At the July 13 school board meeting, Josh Thompson, Jill Harstad, Lanny Isensee and Tom Keefe were present as well as Superintendent Ed Harris, and Lorri Lowery, administrative assistant. Board member Matt McMahon joined through Zoom. Katie Priebe was not present.
Elementary Principal McBroom was not present but in his written report to the board he stated that the ESY (Extended School Year) special education summer school was up and running and that Camp Invention was a success with the building full of creative thinking and building. Teachers have been spending time working with the new math curriculum and updates to the science standards have been completed.
Eric Nelson, high school principal, was also not present but his written report to the board indicated that high school teachers are writing new curriculum to update changes in Minnesota State Standards and updating their courses to reflect the change from semester length courses to trimester courses. Some are developing new courses to meet the needs of their students. In this report he outlined an effort to increase safety within the facility with Ryan Eppen, activities assistant, being more involved in facility safety in the coming year. Ryan has been the point person for door access protocols in the past. Now, he will work with Nelson to monitor safety and security procedures, plan emergency drills, train staff in emergency responses, and other aspects of protecting students. Ryan will be participating in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter Evacuate) training in the next month. This will provide him with trainer certification in emergency response protocols. Doors are to be remained locked during the school day, all areas involving students need to be supervised and students will be required to use their lockers for storing their bags and coats. The use of lockers was discontinued due to COVID distancing efforts the past year. Padlocks will help secure hallway, physical education and activity lockers.
Superintendent Harris reported that the high school site driveway and parking lots construction is taking shape and should be completed by early August. He reiterated that this extensive project was funded by a tax abatement fund from local revenue and was not financed from the general fund. Harris informed the board of a professional staff development opportunity through AASA (American Association of School Administrators) that he may participate in. AASA’s National Superintendent Certification Program is a dynamic, interactive professional development program held over two school years. He would be able to use staff development monies to attend this.
Under the consent agenda minutes from June 8 and June 20, special meeting, were approved along with the HVED agreement to purchase education services for SY 2022-2223, and employee activity passes for SY 2022-2023. Resignations were accepted from: Brianna Harmening, junior high softball; Jeff Johnson, junior baseball; Kelsey Mehus, elementary para, and Rianna Jones, seventh grade volleyball. New hires approved were: Mary Jorgensen, high school business teacher; Jodie Daniels, middle school science teacher; Lisa Kohlmeyer, Valleyland; Steve Smith, summer weight room; Niki Debuhr, head cross country coach; Corey Dornack, sixth grade science teacher; Savannah Thompson, Valleyland assistant; Sean Trewin, junior high football and assistant wrestling coach; Adam Hurley, .25 FTE online teacher; Claire Foley, Valleyland; Samantha Geving, preschool teacher and ECFE Early Childhood Educator; Janel Sackreiter, preschool teacher, and Anna Johnson, assistant dance coach. The following job postings were approved: eighth grade softball coach, seventh grade softball coach, junior high baseball coach, high school paraprofessional and seventh grade volleyball coach.
Under action items the board accepted the resolution for 2021-2022 donations and the long term facilities management plan. Because the on-site parking renovation is coming in under budget, the board approved an extension of the heated sidewalk where buses load and unload; making this area safer. Superintendent Harris drafted a recommendation that would bring pay scales for support staff up to the average of schools in our area. This recommendation takes into consideration the requests of the support staff, the district’s ability to hire and retain staff and the impending budget shortfalls. The recommendation would be an increase of 10% the first year and 2% the following year. After the motion was made, the board discussed if this was enough compensation since we are losing staff to other districts. Should the board offer more? Does the negotiations committee need to take more time to look over the recommendation since they had just received it? The motion failed and the recommendation was tabled with a negotiations committee meeting scheduled for Friday, July 22, 2022, at 12 p.m. to discuss the language and bring a recommendation to the board at a special meeting on Tuesday July 26 at 12 p.m. in the high school Forum room.
The meeting was adjourned. The next regular board meeting will be on August 10 in the Forum room at the high school at 7 p.m.