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Newton school district’s new tip line active

School board approves $70K greenhouse

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 11:01 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 11:15 a.m. CDT
(Ty Rushing/Daily News)
In 15 seconds NCSD Technology Supervisor Chris Bieghler showed the board of education just how easy it is to use the district's new anonymous tip line. The tip line can be used on phone by text or voicemail or by email.

In a manner of 15 seconds, a person can anonymously notify four members of the Newton Community School District’s administrative team about potential threats or issues.

NCSD Technology Supervisor Chris Bieghler demonstrated how the district’s new anonymous tip line works at Monday’s board of education meeting.

The tip line can be used by parents, students and staff to report anything that may pose a safety threat. The district opted to implement this new feature when it began developing its new website last year.

During the demo, Bieghler called the tipline and left a voicemail. After a quick silence, the phones of Superintendent Bob Callaghan, and two other staff members who were present began to ring.

Tipsters will be able to leave voicemails, send text messages or email.

Once the information is received by Callaghan, or any of the other designated recipients, they can decide which campus to contact. In the case of an emergency situation, they could  alert authorities.

To leave a tip, email tipline@newtoncsd.org, and Bieghler advises creating a temporary email account if you want your email to remain anonymous. To call or text, use (641) 323-1150.

In other business, the board elected to move forward with acquiring a new greenhouse for the Newton Senior High School agriculture program.

Callaghan said this project was high on the district’s priority list after NHS ag teacher James Horn first proposed the idea last spring. Callaghan noted the district didn’t move forward at that time due to limitations within last year’s budget.

Horn previously explained to the board that his program was growing substantially — more than 300 percent since 2008 — and that it needed more space to expand.

The district received four bids for the project and Horn recommended the board approve the bid from Hummert International for $70,771. Horn said the St. Louis company has been in business more than 70 years and are a very trusted name among high school ag programs in the Midwest.

Bids for a concrete slab will be up next for the district. Callaghan said the new greenhouse is intended to be operational by January.

The new 24-by-48 foot greenhouse will be located in the upper parking lot on the south side of NHS and will be paid for using physical plant and equipment levy funds.

In other business:

• Newton’s eighth graders were selected to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which measures students in those grades achievement across the country. The test will be conducted sometime in 2015.

• A public hearing will be held at 6:45 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Emerson Hough building for the purchase of a new vehicle for the technology department.

• The board approved granting board vice-president Sheri Benson the authority to vote on its behalf at the Sept. 30 Area Education Agency District 1 Director election. Board member Travis Padget was chosen as the alternate. In addition, Benson will also be a candidate for the position.

• A list of final staff placements for the school year was approved.

Contact Senior Staff Writer Ty Rushing at (641) 792-3121 ext. 6532 or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.

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