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Cougar Communities

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Sign your child up for Kindergarten Roundup

Must be 5 by September 15, 2018

 


 

 

Daddy Daughter Dance Update:

 

Rescheduled for Friday, MARCH 16 at 6PM.

 


 

Cougar’s Den Preschool Fundraiser

Leather Basketball Bracelets

Click here to see them

Special Price!!

$2.00 Each

Perfect for cheering on our Cougar High School Basketball teams

as they advance their way through tournament play. 

Bracelets are available in any of the offices or

Contact Teresa Keninger at 847-2611 to order.


 

Now is your time to Shine

AGWSR K-12 Talent Show

Sponsored by Cougar Connection

 

Click here for Audition form and information

Auditions:

Wellsburg: Tuesday Feb. 20 5:00-7:30 (Middle School Gym)

Ackley: Thursday Feb. 22 5:00-7:30 (High School Gym)


 

Helping Hands 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament

So. Hardin MS-Hubbard

Click here for more information

Click here for sign up sheet

 

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The Mission of AGWSR Community Schools is to provide EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION so that each student will discover LIFE-LONG LEARNING and become a self-respecting, contributing adult member of society.

AGWSR News

2/14/18

Iowa legislators have introduced a bill (HSB 561) to fund Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs). This is the wrong public policy for Iowa and an inappropriate use of public tax dollars.

 

First, let’s call ESAs what they are: Vouchers. Unlike a true savings account, parents do not open the account and put in their own money. The proposal gives selected parents a taxpayer-funded debit card loaded with state taxpayer dollars to use however they wish. We agree that parents should have the choice to enroll their child in a private or religious school. But not with public taxpayer funds.

 

Public taxpayer funds should only be used for education that is open and inclusive to all Iowans. Vouchers funnel public funds through parents to private and religious schools, which are not required to accept all students like public schools are. The public’s investment should be used to support public community schools which are open to all students regardless of race, religion, gender, socioeconomic status and disability, not for a new entitlement program for parents who choose private education.

 

Public funds require public accountability and transparency. Public schools are overseen by a publicly elected citizen governing board, are required to report academic results to the general public, have an annual public financial audit, and be transparent with all expenditures and decision-making. Private and religious schools are not held to that same public standard. Taxpayers have a right to know how their funds are being used, but are left in the dark about the use and impact of voucher funds.

 

New public resources should be invested in strengthening public schools as Iowa’s greatest competitive advantage for a strong economy. In 2013 Iowans made a shared commitment through education reform legislation designed to strengthen our public schools, knowing that strong public schools are key to a strong economy. Several of those reforms are still not in place due to lack of funds, and our local schools are facing record low annual growth in funding to pursue local efforts. If new public funds are available in the state budget, the public interest is better served in investing those funds in improving the schools designed to serve all children.

 

Efforts to promote choice in education should be created within community-based public schools, not outside of them. Legislators who are acknowledging that “one size does not fit all” should reduce the over-regulation of state and federal bureaucracy that is stifling the ability of local community schools to be truly responsive to parent and community needs. Let’s invest in magnet schools and innovation schools, more flexible program offerings, greater partnerships among schools and with community organizations.

 

Let’s focus on public policy that encourage cooperation—not competition—between public and nonpublic schools—to serve all students better. Setting up a voucher system that entices parents out of public schools and into private or religious schools sets up a competitive environment that erodes our history of partnership and cooperation among public and nonpublic schools in Iowa. We enjoy competing on the football field and basketball court—but not in marketing wars for taxpayer dollars.

 

Let’s focus on the facts!

 

1)Taxpayer rules and transparency must follow the child. Public schools are funded by Iowa taxpayers, whether they have children attending school or not. We taxpayers have the right to expect those who choose to accept public funding follow the same rules and transparency required of public schools.

 

2) Iowa performs better than any state with ESAs. Governor Reynolds cited data with Iowa ranked 8th in the nation in education. The 6 states with ESAs rank between 21st and 49th. Why would we follow down a failed path? 

 

3) ESAs do not address rural Iowans concerns. More than 76,000 Iowa students have NO private school option in their county to even use an ESA. They can't afford to have tax dollars taken away from their community schools to fund choice in other areas. Most Iowans just want to improve their community schools and prepare their children to work in a world that looks less like the one in which they grew up.

