Board Updates

The GFW School Board held a regular meeting on Monday, December 18, 2023. The meeting includes the annual required Truth in Taxation presentation. A summary of the meeting is below. 

Watch the meeting on YouTube:

School and Community Recognition

At their December meeting, the board recognized community member and educator Bix Baker for his dedication to GFW students. “Mr. Baker has embraced innovation and taken education to heights,” said Dr. Horton. “With unwavering passion and commitment, he has taught the principles of robotics and ignited a spark of curiosity in our students.” Robotics is taught through the Community Education program and students have been able to learn so much about robotics as well as problem solving, critical thinking, and are building life skills. 

The recognition was presented in honor of the impact that Mr. Baker has taught students over the years, not only equipping their minds with technical skills, but instilling the values of perseverance, collaboration and lifelong learning. 

Dr. Horton shared, “Your dedication to the excellence of education and your passion for robotics has truly set the standard and inspiration for all of us. You have not only taught our students about robotics, but have shown them limitless possibilities that await them when one combines knowledge with passion.”

Students will soon have opportunities to take robotics courses at GFW High School to be able to grow their passion for robotics and learn future-focused career skills.  

Public Comment

Community members provided comments to the board. 

Superintendent’s Report

Dr. Horton turned his time over to Michael Hoheisel from Robert W. Baird to present on the Truth in Taxation information that is shared annually. The presentation shared all of the levy information that will reflect the voter approved changes from elections in 2023. The district is in a strong financial position as the process moves forward to construct the new facility and maintain programming for students. 

Community members are encouraged to share their questions about the school portion of taxes with the district and they will be addressed by representatives from Baird. 

Dr. Horton also talked about the World’s Best Workforce and ESSA goals that were discussed at the WBW annual meeting and are part of the ongoing plan. The district uses measurements including Fastbridge testing and others to assess student learning and improvement. Some goals include having 90% of four year olds ready to start school in kindergarten and scoring at or above expectations with current levels being just below the goal. 

Another opportunity is to have all students create a college and career readiness plan, which is done in eighth grade as part of the college and career readiness course. District administration will continue to monitor data closely and continue to evaluate the goals and measures as they move forward. 

Board Reports

The board discussed committee work with general updates and ongoing work taking place in all committees. The Community Engagement committee shared that the mascot will be changed in name while utilizing the existing logo if possible. Member Stehr also shared that the committee will be engaging with students on whether the district should consider a name change during this time. More information will be coming soon. 

Business Services - Audit Presentation

Layne Kockelman from Abdo shared the annual audit presentation that shared a high level summary of the Fiscal Year 2023 financial audit. GFW has seen an increase in the general fund balance to be in line with the district fund balance policy just two years after exiting statutory operating debt. 

Monthly Board Action

The board approved the consent agenda. 

The board approved the FY23 audit. 

The board approved 2024 school board meeting dates.

The board approved a resolution to accept the levy to be collected in 2024.

The board approved acceptance of donations. 

The board approved an electrical and engineering bid.