The Decorah School Board wants to do everything it can to protect the District from fraud.

At Monday's Board meeting, Board members asked Joe Bouska, CPA with Hacker, Nelson and Co., P.C. in Decorah to schedule a one-hour tutorial on fraud protection in light of recent allegations of embezzlement, regionally at Starmont Schools and locally at Aase Haugen Home.

"We need to know what we should do to protect ourselves and protect our District," said Board President Melanie Tietz.

Bouska said he would be happy to prepare a variety of scenarios to present to the Board at a later date.



Yearly audit

Bouska attended the meeting to present the 2011-2012 audit to the Board.

In a lengthy report to the Board, Bouska reported the District's financial statement disclosures were "neutral, consistent and clear" and his firm encountered "no significant difficulties."

He said the District's financial statements were "fairly stated in all material respects ... That means if someone who isn't familiar looks at these financial statements, they can make a serious decision and can feel comfortable doing so."

The District's total net assets increased by 14.58 percent, from $18,425,253 in 2010-11 to $21,112,547 in 2011-12.

Net assets in governmental activities (funding) increased 14.91 percent over last year. Net assets in the business-type activity (District food-service operations), decreased $19,391, which represented a 7.17 decrease from last year. According to District Business Manager Cathy Dietzenbach, this decrease is due to an increase in program expenses.

General fund revenues, which included the instructional support fund, accounted for $17,254,478, or 77.48 percent of all revenues. General fund expenses, which include the instructional support fund, accounted for $16,436, 345 in expenditures, or 50.19 percent of all expenses.



Public hearing

In other matters, the Board voted unanimously to set a public hearing for the waiver of school state date for Monday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. Districts are required to approve such a waiver if they choose to start classes prior to Aug. 25 each year .

According to Superintendent Mike Haluska, the District has not yet set a specific calendar date for the beginning of the school year, as he is waiting for more information.

He said this is a "rollback" year in the athletic calendar, meaning there is an extra week in the calendar year, which will affect planning throughout the District.



Bus tracking

In an effort to increase student security, District Director of Technology Kurt DeVore updated the Board on EDULOG, the District's new bus-tracking system.

Testing of the server, firewall, and GPS has been completed, and staff training will take place through next week. The system should be operational by the end of the month.

In addition to the District being able to track the movements of each bus, students will be issued a bus-tracking card which will allow officials to monitor when students board and leave their bus.