ABERDEEN, Idaho (STPNS) --     The Aberdeen School District levy election held Wednesday, April 19 passed by almost a 91 percent approval percentage.
    Patrons of the school district were able to vote in one of two places ? in the Aberdeen High School Media Center or the Springfield Fire Station and Community Center. Both precincts passed the levy.
    Aberdeen had a total of 118 patrons cast their votes. Of those votes, 109 were yes and 9 were no votes. The Aberdeen precinct had a 93 percent approval.
    Springfield had 32 patrons cast votes, with 27 of them yes and 5 no votes. They saw an 85 percent approval rate.
    The levy in the amount of $250,000 will be used to help pay the expenses of maintaining and operating the schools of the district. This rate has not changed since 1999.
Student, PTSA reports
    Aberdeen Middle School teacher Erin Johnson showed a video the students have been working on for an activity they are doing at the middle school. They are still working on several things to improve the quality of the video, she said.
    Aimee Elliott, representing the PTSA, reported on the Book Fair held by the Aberdeen Middle School students. The students met their goal and principal Craig Miller will have to wear a dress to school on May 1. They made about $1,500 at the fair.
    The carnival was a great success, she said, and they made more in ticket sales than they have ever made.
    Teacher appreciation week will be May 8 through 12.
    ?We are grateful for all the parents, teachers and administrators and everything they do for us,? she said.
Superintendent's report
    Superintendent Chad Struhs informed the school board trustees that next fall Aberdeen would have a student teacher. Originally from Aberdeen, Elaine Bonebrake has requested to do her student teaching here. She will teach the second grade and help in the library.
    Steve Wheeler is resigning from the Aberdeen Education Foundation on September 10, Struhs said. He will still be on the foundation to help through the Eastern Idaho State Fair, so his expertise will be available during the fair.
    Struhs reported he attended a post-legislative meeting. The government has done some good things for education as well as setting a little bit more money aside for education. They are also looking at property tax and education.
    The school district insurance increased 4.9 percent.
    Struhs reported they are doing interviews for the middle school principal.
Administrators' reports
    Elementary principal Jane Ward reported on events coming up. May 2 will be the PTA pictures for the calendar. May 5 is Cinco De Mayo celebration. May 10 is the third grade field trip. May 12 is the fourth grade field trip. May 16 is the fifth grade Dare Day and Terra Nova test for kindergarten through fourth grades. May 17 will be the AR Store. The fifth grade will take a soil conservation field trip May 18. The kindergarten will have their field trip May 19, the second grade will take their field trip May 23, and the first grade will do the same on May 24. The awards assembly will be May 26 for kindergarten through fifth grade.
    Miller reported the middle school musical was held March 16 through 18. He thanked Ken Wayman and all of the students that participated. He also thanked all of the parents that helped and let their students participate.
    The District V music festival was held in Aberdeen March 21. Miller said there were many students in the building during the day and he felt Wayne Millett did a great job in organizing and running the event.
    The middle school held its version of ?The Amazing Race? for all of the students that met their AR goals for the quarter. The race was held March 23. He said he appreciated all the PTSA members that came to help.
    Middle school night custodian Shawn Fanchette took a job at the Idaho National Laboratory. Miller said he did a great job and even reported that Aberdeen was the nicest group of people he has ever worked with even though he has worked for 13 years in the clergy.
    High school principal Dave Kerns reported the track and golf teams were off to a slow start this year due to the weather.
    The high school custodial staff worked hard over the spring break, according to Kerns, and got some areas fixed up before the end of the school year. He said he appreciates their efforts.
    Aberdeen hosted the Fifth District Solo and Ensemble Festival March 21. Millett and the band put on a fine concert on March 23, according to Kerns.
    Trustee Irene Barrett said she has heard some concerns about the track and field equipment being left out. Kerns said he would visit with the track coach.
    The high school lock-in was good, he said. The student council worked very hard. They tried a computer competition and some X-Box things this year. He felt they worked pretty well.
