At the April 14, 2021, Chatfield School Board meeting, these board members were present: Katie Priebe, Josh Thompson, Matt McMahon, Jill Harstad, and Tom Keefe, as well as Principals Shane McBroom and Randy Paulson, Superintendent Ed Harris, Trista O’Connor, business manager and Lorri Lowrey, administrative assistant. Board member Lanny Isensee was absent. Student senate representatives Abbi Gillespie and Hunter Bernau were also present.
The student senate representatives related to the board their role on the selection committee for the new principal. Abbi and Hunter gave tours to all of the six candidates who were interviewed and were able to ask questions of them. They were very pleased with the process and stated they agreed with the choice of the new principal. Hunter expressed that he is glad to be back to in school full-time and hopes it can remain that way. Superintendent Harris thanked them for their contribution to the selection of a new principal and said they represented the student body well.
Shane McBroom, elementary principal, said MCA testing is going well and that it will be interesting to see how the students perform considering the circumstances of the last 13 months. Kindergarten Round-Up will look a little different this year as it will not be in-person. A video has been created for new families that showcases the staff and some of the daily activities that future kindergartners can expect for next year. Next fall they are planning an activity to get kindergarten students into the building to explore the classrooms and building before the year starts. He thanked kindergarten teachers Kaitlin Dunlay, Carmen Berge and Kristine Welper for their work in putting this together. There will be a five-week summer school reading and math program this year to support those students who were identified through the intervention programs. Letters will be sent out this week to those that have been selected for this program.
Randy Paulson, high school principal, presented a change in some of the programming that will not add any FTEs (Full-Time Equivalents) but will allow for reduced class sizes and more offerings. The ALP (Alternative Learning Program) will be staffed by a current special education teacher, a current staff member will be assigned to the middle school English position and a BE (Business Education) teacher will be added to reduce social studies classes and to backfill the reassigned middle school teacher’s position. This also means that special education and CTE (Career and Technical Education) funds can support some of the general education expenses. It is expected that the prom will be held on May 1 with the Grand March live-streamed for the public. COVID guidelines are being followed with pods of three couples having their own area to dance. Graduation will be in the gym, with four tickets per graduate for parents and special guests. The ceremony will be shorter than in the past and will be live-steamed for home viewers. These plans are still in the works and changes may occur.
Superintendent Harris thanked the selection committee for their time and effort in selecting the next Chatfield High School principal. Six candidates were interviewed and the position was offered to Eric Nelson, who is presently an assistant principal in the Cambridge-Isanti district. COVID numbers continue to be low and it is hoped that many of the spring activities will be able to proceed in a semi-normal fashion. The last of the COVID funding has been confirmed and Harris will be working on a budget for this in the near future.
Under consent items, the board approved the meeting minutes and special meeting minutes from March 10, 2021. The following job postings were approved: afternoon weight-room coach (internal posting), summer school teachers (internal postings), summer school paras (internal postings), ECFE early childhood teacher, business education instructor, high school special education instructor, assistant track coach, long-term sub first grade teacher and eighth grade volleyball coach. New hires that were approved were: Nick Gardner, elementary para; Greg Silha, afternoon weight room coach; Madalyn Kammer and Shane Fox, co-assistant track coaches; Robyn Lampert, high school English teacher and Barb Schroeder, long-term kindergarten sub. The following resignations were approved: Brian Nolan, assistant track coach; Chad Olson, Focus ALP; and Kaitlin Ellringer, eighth grade volleyball. They also approved the maternity leave for Angela Fitzpatrick, the changing of the May meeting date from May 12, 2021, to May 5, 2021, the food service management contract one-year renewal and the prom DJ contract for Tony Lee Becker.
Under action items, the board agreed to the resolution relating to the nonrenewal of the teaching contract of probationary teachers, Logan Clark, middle school English; Stephanie Fingerson, fifth grade; and Ariana Caddel, fourth grade. They also agreed to the tentative agreement for principals Shane McBroom and Eric Nelson for 2021-2023 school years. This agreement is a 2.5% increase for 2021-22 and a 2.5% increase for 2022-23.
The meeting was adjourned.
The next board meeting will be on May 5, 2021, in the high school forum room. Note this is a change from the normal meeting date because of a school activity conflict.