Caledonia Area Public School board members met Monday, November 20 at Caledonia Elementary School in Room #162. Board member Mike Peterson called the meeting to order at 6 p.m., led with the Pledge of Allegiance, and conducted roll call. Board members present included Derek Adamson, Tim Gunn, Leigh King, Melissa Marschall, Peterson, Daniel Small and Spencer Yohe. Also,in attendance were Superintendent Craig Ihrke, Middle/High School Principal Nathan Boler, Elementary Principal Sue Link, Dean of Students John Wahlstrom, Community Education Director Gretchen Juan and Business/Finance Director Barb Meyer.
Yohe moved, seconded by Gunn, to graciously accept Caledonia Lions volunteering 95.50 hours in selling tickets during 26 sporting events this fall. Motion carried. Peterson thanked the Lions.
The board unanimously approved to adopt the agenda, the consent agenda, approve the minutes from the October 16 regular board meeting, and the treasurer’s report.
A number of new hires joined Caledonia Area Public School District. The new hires include Theresa Ellenz as the eighth grade girls basketball coach, Sara Clark as a part-time nutrition assistant, Meghan Von Arx as junior class advisor co-coach, Melissa Augedahl as junior class advisor co-coach, Breanna Hahn as an elementary ADSIS paraprofessional, Grant Ness as a full-time special education paraprofessional, Miah Tage as a full-time facilities technician, Mitchell Banse as the seventh grade girls basketball coach, Owen King as the seventh grade boys basketball coach, and Caitlin Wood as the middle/high school ADSIS paraprofessional.
Superintendent Ihrke shared the school district was approved for the Justice Department’s COPS Grant. The grant was written for the amount of $294,500 with the school district expected to foot 25% of the dollar amount. In turn, the district would be awarded $220,875 and be responsible for the amount of $73,625. Ihrke informed, the grant will not fund police personnel. The board discussed how the grant could be utilized if accepted. Surveillance cameras became a topic of discussion. Principal Link stated the elementary school needs something on the back side of the playground. A possible surveillance camera camera put up on the light pole was suggested. Board member Gunn moved, seconded by Small to approve this grant. In a 7-0 vote, motion carried.
Principal Link proudly shared Caledonia Elementary School received a 93.08% out of 100 and ranked 57 out of 810 in the state of Minnesota. In addition, the school’s reading proficiency rate is 77% and the math proficiency rate is 72%.
Link also shared the elementary students have participated in a number of activities this last month. A Veterans Day program was put on and well attended. Students took part in a Thanksgiving music program held Tuesday, November 21 at the elementary gymnasium. Students in grades 2-5 got the opportunity to attend the dress rehearsal for the middle/high school’s musical “The Lightning Thief.” In a few weeks, elementary students will hold their yearly Christmas concert, on Monday, December 11.
Principal Boler shared that middle/high school students took part in the Three Rivers Honor Band and Choir event held Monday, November 6. Eighth grade students took part in the Ag Challenge at PEM Thursday, November 9. A wonderful Veterans Day program was held Friday, November 10 at Caledonia Middle/High School. Band students in grades 6-12 held their band concert Tuesday, November 14.
Boler added, the middle school included a new Homework Program that assists students with their school work if needed.
Caledonia Area Public School District implemented a Strategic Plan with five target goals to meet. Link, Boler, and Dean of Students Wahlstrom shared how these goals are going so far. The reduction of student disciplinary incidences is always a goal being worked toward.
To address staff retention, data can be gathered from a staff survey.
Students are going out and working with the public, for example, the first grade class visits Claddagh Senior Living Center in Caledonia to sing to the elderly.
A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 6 to meet with mental health providers, Region 6 prevention coordinator, and administration.
Bluff Country Collaborative is being utilized to expose students to valuable life skills.
Wahlstrom stated an Oversight Committee be formed and meet to discuss, plan, and brainstorm as needed. Board member Peterson responded, “Thanks guys, that’s a lot of work. I appreciate the efforts!”
The board meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m. The next regular meeting of the Caledonia School Board will take place Monday, December 18 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at Caledonia Elementary School in Room #162. The public is invited to attend.