Consent items
    The consent items, including the March 15 and April 5 meeting minutes, the March claims, the March financial report, the building budget reports, and the county tax reports, were approved.
    Four trip requests were approved. The first was an after-the-fact approval for Academic Decathlon to attend the state competition March 9 through 11. Ten students attended.
    AHS music department will travel to Salt Lake City May 12 and 13 for the Music in the Parks Band competition. They will perform at the competition the morning of the 13th and will spend the afternoon at Lagoon. Twenty-two students will attend.
    Aberdeen High School seniors will travel to Lagoon May 23 for their senior trip. Becky Pulliam and Tim Satterfield will be their chaperones.
    The final trip will be for the middle school student government to travel to Lagoon for a leadership training and team building retreat. Erin Johnson and Craig Miller will be the chaperones. Nineteen students will attend.
Business items
    The school calendar for the upcoming year was discussed. Hilario Carrillo asked what had been decided. Trustees were presented an amended version of the current calendar year during their April 5 meeting. The revision to the calendar switched spring break and parent teacher conference weeks. They discussed the rate of student absences around Christmas break and harvest break. Administrators stated that the absentee rate before and after Christmas break was between three and four percent. This is a much lower rate than the absentee rate around harvest break. Students who lose credits due to missed days have the opportunity to appeal to the superintendent. Struhs looks at grades, behavior, etc. in determining whether to let students keep their credits. Students can miss days at winter break if they watch their other absences and plan ahead. That is the calendar they approved. Copies of the calendar are available at the district office.
    The resignations of Tom Dean and Jewell Dean because of retirement were also approved April 5.
    The driver education curriculum was approved. The school wasn't going to purchase reading curriculum because of the changes in the state standards. That will be done next year.
    Aberdeen will sell two of its buses this year. Both are 65 passenger buses with Blue Bird bodies. One is a 1992 and the other is a 1993 model. The district is accepting bids for those buses. Bids must be received by Tuesday, May 16. Both buses are past the ten-year depreciation schedule.
    The district will also purchase two new 66-passenger buses. Changes are taking place in the near future that will increase the price of the buses from $7,000 to $10,000. If the buses are purchased before July 1 the district can get them cheaper. Transportation director Mike Welch explained the changes are EPA regulations on the engine, to help them run cleaner. Business manager Pam Muirbrook explained the depreciation would pay for the first bus. The district will have to come up with the money to purchase the second bus. She reminded the trustees the district did skip one year purchasing a bus the first year Struhs was here. Trustees approved the purchase if funding is available.
    Wednesday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. was set for the budget hearing. The regular school board meeting will be held after that.
    Teacher negotiations will begin April 26 at approximately 9 a.m. in the district office. Barrett and Valerie Krehbiel will be involved with those negotiations.
    A special meeting was set for Tuesday, May 9, at 5:30 p.m. to decide what summer projects will be done.
    Eberharter-Maki and Tappen, Pa attorney contract for 2007 was approved. It is basically the same as last year.
    A grounds keeper position was discussed. It was tabled until next meeting.
    The resignation of Eleanor Pratt was accepted. She will be retiring after working in the district for 18 years. Barrett suggested the district should have exit interviews with people resigning so they can find out what improvements could be made.
    Barrett also reported the Aberdeen Education Foundation met and agreed to give out over $8,000 this spring.
Trustee input
    Barrett said she appreciated Struhs and the work he did and encouraged him to continue working with the district.
    Diane Rowbury echoed what Barrett said and added she thinks it is great to see the project the middle school is doing. She added she thought the carnival went well and the music concerts were very good.
    Ritchey Toevs echoed what Barrett and Rowbury said and added the school just continues to move ahead. He stated the superintendent and administrators, as a team, need to be the solution, as they have been.
    Krehbiel said she is looking forward to working with the teachers on negotiations. She said they are angels. She has seen, on the news, the struggles in other districts during negotiations. She said Aberdeen teachers are very considerate of the district.
    David Wynn thanked those who voted in the supplemental levy election and showed trust in the board and administration. He also echoed everything else the other trustees said.