Safe Routes to School
Region XII Council of Governments is in the process of completing a Safe Routes to School Plan for
the IKM-Manning CSD. The plan focuses on routes in the towns of Manning, Manilla and Irwin. The
Safe Routes Program is an opportunity to build new walking or biking routes to schools or improve on
routes already in place. With the focus on wellness in our schools, what better way to stress this to our
students than with improved surfaces and safe crossings?

The plan must identify the barriers that exist within our communities. The District is asking parents to be a part of this process by filling out a survey on our website to help identify those barriers.  Once a plan is in place, the cities and school may be eligible to apply for grants in assisting in creating
safer routes to and from our school buildings.  Dave Heller, Amy Ferneding and Eric Ramsey represent the IKM-Manning CSD in this process.

Veterans Day
As we start into the holiday season there is no better way than by kicking off by honoring our Veterans. This has and will always be a very special time to recognize the men and women that have served to insure our rights and liberties. The IKM-Manning Middle School, under the direction of Deb Musfeldt, has put together a special celebration on Friday, November 9th, starting at 10:30 a.m. in the new gym in Manilla and culminating with lunch for all vets. All veterans and patrons are invited to attend.

Spending Authority
How do we measure financial health for schools? When it comes to the financial health of schools we
have a different set of standards besides fund balances and days net cash. Schools look at budgetary
health in the General Fund. Districts are held accountable by the State Board based upon our spending authority.

Spending authority is the measuring stick used to enforce equity of expenditure among districts. Every
child is worth about the same and we can’t spend more than what the state says on a per student
basis. The state controls the amount we get per student by setting the allowable growth rate. Because
the amount of money we’re allowed to spend is also student-based, when we lose students, we
lose ability to spend, but generally costs don’t decline the same way. We hold reserves of Spending
Authority, called Unspent Budget Authority. This is the reserve that has been generated by controlling
expenditures and is our “rainy day” fund. If a district runs out of Spending Authority the state can and
has closed down a district.

Spending Authority is measured differently than our accounting set of books because there are times
the state gives us Spending Authority, but not the cash to fund it. In those cases we have to use our
reserves to give us the cash to spend the Authority we’re given. The only method of replenishing cash
is to levy property taxes and if you have the cash but not the authority you can’t spend it. This is only in the General Account.

Site Visit
Beginning with the end of last school year administrators and staff have been preparing for our school
improvement site visit. The purpose of this process is to assess the progress of our comprehensive
improvement plan and making recommendations to improve educational practices.

The onsite review will begin on November 12th and culminate on the 15th. Nine members from the
AEA, Department of Education and area school administrators will consist of the site visit team. Much
of the site visit schedule consists of staff interviews, board interviews, student and parent interviews
and special area interviews. Those areas include special education, preschool, equity and career and
technical education.

Activities and process that are implemented in all site visits include document review, district overview, interviews, building tours, written report findings, and site visit highlights shared at the conclusion of the site visit.

Please feel free to give me a call (712-654-2852) or e-mail ( with any

Yours in education,
Dr. Ward, Superintendent of Schools

Leave a Reply.