The Lanesboro School Board spent the first part of their meeting electing members to positions and assigning them to committees at their regular meeting January 11. Kevin Horihan joined returning member Steve Storhoff as they were sworn in as board members. Steve Snyder was absent and will be sworn in later.
Christine Troendle was reelected board chair; Steve Snyder will continue as vice chair. Sarah Peterson remains clerk with Steve Storhoff as treasurer.
Meetings, which had moved to 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month last year, will remain the same time and date. Consensus was that the day and time worked well since Wednesday nights have historically had few other activities. The meetings will be held in the forum room.
Merchants Bank of Lanesboro was approved as the district depository. Fillmore County Journal was once again selected as the official newspaper. Legal counsel remains Nethercut Schieber Attorneys for general business and Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Walspurger for school law. Superintendent Matt Schultz and Board Chair Christine Troendle were authorized as contacts for legal counsel.
Compensation was set using the amounts approved in 2018. The chair receives $1,500; the clerk, $1,200; the treasurer, $1,200; the directors, $1,000; chief negotiator, $500; other negotiator, $400; education district representative $300.
Board committee members were appointed as follows: Mark Holmen and Kevin Horihan, policy; Steve Snyder and Steve Storhoff, finance, facilities, and long-range planning; Christine Troendle, advisory; and Steve Snyder and Steve Storhoff, personnel.
Board representatives were also appointed; Steve Storhoff, MSHSL; Christine Troendle, education district; Sarah Peterson, economic development; Christine Troendle, legislative liaison.
In his superintendent report, Schultz informed the board that the long anticipated solar panels were now placed on the gym roof and waiting for installation. At this point, they are scheduled to be installed by the end of January. A March deadline for installation is now set.
The last of the long awaited lockers have arrived; soon the sixth graders will have their new lockers and will no longer need to use laundry baskets for their winter gear.
Schultz shared that the school would be looking for both a full-time business teacher and a special education teacher for next school year. He explained that both positions suffer from a severe shortage of new teachers in the past years and will continue to do so. Not many universities offer a business teacher program and few people are enrolling in the programs. The computer industry often claims new business graduates.
According to Schultz, many area schools are even more in need of SPED teachers. He told the board that there is a trend for more and more SPED services to be handled virtually online.
Lanesboro has hired another receptionist who will work during the school day for the school year only. Since the business person for the school is only present one day a week, the new receptionist will help handle daily student and staff needs. Schultz added that the additional students at Lanesboro have created an increase in the need for all services.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the health and safety plan as required; they continued with the same plan that was previously in place; there was no public comment;
• Heard from Sarah Peterson that the city has recently learned of a new League of Minnesota Cities Grant which might be of interest to the school;
• Gave approval to direct Superintendent Schultz to make recommendations for adjustments in curriculum, programs, and staff for next school year.
The next regular Lanesboro School Board meeting will be February 8, at 7 p.m. in the forum room. The public is welcome to attend; a public comment period is available at the beginning of the meeting.
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