At the September 25 Fillmore Central School Board meeting, Principal Heath Olstad gave a report on how the first back-to-school conferences went on September 4 and 5. After the conferences, he was able to speak with all of the school staff and many of the parents as well. “There was high praise for the experience,” he noted. He did receive some suggestions to help next year go even smoother, which he plans to consider.
Board member Deb Ristau mentioned that several families spoke to her and recommended better communication involving the daycare services available for younger children during the conferences. The teachers appreciated that they were able to evaluate the students the day of their conference and hit the ground running with personalized learning plans when regular school hours began on September 6. Staff from Fillmore County Public Health was also at the school that day to conduct hearing and vision screenings and then were able to speak with parents about the result right away instead of having to send letters home with the students. They hope to bring more volunteers next year to cut down on any waiting time for families. Next year, the school is also hoping to have a photographer at the building to take school pictures during the conferences with a re-take day offered later.
Principal Olstad was happy to report that attendance for the back to school conferences was almost at 100%. He estimated that less than five families did not participate.
The current enrollment numbers are 344 for grades K-6 and 275 for 7-12. Director of Special Education Micki Breitsprecher reported that 84 students are presently receiving special education services.
Resignations from daycare employees Sallie Merritt and Ellie Skaggs were approved as well as a resignation from basketball and baseball coach Jeffrey Dick. Tris Tollefson was hired as a fifth grade teacher, Robert Doherty as a part-time van driver, and Melissa Heron as the SADD advisor. John O’Connor was hired as the head softball coach, Elisha Himli as head dance coach, Andrew Pederson as weightlifting coach, Andy Todd as eighth grade boys basketball coach, Eric Breitsprecher as JV girls basketball coach, John O’Connor as eighth grade girls basketball coach, Brandi Mayer as seventh grade girls basketball coach, Paul Snell as assistant wrestling coach, and Blaise Sass as volunteer assistant wrestling coach. Coaching positions for JV boys basketball, seventh grade boys basketball, and ninth grade girls basketball are all still open.
A Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with the teachers’ association was passed to allow elementary teachers Kelly Duff and Jolene Nelson to coach the new elementary teachers how to implement the Action 100 reading program in their classrooms.
Joni Mehus, Aaron Mensink, Megan Brown, Sarah Holten, and Carrie Mathison were all approved to teach independent study courses. Megan Brown was also approved to be paid for an overload in her schedule for the 2018-29 school year.
Several open enrollment requests from students outside of the district asking to attend Fillmore Central were approved.
The first reading of a board policy regarding counseling and pre-career and technical programs was reviewed and adopted. The policy assures that the district will provide bias-free counseling material and avoid discrimination in course enrollment.
Seven requests were received from staff for graduate credit reimbursement along with five requests for salary schedule lane changes. The board reviewed and approved all of the requests.
The maximum levy amount for the 2019 levy was approved. The final figures will be decided on at the Truth in Taxation meeting in December.
The copy machine lease in the high school office is up. Superintendent Richard Keith presented several quotes from difference companies for a new copy machine and lease. “We are really hesitant to go with a used machine, as we tend to have many more problems with copy machines, as they get older,” he said. He asked the board to approve a quote for a new Toshiba 8508A from EO Johnson. EO Johnson is the company that the school works with for all of its current copiers and they will also remove the old copy machine. The board approved the quote.
Superintendent Keith also presented the board with a quote from Nelson Auto for a new 2018 seven-passenger Dodge Caravan that will be used for when staff need to attend conferences or other events. The quote and purchase were approved.
A property across the street from the high school was up for tax forfeiture sale on September 11. The total price including fees is $23,070.81. Superintendent Keith recommended that the board approve the purchase of the property with possible uses including parking space, technology lab space, or a weight and fitness facility. The board approved the purchase along with a quote from Scheevel and Sons in the amount of $23,980 for demolition, removal, filling in, and seeding the lot. That number could be higher if asbestos is found in the house.
A resolution supporting a Minnesota State High School League, or MSHSL, foundation grant application for activity funding was approved by the board.
The next Fillmore Central School Board meeting will be held on October 23 in Harmony, but the time was changed from 6:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. due to a football game that evening.