By Charlene Corson Selbee
The Spring Grove School Board heard the girls and approved their request for a girls softball team.
“It is very exciting. I also really like the way the process went about. Our students talked about and advocated.” Superintendent Rachel Udstuen continued, “What I really like about it, is our girls thought about it in exactly the right way and reached out to you [Michelle Anderson, athletic director] about what we need to do.”
Thirty-nine girls have expressed interest in playing softball for Spring Grove. The majority of parents responded to a survey and expressed their support. Anderson explained that schools in the league that are willing to play Spring Grove have been asked to schedule 21 games instead of the usual 20 games. Caledonia has been very supportive and feels it would be good for the girls.
Udstuen explained that Tanya Elton, the district accountant had the foresight to build the softball program into the school’s budget. Udstuen thanked the booster club for their generosity.
In preparation for the 2022-2023 school year, the board approved the following increases in prices.
The last time the price of breakfast was increased was in 2008-2009. The price of breakfast for students is $1.10, an increase of 10 cents. Next year’s lunch prices are $2.65 for K-6 and $2.75 for 7-12. The price of milk increased from 35 cents to 40 cents for extra milk at lunch and breakfast as the cost of milk is increased to 36 ½ cents.
Udstuen explained, “It has been 13 years since we have increased prices participation fees and 14 years on admission prices. It is not something we want to do but when we look at the budget, we might need to do something.” The board approved increasing the athletic fees by $10 and increasing the family cap to $220 and increasing activity fees by $5 and increasing the family cap to $80. Udstuen shared that the last time activity fees were increased was in 2009-2010 and they were increased by $10.
Board salaries for 2022-2023 were approved, $1000/year for the Board chair, $700/year for the directors, $300/negotiating cycle for each negotiator, out-of-district meetings – $25 for up to four hours, $40 for four to six hours, and $100 for over eight hours.
School board members unanimously approved the Fillmore County Journal as the school’s official newspaper for the 2022-2023 school year.
The substitute teacher pay was increased to $125, which puts the school in line with the lowest in the area. The school is now in a competitive position.
MacAir laptop repair fees for 2022-2023 are first repair $150, second repair $300, and the third repair is the full cost of the laptop. Principal Luke Kjelland noted that normally it is the screen that is damage. For example, the cost to replace the screen is $480. Udstuen noted, “The school is being generous by sharing some of the cost,”
In other business, the board
•Established the bonding for 2022-2023 noting there were no changes from last year;
•Approved the $6,000 out-of-state tuition rates, which is the same rate as last year. Travel will be negotiated;
•Designated the Merchants Bank of Spring Grove as the school’s official bank depository for 2022-2023;
•Designated the Merchants Bank of Spring Grove; Eitzen State Bank; Bank of the West, Mabel; Bank of the West, Caledonia; New Albin State Bank; and MSBA Liquid Asset Fund as the school’s official depositories for 2022-2023 investments;
•Accepted the following school policies: 214 – Out of state travel by board members, 410 – Family and medical leave policy, and 524 – Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy;
•Approved the 2022-2023 membership contracts for the Minnesota School Board Association, Southeast Service Cooperative, Hiawatha Valley Education District, Minnesota Rural Education Association, and Region V Finance;
•Noted that there are no changes to the cooperative agreement for athletics with Caledonia Area Schools;
•Approved the increase of additional activity pay;
•Approved installing walk-off carpet in the entryway between the two gyms and the weight room entry. The total cost is $8,200.
The next regular school board meeting is August 15.