As school winds down, the Hamburg School Board is looking forward to the next school year.
New teacher contracts were presented. Catherine Reafleng was hired as a new preschool teacher and Karen Wells was hired as the new art teacher.
Superintendent Wells recommended the board approve a contract to share a librarian with Essex.
By state rules you have to have a licensed librarian and the Hamburg district does not have one. Sharing a librarian is the solution Hamburg district has used for a few years.
Dr. Wells gave a brief Iowa Assessment report. Dr. Wells said there is more to the test than proficiency.
“One of the things we look at is, did every student make a full year of growth. That’s the most important measure we have” said Dr. Wells.
Fourth grade is the highest performing class in terms of improvement. Fifth grade was the lowest scoring class, with less than half making a full year of academic growth.  
A full report on the Iowa Assessment Tests will be presented at the June school board meeting.
The current kitchen staff wages will be changing next year.
Lois Owen will be retiring, but will stay on as a volunteer and Deb Crain’s wages would switch to after school funding.
The only kitchen staff paid by the school district would be Hot Lunch Director Vicki Hansen.
The board approved an increase for full price student lunch at $2.45 and $4.00 for an adult lunch.
The new charges will not affect everyone however, as 68 percent of Hamburg students are on free or reduced lunch. Universal breakfast will continue for no charge.
Dr. Wells asked the board to consider naming the Hamburg Discovery Center after local patron Dr. Fred Ashler.
Dr. Wells described Dr. Ashler as kind, hardworking, patient and generous. The board made an immediate unanimous decision to name the discovery center after Dr. Ashler.
Dr. Wells requested the board carry over his vacation days.
Currently, the district gives 20 vacation days to the superintendent on a “use or lose” system that will renew on July 1.
Dr. Wells has taken one half day of vacation this school year, leaving him with nineteen and a half days that will be lost on June 30.
After much discussion, board member Jordan Hayes suggested the board stick to the current policy of “use or lose” with no rollover days. The board agreed to deny Dr. Wells’ request.
The board discussed the Sidney tuition agreement.
The original idea was going to be a 90/10 split with Hamburg providing transportation for high school students.
But this has not been reflected in the contract. Sidney would like to see the Hamburg district to pay for any classroom technology that Hamburg students use, such as Chromebooks. Dr. Wells met with Sidney Superintendent Mr. Hood to ask that he speak with the Sidney school board about amending the contract.
The board decided that they should have a formal meeting with Sidney school board members to clear up any confusion.
A date for the meeting will be announced later.
The board discussed Hamburg youth sports and if they should have connection to the school.
Several parents want school sponsored youth sports.
Concerns include numbers and lack of interest. Currently, Hamburg youth can participate in Sidney sports.
Board member Jordan Hayes said there is a community discussion about creating a Southwest Iowa Youth Sports program. “We just do not have enough kids signing up” in Hamburg, said Hayes.
The board was in favor of keeping youth sports separate from the school.
Dr. Wells announced a $200 donation, given by Dr. Fred Ashler, that will be used for end of the year school trips.
Sandy Parmenter and Mike Peterson were presented with media awards by the board, for fair and accurate coverage of the district for the current school year.
Tuesday, May 22, is the last day of school. The next board meeting will be on June 11 at 7 p.m.