Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

School board approves ‘Pearl Smith Field’


The Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors decided that the field inside of Fairfield High School’s Trojan Stadium will now be know as, “Pearl Smith Field,” in honor of former FHS football coach Pearl Smith.

Fairfield resident Rob Higgins initially addressed the board with a speech in support of honoring Smith.

“We all struggle with positive influences,” Higgins said. “He still has that great influence.”

Several board members agreed.

“I think this is a great recognition for Pearl,” school board member Joe Carr said. “Pearl had a tremendous staff working with him; he would think that contributed.”

School Board President Jennifer Anderson said that although Smith had an outstanding record, he was not the only candidate worthy of honoring.

“Pearl had an outstanding record; he did many things,” she said. “But he’s not the only one.”

In other news, the board approved Fairfield Police Chief Julie Harvey’s request to establish a two-weekend deer-hunt in October that would take place near Fairfield Middle School. The hunt comes as an effort to curb the over-population of deer in the community.

Harvey said each bowhunter would need to sign-up. She added there has never been an accidental death involving deer hunting from someone being struck by an arrow recorded in Iowa.

Former teacher Mike Schenck was approved to return as a full-time core instructor. Schenck, who taught for over 20 years in the Fairfield Community School District, will be working in conjunction with Young House Family Services.

Superintendent Lori Noll said Schenck would teach core classes using the skills-sets of self-discipline and behavior management.

“Young House Family Services provides programing to work with children who have extra behavioral concerns or need behavioral support by working on skills-sets to help them be able to function in society.”

Schenck will resume teaching in the fall.

“He has a passion for working with at-risk kids; he really does, he always has,” said Marci Dunlap, curriculum director.

Dunlap said Higher Order Thinking Skills would remain a focus this school term.

“This is just a re-emphasized focus on higher order thinking,” she said. “We’re making sure that we’re asking kids questions and giving them tasks to make sure that they are growing cognitively.”

She added the middle school would continue focusing on the improvement of student math and reading scores.

“They made so many gains this past year with their reading scores,” she said.

Auxiliary Services Director Fred McElwee said the FHS fitness center has seen huge progress and the wrestling room would be completed sometime in September. The new woodshop was completed as of Monday.

The school district intends to sell two busses. However, there will be enough busses rolling on day one Sept. 2.

“We took care of eight buses,” McElwee said.

In other news, Noll said school policies would be a focus this year.

“We are looking at policies that need to be updated, and we are attacking them aggressively,” she said.

Instead of meeting in subgroups, Anderson requested that each board member tackle a policy for the board to discuss as a group.

“At this time we are looking from the 100 to 400 and reading them and comparing them with Iowa Association of School Board’s law and seeing if we need to update them,” Noll said. “We just want to make sure that we are following everything according to the IASB reference manual.”

Noll said that the majority of the policies were “OK,” but the review “gives the board an opportunity to look at the policy and see if we need to add more or change anything.”

The school board will have a work session at 6 p.m. Monday at the Administration/Curriculum/ Technology Center.

“We are going to do the same thing with the 500’s, a comparison and a walk through,” she said. “This is truly an aggressive stance, but it will help me and our board members. It’s our binding document of how we do business.”

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