By Kaitlin Longhauser
Caledonia School Board members met in Caledonia Elementary School’s music room #162 on Tuesday, January 17, from 6-8:19 p.m. Board members present include Mike Peterson, Leigh King, Spencer Yohe, Melissa Marschall, Derek Adamson, Tim Gunn, and Daniel Small. In addition, Superintendent Craig Ihrke, Elementary Principal Sue Link, Gretchen Juan, Community Education; and Business Manager/Finance Director Barb Meyer attended. Middle/high school principal, Nathan Boler was absent.
The current board members positions include Peterson as chair, King as vice chair, Yohe as clerk and legislative liaison, Marschall as treasurer, Adamson as director, Gunn as director, and Small as director.
The board approved the consent agenda, minutes from the December 19 regular board meeting, minutes from the January 9 organizational school board meeting, and the treasurer’s report/approval of bills.
The board gratefully accepted donations from both Merchants Bank and Dale Vetsch.
Craig Popenhagen of Clifton, Larson Allen, LLP joined the board meeting virtually to share an audit presentation concerning Caledonia School District. Popenhagen gave the district a “clean” report and stated no compliance issues to be noted.
The board reviewed the Required Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plan. Ihrke suggested one change in the policy be made. The policy originally stated if one tests positive for COVID-19 then one must quarantine for five days. Once the five-day quarantine period is up, one may return to school if one experiences no symptoms/resolving symptoms. In addition to returning to school, one is required to wear a mask for fivedays when around others. Ihrke suggested masks to be recommended compared to required; the board agreed to the change in policy.
The board approved of the 2023 Pay Equity Report. The report is conducted every three years to ensure both male and female employees receive equal pay.
Link acknowledged the elementary school’s eventful upcoming weeks. An enrichment program began for students in grades 3-5. Monday, January 30 the school plans to hold a K-5 Warrior Way celebration in the gymnasium. The celebration will consist of Warrior Way ticket drawings and recognition for following the Warrior Way. Also on January 30, author Jennifer Baertsch from Winona, Minn., will visit. Club Choice funds will fund Spring Grove Movie Reward, this reward will take off beginning February. The elementary book fair will run from February 1-10. On Thursday, February 2 from 6-7 p.m. ,Parent and Family Engagement open house will take place. The purpose of the open house is to partner with parents to listen/share strategies if efforts to target math and reading. On Friday, February 3 from 6-8 p.m., Family Fun Night will take place. On Wednesday, February 15 PACE (Parent’s as Allies in Children’s Education) parents will visit classrooms to share their upcoming calendar fundraiser.
Ihrke shared Boler’s board report in regards to Caledonia Middle/High School. On Tuesday, December 20 PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) reward day had been held. Term II/Semester I ended Wednesday, December 21. The middle/high school’s newly hired custodian started Monday, January 9. Caledonia Middle/High School will review their ALICE procedures during January.
Juan shared her board report concerning Community Education. Surround Care will become obsolete as of the 2023-2024 school year, in replacement of Surround Care will be full day preschool classes offered. In regards to CAPS CARE, the infant room will be full starting April 2023. CAPS CARE currently is seeking a toddler teacher.
The board reviewed the Strategic Plan and Mission, Beliefs, Vision (Core Values Statement). Peterson recommended the Plan be updated as the last update occurred 2013. Gunn stated the new plan needs to be “short, sweet, and keep it simple.” The current mission states “To provide the best education to empower all learners to thrive in our changing world.” The current core values listed includes-learning, respect, integrity, health & safety, service, adaptability, collaboration, and accountability. Peterson presented an updated mission to state “Our mission is what we aspire to achieve with every student every day.” In addition, Peterson presented updated core values to include-parental involvement, partnerships, equal opportunity, freedom, character, and standards & accountability. Peterson also shared a sample five-year strategic plan to consider.
The board reviewed School District Policies 101, 101.1, 102, 103, 104, 201, and 202.
Board members Marschall and Yohe briefly shared their board reports.
Due to Monday, February 20 being Presidents Day, the next regular board meeting of the Caledonia Public School board is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Caledonia Elementary in the music room #162. The public is invited to attend.