At the February 10, 2021, Chatfield School Board meeting, these board members were present: Katie Priebe, Josh Thompson, Lanny Isensee and Jill Harstad, as well as Principals Shane McBroom and Randy Paulson. Board members Matt McMahon and Tom Keefe joined the meeting via Zoom. Also present was Superintendent Ed Harris, and Trista O’Connor, business manager.
Shane McBroom, elementary principal, discussed the transition to the 4 + 1 model that the elementary has been using and thought going to five days would work if that’s what is decided. EdVisions have been working with the elementary staff on student-centered learning and this has been very successful. They also received a grant to further support these efforts with them. D.A.R.E will start this week with Officer Kevin Landorf. There will be 10 sessions and will be held in the cafeteria with students sitting in their assigned lunch seats. The students will work with him on decision making, being respectful, and responsible. This year’s Eagle Bluff trip will include both fifth and sixth grade as last year’s fifth grade was not able to participate. They will go on separate days but will not stay overnight.
High school principal, Randy Paulson stated that they are looking at possibilities for a senior class trip with an abbreviated trip to a closer destination. Washington D.C. trip for this year’s eighth grade is scheduled for June and the ninth grade trip to D.C. has also been moved to June. Junior-Senior prom is a possibility with special arrangements to meet COVID guidelines and academic and achievement award programs may be held with distancing guidelines.
Superintendent Harris thanked the Pioneer Presbyterian Church for its second donation to assist graduating seniors who may be struggling with lunch account debt. He also thanked the Fillmore County Public Health staff for all of their assistance and advice during the COVID pandemic. The main part of his report revolved around bringing students back to full-time in-person learning. For discussion items he proposed bringing back grades 7-12 on March 1 and PreK-6, also on March 1. He reasoned that school case data continues to be very low and that most staff have had their first dose of the vaccine. Schools continue to demonstrate that they do not have high rates of transmission. The staff would have a staff development day on Wednesday, February 24, to prepare for this transition as directed by the state of Minnesota. There will be a special school board meeting on Wednesday, February 17 at 6 p.m. for the board to officially act on this proposal. The other item for discussion was whether or not the district would allow youth associations to host tournaments at the school since they are practicing and going to tournaments in other towns. The board agreed that using the same parameters as the conference uses for sports activities could be used with the youth sports, such as only two people from each family attending and no out of town visitors. A motion was made by Josh Thompson to add this to the action items later on in the meeting.
Under consent items, the January 13, 2021, minutes were approved along with the approval to seek quotations for the 2021-23 mechanical maintenance rates and quotations for the 2021-23 lawn care rates. Other consent items approved was the posting for the high school principal position, adding two additional hours for Amy Gernes’ contract for third quarter of 2020-21 school year, and approving a .16 FTE teacher contract for Marcia Schindler. New hires approved were fitness coaches Adam Hurley (September-November) and Dan Narveson (January-March). They also approved the job posting for a high school paraprofessional.
Under action items, the board approved the calendar for school year 2021-23 and the 2021-2023 transportation contract with Bernard Bus Company. They also approved the use of school facilities by youth sports for tournaments or scrimmages with the administration setting up the parameters.
A special meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 17 at 6 p.m. in the forum room. The regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. in the forum room.