The Bement school board is ready to expand its cooperative sports agreement with neighboring Cerro Gordo, and has sent a proposal to its co-op partner to add volleyball to the list of teams the two districts combine forces for.

Cerro Gordo is scheduled to discuss it at Wednesday night’s school board session. Both school boards have expressed interest in a co-op for high school volleyball. Middle school sports have also come up, but Bement School Superintendent Sheila Greenwood said volleyball is her district’s main focus at this point.

“We just reiterated (at our Dec. 10 board meeting) we are interested in volleyball. That’s our focus for now,” said Greenwood. “We want to continue discussion on middle school co-ops.”

The two districts currently field joint teams for football, boys basketball, girls basketball, softball, baseball and boys and girls track teams. Bement spikers showed up to at least two school board meetings this year asking for the co-op in order to increase roster numbers and to be more competitive.

Also at the Dec. 10 Bement board meeting, Greenwood said the district’s main gym may need more roof work. Repairs were made three years ago, but it still leaks during windy rain events.

“When it was windy and pouring the other night, we had a couple of leaks and we want to get that taken care of, and taken care of right for the long-term future,” she added.

The superintendent told the board she would obtain estimates on both repair and replacement for the gym roof.

Tax levy

The board approved the 2018 tax levy (payable in 2019) of $3,044,221. It is 4.99 percent above the amount received this year.

In other action, the board:

–learned that the high school student advisory group will add Teacher of the Month awards, with recipients to be recognized during monthly assemblies that announce Student of the Month awards;

–heard eight high school students attended the Lifesavers retreat at Allerton Park and Retreat Center on Dec. 1-3;

–approved the resignation of board member Jeanne Strack;

–approved the voluntary termination of custodian Becky Black;

–scheduled a special board session for 8 a.m. Dec. 28 for the possible appointment of a new school board member;

–was told the family of Ann Foran had donated a used Yamaha brand piano for the choir room; and

–approved filing for a 2019 Property Tax Relief Grant, which if received could lower the tax burden for property owners in the school district. Greenwood did not feel the local district would net a grant, but added, “I think we should apply for it, just because I think school districts should send a message to the state that, yes, we remember you are supposed to fund 51 percent of the funding for education and not leave it on the shoulders of local property taxes.”