed unanimously.
  7. Policy repeal: CBA, CBB, CBD the administration recommended the approval of the repeal of Policy CBA, CBB and CBD. After discussion the motion was made to table these policies until next month and the motion was carried.
  8. Policy Amendment: GCBD (certified), GDBD (classified), GDBD-R (classified regulation) the administration recommended the approval of the policy amendments which were approved undanimously.
  9. ADDED: Approval of Isolation Payment; motion was passed.

In the informational items of the meeting Superintendent Dziowgo discussed in the Superintendent’s Report the current enrollment in the district and combined his information with the discussion of funding and anticipated funding for the 2023 fiscal year. Dziowgo brought to light the anticipated reduction of funding from the State as approximately $1.7 million.  With the decreas in that amount of funding, it was stated that PCSD No.1 would be forced to be creative, flexible and understanding in regards to meeting the needs of the students.

Staff members are submitting ideas for possible budget reduction items for the Administrative Cabinet to review as they begin to work through this anticipated reduction.

“The remainder of the meeting was informational, and the very preliminary public discussions of the School Year 22-23 funding reduction from the state was shared,” Kafka said. “Obviously a $1.7 million funding reduction gets a lot of attention, as well it should.  Here is the rest of the story.  There are numerous factors that are used to determine funding, some of those numbers are known, and some are unkowns that materialize prior to July 1.  Using the figures that are known and proceeding with the idea that revenues are low and expenses are high, we arrive at the estimated $1.7 million reduction anticipated for next school year.  The numbers will change almost daily as information filters down from the Wyoming department of education. The fact remains, Platte 1 will see a reduction in funding versus last year...to what degree...to be determined.  The administration and Schools are working through multiple scenarios and developing courses of action with creativity and flexibility.  the administration of Platte 1 is highly talented and I know they will provide solid solutions for this challenge.” 

There will be a Special Meeting with one agenda item (extra-duty contracts) followed by a Board Worksession on April 25 at 6 p.m. at the Wheatland Middle School (Media Center usually).

For advanced planning the April work session will be April 25 at 6 p.m. at the Wheatland Middle School where there will be a special board meeting in order to approve extra-duty contracts for the 2022-23 school year. Work session will follow the special board meeting.

The next board meeting was set for May 16 at 6 p.m. at the district office.