The date of Tuesday,August 20 will be the starting date for classes for the 2013-14 school year in the Webster City Community School District. On Monday night, the board approved the new school calendar. The calendar includes Professional Development days on September 16 and October 7,2013 and on January 24 and February 28,2014. Christmas break will be from December 23,2013 through January 1,2014. There will be a Spring Break from March 17 through 21,2014.Graduation day for the Class of 2014 will be on Sunday,May 18. The final day of classes barring any snow make up days will be on Wednesday,May 28,2014. There was only one comment on the calendar by Webster City Middle School Project Explore instructor Patsy Brock. Brock said she would like to see if her eighth grade students can visit Washington,D.C. in early April next year to coincide with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and when the museums have extended hours. This year's trip to the nation's capitol by the eighth grade students was held March 14 to 18 due to this year's spring break in the Webster City district. Superintendent Mike Sherwood said he will work with Brock to set the dates for next year's trip to Washington.
The board set the date of Monday,April 8 at 6:00 p.m for a public hearing in regards to the 2014 fiscal year budget. Superintendent Mike Sherwood informed the board that this maybe the most difficult budget in his 16 years as a school superintendent. Sherwood said the state legislature has made no decision on allowable growth and other issues that impact the state's education budget. Sherwood and school business manager Cathi Hildebrand have been working the last few weeks on putting together numbers in a worst case scenario. The scenario would be if the legislature takes no action leaving it at zero percent allowable growth for the Webster City district. Sherwood said there would two ways to move forward. One of them would set the tax rate at a certain level. The tax rate would be at $15.59 per thousand. The current rate is at $14.33. The budget will be published in the coming days to show the figures for the cominig school year.
The Webster City school board received good news from officials of Standard and Poors financial rating service on the district's bond rating. The rating was an A plus with the outlook to be stable. The rating reflects the assessment of the district's pledge of sales tax receipts which are transitioning to a statutory statewide average distribution of sales taxes on a per pupil basis. Another solid indicator is a very strong maximum annual debt service coverage based on current enrollment and projected sales tax collections. The final indicator in the rating is for adequate bond provisions, including an additional bonds test and a debt service reserve equal to the standard three prong test. The bonds are used to pay for school building and improvement projects.
A financial services agreement with Piper Jaffray was approved by the Webster City school board on Monday night. The board also set the date of April 8 for the public sale of school bonds. A resignation request from Webster City High School custodian Riley Powell was accepted. Riley will be retiring after 33 years at the end of the current school year.