 

We urge a you to contact your legislater to have them vote no to HSB 651.

 

Sincerely,

 

Marty Jimmerson

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1/26/18

We have made it through the first month of 2018, and if you are like me, are hoping that spring comes early!  I’m not a huge fan of winter weather especially winter weather that interferes with school, but as we all know, that is just a part of living in Iowa.  I wanted to thank all of you for your support and understanding of some of the decisions that have been made in regard to winter weather and ask for that continual support as we try and make decisions in the best interest of our students. 

 

My main focus in this article is to update you on some current legislative issues that will be affecting our school and how we could use your support in reaching out to our legislators to help our cause.  A few of the legislative items I’d like to cover are:

 

  • SAVE- (Secure and Advanced Vision for Education otherwise known as the statewide penny sales tax)-
    • There has been a lot of discussion about repealing the sunset statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure.  This is the money that we used to build our new elementary building.  The current sunset on the state penny is 2029.  So how does this affect AGWSR?  If we were at a point where we needed to make any major renovations to our high school or to the Wellsburg Center, instead of having the ability to bond against our statewide penny dollars, we would have to look at a bond referendum that would ultimately end in raising taxes if the referendum passed.  By extending the sunset, or completely repealing it, AGWSR would be able to use the dollars generated by the state penny to renovate those buildings. 

 

  • Supplemental State Aid (SSA)-    
    • This is something that needs to be set within the first 30 days they are in office.  It is a law that SSA is set within this time frame.  
    • We understand that state revenues are not as high as were once projected and that our legislature has to make difficult cuts in order to balance the budget.  We are also grateful that school funding is not a part of those budget cuts. With that being said, we still need to be pushing our legislators to set SSA as high as possible.  To give you an idea of how this impacts our district, we receive $40,000 in new money for every 1% of SSA.   At the same time, we need to talk to our legislators about our revenue issues and have them revisit the tax credit laws they passed in years past.  It’s not an expenditure issue at this time; it truly is a revenue issue.  Many schools are already at a “bare bones” minimum as far as staffing and programs are concerned.  If schools continue to receive inadequate funding, it will have a negative impact on our students.

 

  • Operational Sharing
    • Schools are able to share specific positions (Superintendent, Human Resource Director, Curriculum Director, Transportation Director, Maintenance Director, Business Manager, and Guidance Counselor) with each other and receive money from the state for sharing those positions.  AGWSR currently shares a maintenance director and curriculum director with Grundy Center.  What this allows us to do is have these positions in our district at little to no cost.
    • Currently, operational sharing dollars are set to expire at the end of next year.  We need to talk to our legislators about the need to repeal that sunset in order for us to continue to have these valuable positions in our district.
    • We are also asking our legislators to include the position of “social worker” in that list of shared positions.  We are continually seeing a need for this position in our schools to help meet the needs of our students and families.  This person would be able to provide support to students and families that we are currently not able to provide here at school, nor have the ability to afford a full-time position on our own.  If this position were added to the list of positions that could be shared, we would be able to look at sharing this position with another district at little to no cost.  Representative Grassley actually introduced a bill on January 24th that would include social worker as a position that could be shared, and we would ask that you contact your legislators to support this bill.

 

In the next few weeks, I will provide some talking points for community members about these legislative items.  I hope to have an article ready for our newspapers shortly, outlining these talking points along with providing you with contact information for our legislators.   We appreciate everything our legislators do for us, as we know they have a difficult job, but at the same time, we need to make sure we are advocating for our students.  We would ask that you reach out by email or phone to our legislators with these talking points so they understand how important it is for them to make decisions that would be in the best interest of our students. We appreciate any help you may be able to give us. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Marty Jimmerson

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AGWSR Elementary

918 4th Avenue

Ackley, IA 50601

Phone: (641) 847-2611

Fax: (641) 847-2612

AGWSR Wellsburg Center

609 South Monroe

Wellsburg, IA 50680

Phone: (641) 869-5121

Fax: (641) 869-3426

AGWSR High School

918 4th Avenue

Ackley, IA 50601

Phone: (641) 847-2633

Fax: (641) 847-2612
 

 

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