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Callaghan’s first board meeting as superintendent set for Monday

The Newton Community School District’s new leader will be present and working at Monday evening’s school board meeting.

New Superintendent Bob Callaghan will touch on a multitude of items during his report. One item he will elaborate on and that was shelved at the June 24 meeting was the vote on the elementary school handbooks. The board postponed the vote on the Woodrow Wilson and Berg Elementary School 2013-2014 student handbooks at the last meeting due to Thomas Jefferson and Aurora Heights not having their handbooks available for voting.

Callaghan will also touch on the ALICE training initiative that had been started by previous superintendent Steve McDermott.  Some of the district’s administrators and teachers recently went through the training with local law enforcement officials and there was discussion about having the ALICE and emergency planning situations done in the individual school buildings.

ALICE is one of the many safety initiatives that the district has started in recent months to create safer schools. The district recently went about changing all of the locks in every building, adding additional surveillance and developing a county-wide emergency plan with other Jasper County school districts.

Callaghan will also discuss two matters that will affect the board. One is to set up board committees and the other is establishing a 2013-2014 board calendar. July 22 is the last board of education meeting for the 2012-13 school year.

Another item of note for Callaghan will be the discussion of the July 29 work session.

The board  previously voted to set a meeting on July 29 to meet with Gaylord Tryon & Associates. Tryon’s firm found Callaghan for the district.

In other business:

• Discussion on the approved changes for the 2013-14 district calendar. The change won’t affect students, but professional development days for teachers.

• Discussion on the Iowa Association of School Boards resolution.  IASB called for all participating school boards to discuss legislative resolutions during their summer board meetings for the 2014 session.

• The second reading of the updated Digital Learning Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy, which was updated in anticipation of the district’s new iPads. Newton Senior High School Principal Bill Peters told the board in previous meeting that, “There is great potential with these and there is potential for a great pitfall,” he said of the iPads.

• A second reading of Board Policy 702.11, which is in regards to the district’s new surveillance cameras.

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at

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