The Chatfield School Board had their first meeting in the new Forum Room, which is an elevated tiered room for lectures and larger group gatherings. Each board member had their own microphone so that the entire room could hear the meeting. All members were present except for Amy Jeffers. Also in attendance were Superintendent Ed Harris, Administrative Assistant Lorri Lowrey, and Business Manager Karol Lyons. Student representatives Katie Ihrke and Mollie Henry came later in the meeting.
There were no board reports. New elementary principal, Shane McBroom noted in his report that he thought the implementation by the staff of the Gopher Time curriculum was a great experience and praised the staff for the smooth opening of school. The elementary has had their first fire drill and are starting ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) classroom procedures. NWEA testing has started and will be used to help and support instruction through the school year. During PLC (Professional Learning Community) time this year, teachers will continue to work on their Love and Logic curriculum that was facilitated in their workshops by Andy Johnsrud before school started and these groups will continue to work with him.
Randy Paulson, high school principal, first gave a huge thank you to all staff members (teachers, paras, janitorial, kitchen, technology and administrative assistants) in the high school for their extra effort in having a successful start to the new school year and their patience and understanding during the demolition and construction process. Getting the school ready for the first day far exceeded his expectations because of the work of the staff. The construction manager, Ryan Schwab, shared with Paulson how nice the staff was to work with. They were the best and most flexible staff he has ever worked with. This is truly a compliment to them. The new cafeteria is working out well. Juniors and seniors are enjoying their own space since it is a quieter and calmer setting. Since seventh and eighth grade eat at separate times, there is more space in the gym or the outside area for them to play, which has created a safer environment.
Homecoming Week begins next week with planned evening activities and dress up days during the school day. Last year Gopher Fest was introduced to involve the younger students. It will be held again this year on Friday, September 28 from 3:30-6 p.m. after the pep fest. The Homecoming dance takes place on Saturday evening.
Superintendent Harris also commented on the effort of all involved to make the start of school so successful. There are still some finishing touches to be made and the fitness and wrestling rooms should be ready by the end of October. An open house will be scheduled for November 8 from 5-7 p.m. in conjunction with the Veterans Day Concert so that the public may tour the new and remodeled facilities. Harris would like to set a date for the school board Activity Committee meeting to discuss fundraisers, a parent code of conduct, and facility use prioritization. Coaches and other interested parties would be invited to attend as well. On October 9, HVED (Hiawatha Valley Education District) will be hosting presentations for a facility study and would like at least three board members to attend with the superintendent. Jerry Chase, Lanny Isensee and Scott Backer will attend with Harris.
Under the consent items, the board approved the last board meeting minutes, the Elementary Parent/Student Handbook and the Elementary Professional Handbook. Also approved were the Extra-Curricular Activities Handbook, High School Student Handbook, High School Professional Handbook and the High School Discipline Matrix. School fundraisers for 2018-2019 were approved along with the hiring of Blake Carrier, junior high football coach and the posting for the ninth grade girls basketball coach.
Under new business, the only bid for snow removal was awarded to Hammell Equipment. The preliminary certification of the projected levy payable in 2019 was approved for the Truth and Taxation meeting in December. Also approved was the Purchase of Service Agreement for the Transportation of Children and Youth in Foster Care Placement and the MSHSL Foundation Grant for Student Participation. Superintendent Harris updated the board on the acquisition of the Highway 52 easement by MnDOT. They needed to acquire the easement to install handicap ramps to access the path for their Highway 52 improvement project. MnDOT is paying the appraised value for the easement plus compensation for the loss of one tree that had to come down for the project. The board approved this proposal.
The meeting was adjourned and the next meeting will be October 15.