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NCSD to accept therapy dog donation from Clemon-Maki

Board will hold early meeting, decide second SRO action

Christopher Braunschweig/Daily News
NCSD Board of Education President Robyn Friedman, right, and Vice-President Ann Leonard, left, listen to a speaker during a school board meeting Jan. 28 at the E.J.H. Beard Administration Center.
Christopher Braunschweig/Daily News NCSD Board of Education President Robyn Friedman, right, and Vice-President Ann Leonard, left, listen to a speaker during a school board meeting Jan. 28 at the E.J.H. Beard Administration Center.

Amidst the regularly scheduled agenda topics and action items, the Newton Community School District (NCSD) Board of Education will also discuss the acceptance of a therapy dog donation from Clemon-Maki Insurance during its meeting Monday night.

The Newton-based insurance agency donated money for the Newton High School counseling office to purchase the therapy dog, which NCSD Superintendent Bob Callaghan said has already been done.

The puppy, a male labrador retriever named Bosworth (or “Boz” for short), was purchased from Master Creek Labradors in Deer Creek, Minn., and has already begun its therapy training. Staff have begun integrating the pup with the sights and sounds of a busy school day.

Additional SRO to district

After lengthy discussions at previous meetings regarding the continuation of the 28E Agreement between the City of Newton and NCSD to include an additional school resource officer, Monday the school board will likely make its decision.

Currently, the district has one school resource officer on hand to disperse among its seven campuses: Aurora Heights Elementary, Emerson Hough Elementary, Thomas Jefferson Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Berg Middle School, WEST Academy and Newton High School.

If a second school resource officer is acquired, one would primarily remain at the local high school while the other would stay at the middle school. The two officers would then divide their time amongst the remaining elementary schools and WEST Academy.

During the Jan. 28 school board meeting, Newton Police Chief Rob Burdess spoke to members of the NCSD Board of Education and the superintendent about the benefits of having more than one school resource officer. In favor of a second officer educating, socializing with and protecting students, Burdess said the move would help impact the schools at a deeper level.

School board members showed very little opposition to the action during the discussion phases.

Procurement cards to district campuses

The NCSD board is scheduled to take action on and discuss the authorization of an application to issue individual procurement cards. Callaghan described them as debit cards for school teachers.

“This will be our first (time) dipping our toe in the water with procurement cards,” Callaghan said. “It’s just a more efficient way of doing business, versus reimbursing somebody for money they’ve already spent.”

If passed, the procurement cards would be dispersed to the district’s campuses for use and allows for better tracking.Callaghan said procurement cards are a common practice among bigger districts.

School board meeting time changed

Regularly scheduled at 6:30 p.m. every second and fourth Monday of the month, the NCSD board has instead decided to meet an hour-and-a-half earlier to allow guests, teachers and other citizens the chance to attend Eighth Grade Night. Those who wish to attend the board proceedings are asked to arrive by 5 p.m. Monday.

Callaghan said, “We have a couple board members with children in eighth grade so they want to go to the transitionary meeting.”

Eight Grade Night begins at 7 p.m. and is way for parents and students to get a taste of what Newton High School has to offer, serving as an orientation for eighth graders slated to become freshmen during the 2019-20 school year.

The program orientation will be held at the Center for Performance in Newton High School. Students and parents are strongly encouraged to attend to browse the high school’s selection of classes and be introduced to available extracurricular activities in order to enable a smooth transition from eighth grade to ninth grade.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or

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