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File Photo – March 2016

Amstein Retirement Announced at Wednesday’s Board Meeting

Griswold sharing, new busses, renovations to Washington and videotaping of meetings also discussed

“You get to a point in your life where it’s time to look at something else,” Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Mike Amstein said as he announced his retirement at last night’s board meeting.

The Atlantic School board held its regular meeting Wednesday, April 13, at AHS. The meeting discussed issues varying from multiple school renovations, new busses, Dr. Amstien’s retirement announcement, and even a special presentation from five band members.


Amstein has been the superintendent for AHS since April of 2010, and after the 2016-2017 school year, he will be stepping down from his spot. He says that he is “thankful for the opportunity” but now he is ready to “do something that normal people do.”


Atlantic and Griswold community school districts may have come to a sharing agreement in the future. The two schools would share HR and transportation one day a week, allowing Atlantic and Griswold both to pick up 10 extra students in the morning. This is a year by year plan, and won’t be complete until the 2016-2017 school year. If the plan is approved within AHS, it will go into effect in the 2017-2018 school year.


Four new propane busses have been purchased on a sale. Three of the busses are 65 passenger propane busses, costing $88,658 each, $4,000 cheaper than they were in 2013. A propane lift bus was also purchased, costing just over $105,000. By using propane busses, the school saves “20%-30%” in operating costs compared to if diesel busses were used.


Washington Elementary has numerous renovations coming also. Russell Peck attended the meeting and answered questions. First, he was asked about the re-roofing project for Washington Elementary. Originally re-roofing Washington Elementary was estimated to cost around $90,000, but “ended up being much less.” RL Craft has been approved to redo a section of the now 20 year old roof.

Peck also answered questions about renovations towards Washington Elementary’s playground. Amstein and the board agreed that updating the playground is “well overdue.” The proposition to bring play tile in, remove tire chips, and place two new swing sets on the north side of the playground, was discussed, and approved. For now the board has only approved the tiles, and still needs to collect bids and discuss the concrete that will lay beneath them. When asked for a rough price on the concrete, Peck said, “I think somewhere in the high 40s, but I could be completely off.”


The last issue discussed was whether or not board meetings should or could even be recorded. Members of the board expressed this would be a good idea because it “informs the community” and shows “transparency.” But technology director Roger Warren said there is much more to it than just setting up a camera and recording. Warren stated his points to the board, saying that a rough estimate for all of the needed equipment would cost around $10,000-$12,000.

Warren was concerned about the sound and video quality, and also who would record. Having a professional tape the entire meeting would be “roughly $100 an hour” Warren said.

“It’s going to cost more than we are going to get out of it,” Dr. Keith Swanson said. Board member Allison Brucker wants a simple video posted to the website so the public can see it, relating the issue to her children having the ability to post “good quality videos.” Warren “wholehearted disagrees” that it would be an easy job, but says he will keep in touch with the board and continue to look for other alternatives for a transparent board.

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