At the October 11 school board meeting, board members Jill Harstad, David Sowinski, Mark Johnsrud, Katie Priebe, Josh Thompson and Tom Keefe were present as well as Superintendent Ed Harris, principals Shane McBroom and Eric Nelson, Rinnea Kreter, administrative assistant and Trista O’Connor, business manager. Also present were LuAnn Klevan, Community Education director and Dan Schindler, activities director. Student senate members Olivia McBroom and Kayla Novotny were also present.
Jason Boynton of the accounting firm of Smith and Schaefer was present to present the audit. He stated the audit went very smoothly and gave it a clean report. In summary, the General Fund expenditures exceeded revenues by $131,932 for the year ending June 30, 2020. The UFARS (Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Standards) unassigned General Fund balance of $2,379,610 at June 30, 2023 is 21% of current expenditure. District policy is a minimum of 17% of annual operating expenditures. The Food Service Fund expenditures exceeded revenues by $88,312 for the year ending June 30, 2023. The fund balance is $191,256, or 31% of FY 2023 expenditures. Lastly, the Community Service Fund revenues exceeded expenditures by $8,652 for the year ending June 30, 2023. The fund balance for this is $44,948.
Student senate members Olivia McBroom and Kayla Novotny reported that homecoming week went well and everyone seemed to enjoy the activities.
Activities director, Dan Schindler, gave the board an update on all the fall activities. The numbers are great in that 197 athletes are participating this fall. Parent meetings for each season have taken on a new look in that there is no official meeting, but parents can view videos of each head coach explaining their sport and expectations. The old uniform sale went very well and netted $963. Trophy cases have been revamped with trophies in chronological order for ease in finding a particular year. Pictures from past yearbooks have also been added.
Community Education Director Klevan stated the number of students enrolled in the four- and five-year-old program is up with the three-year-old classes a little smaller. Preschool teachers are beginning to implement the plan for Social Emotional Learning (SEL). SEL is a curriculum and a different assessment for Social Emotional Learning. Teachers have become more intentional about teaching strategies for managing emotions, and developing social skills. The “Let’s SEL It” Kickoff is this Saturday. It celebrates Social Emotional Learning with activities based on strategies parents can use to help children self-regulate. This will also include a pancake breakfast for all families.
At the high school principal Eric Nelson reported that staff is working on continuous improvement frameworks to ensure positive social, emotional, behavioral, developmental and academic outcome for every student through the Minnesota Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Systems (MnMTSS) framework. He is also meeting with the school counselor and a team of teachers to examine the current course offering, graduation requirements and instruction sequences due to the new curricular changes called for in last spring’s Education Bill.
Elementary Principal McBroom, is looking forward to seeing families at Parent Teacher Conferences next week. Last week the students were happy to participate in homecoming with visits from the homecoming royalty reading to the younger grades, dress up days and walking through the tunnel created by the high school students.
All three administrators expressed their sympathies to the family of Mike Bernard, of Bernard Bus, who passed away last week. All of them related to how helpful and easy it was to work with him on transportation issues. He was a friend to the community and to the school district. He will be missed greatly by all who knew him.
Superintendent Harris reported that negotiations have been finalized with the CEA (Chatfield Education Association) with a salary increase of 4% for the first year and 3.4% the second year; which is comparable to other area schools. The board later approved the 2023-2025 Chatfield Education Association Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Facilities Study Group met before the board meeting with the architects from ISG. The group was asked for input to further refine project ideas that will be presented to the community via survey. There was a discussion about the tax impact of this project that may impact a future operating levy request. He reported that the last HVED school voted to approve the HVED Winona Mall project. He stated, “This is a long needed strong step forward for Chatfield and other area schools.”
Under consent items the board approved:
• Minutes of the September 13, 2023 meeting
• New Hires: Amaya Harmening, Valleyland child care assistant; Alissa Bauman, Valleyland teacher; Scott Schmaltz, ninth grade basketball coach; Jeff DeBuhr, eighth grade basketball coach
• Resignations: Christine Voeltz, high school nurse and Cheryl Newman, ES paraprofessional
• Job Posting: High school nurse, .4 FTE
Under other action items the board approved the second reading of district policies 710, 711 and 712 but postponed the approval of policy 504- Student Appearance, as board member Mike Sovinski asked if he could meet with Superintendent Harris to discuss one of the items of that policy. It will be brought back as a first policy reading at the next board meeting.
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held on November 8 at 7 p.m. in the high school Forum room.