At the September 9, 2020, Chatfield School Board meeting, board members present were: Amy Jeffers, Lanny Isensee, Matt McMahon, and Rick Lowrey; as well as Principals Shane McBroom and Randy Paulson. Board member Katie Priebe was not present. Also present were Superintendent Ed Harris, Lorri Lowery, administrative assistant; and Trista O’Connor, business manager.
Under organizational items, the board approved the resignation of Scott Backer who had served as clerk. Mr. Backer has moved from the district. Rick Lowrey was nominated and approved by the board to serve as clerk.
Amy Jeffers, who serves as a representative on the HVED board, said that there is a new Level IV program starting this year for students with behavioral issues. This program will be in Kellogg. She was also on the Special Education advisory council that worked on a flyer that gives parents of SPED (Special Education) students information about what HVED offers.
Both principals thanked the staff, students and parents for making the beginning days of school go smoothly. They also were appreciative of the Chatfield Commercial Club who served breakfast for the opening workshop day and provided all staff with complimentary gifts. Most staff workshops were held in person, but some by Zoom. One change for both buildings was learning the new JMC management system. JMC will be used for grading, attendance, and student information. Elementary Principal McBroom reported that it probably wasn’t stated at the last meeting, but if the elementary should go to the hybrid scenario, the day would be shortened with a dismissal time of 2 p.m. This would allow teachers time to spend with those children having to learn from home on a daily basis. He also said that the hour long conferences with students this week is going well and was a good practice for when school starts. All three administrators commented on how nice it was to have students in the building again and that the students were following COVID protocols. The principals went over what protocols are in place in each building to keep students safe.
Superintendent Harris reported that the new shed is complete and warehouse racking has been installed. Lighting has been added to the outside and the gravel lot surrounding the shed has been graded out. The board has had several questions about board members serving as coaches or contractors with the school and what the parameters are. Harris cited several statutes that are in place concerning each of these issues to help clarify concerns about “conflict of interest” questions that have come up. Lastly he stated that this is the last year of his three-year contract and that he would be requesting to meet with the negotiating committee in the coming week to begin discussions about the future.
Under consent items the meeting minutes from meetings on August 5 and August 12 were approved. Matt Mauseth was approved as the new varsity wrestling coach. Coaches for grades 7-JV/assistant for winter sports were K. Tollefson and M. McMahon for girls basketball; R. Eppen, M. Davidson, D. Nickelsen, and J. Berhow for boys basketball, and Z. Curry for wrestling. The resignation of Trish Doyle, middle school English teacher was accepted along with the resignation of Tom Bance, B squad baseball coach. The following job postings were approved: assistant wrestling coach, middle school English teacher, middle school student council advisor, junior high Knowledge Bowl advisor, elementary nurse long-term sub, Valleyland lead teacher and Valleyland assistant. The following new hires were approved: Stephanie Fingerson, fifth grade teacher; Kathy Thiss, school nurse; Shelly Harden, preschool assistant; Logan Clark, middle school English teacher; Mindy Grabau, school nurse; and Anna Johnson and Nolan Salerno as Valleyland assistants. Teresa Shafer was approved as the One Act Play advisor.
Under action items, the snow removal quote from Hammell Equipment was accepted. The resolution to certify the proposed levy to the maximum amount was approved. This is an increase of 2.6%. This would be an increase of 6% per $100,000 on residential property, a 12% decrease for agricultural land and a 1% decrease for commercial properties. The final levy certification will be in December.
The resolution Declaring a School Board Vacancy and Process for Appointment was read and approved. Superintendent Harris explained the process for people who wanted to apply for the one-year term vacancy. To provide a 30-day window to seat the new board member in November, the October board meeting needs to be moved to October 7. The November meeting has to remain as scheduled to stay within the election canvassing window.
The meeting was adjourned with the next meeting changed to October 7, 2020, to be held in the high school forum room.