After waiting months, the Lanesboro School Board finally had an agreement with Mayo for Athletic Trainer Services to sign at their November 8 meeting. The three-year agreement carries a fee of $8,736 the first year, $8,998 (a 3% increase) the second year, and $9,268 (another 3% increase) the third year. The agreement was retroactive to August and covered the services received during the fall sports season as well.
The board approved the retirement of music teacher Sharon Boyum effective November 23, 2023. The school board cannot have a predetermined agreement prior to the retirement of a teacher to rehire the teacher. The teacher must be retired for at least a day. It sounded as if Boyum might very well be once again rehired after that day of retirement.
In another hiring twist, the board both hired and accepted a resignation from paraprofessional Abby Borden at the same meeting. Borden had been hired after the previous board meeting and had worked at the school. She then resigned later in the month to accept a job in her field.
The board approved a resolution supporting the MSHSL Foundation Form B Application. This will provide for the $2,242.16 purchase of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) to be stored at the bus garage. The school already has three AEDs in the school and another portable one for games and track. This AED will be accessible for all outside school events and practices.
Board chair and HVED representative Christine Troendle reported that the HVED purchase agreement for the former Winona Mall building had been signed. HVED is now getting the proposal for the building ready to be submitted to MDE, a necessary step in the remodeling process.
Superintendent Matt Schultz enthused, “It’s really fun to get back into construction!” He shared that the construction committee was looking at the spaces available and prioritizing the construction timeline. He visited the mall last weekend and walked through it, looking at it with a new perspective. Schultz commented that it “should be a good process.”
Once again, Schultz used the school strategic plan as his guide as he presented his superintendent report. In emphasizing teaching reading and math, Schultz shared that the school was reviewing the three options for teaching reading presented by the state. Administrators sat in on some webinars on the topic. The new K-3 reading curriculum fits the new standards. Teachers for grades 4-6 will need to choose suitable curriculums for their level.
Addressing long range plans for the school, Schultz shared that SiteLogiQ had done a walk through of the school and bus garage and will be putting together some preliminary ideas for the school. Schultz assured the board they would get more information if anything developed from that. Currently the school enrollment is at 465 students, a “healthy number” according to Schultz. He pointed out that the school has space yet for one additional classroom at this time.
Schultz is on the board of directors for MREA (Minnesota Rural Education Association). He shared that their focus is on getting state aid for teachers’ wages. According to Schultz, the number of people entering teacher education programs has been “dropping off a cliff.” He stressed the importance of making teaching a competitive job and shared that this was the primary topic of conversation with every education leader he speaks with.
The recent teacher conference held at Lanesboro School was once again deemed a success. One of the highlights was a presentation by WSU about AI (artificial intelligence) for teachers. Schultz was impressed how quickly the topic has “shifted from a fear to how can we use it as a tool?”
In their final action for the night, the board chose Saturday, December 2, for a board retreat. The retreat will begin at 8 a.m. and end by 11 a.m. and be held in the forum. Board members were encouraged to send Schultz their own ideas on topics for the retreat. Some of the possible topics include school finance, facilities, and new education legislation.
The next regular Lanesboro School Board meeting will be held December 13 in the Lanesboro Forum. It will follow the Truth in Taxation meeting which will begin at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend; a public input period is offered at the beginning of the meeting.