On September 15, the Mabel-Canton School Board held a regular meeting. One of the main topics was how to handle the potential need to make changes to the learning model, if/when COVID-19 cases increase in the area, especially in the school population.
Superintendent Gary Kuphal said he’d like to add a school board member onto Mabel-Canton’s Incident Command Team. He explained that, “The Incident Command Team, when called upon, will help make the decision on what to do” if/whenCOVID-19 case trends make a move prudent (either moving to a more restrictive or less restrictive learning model). After discussion, the board chose to name Traci Livingood to the Incident Command Team, with Dustin Tollefsrud as her backup.
Kuphal said one reason for having such a team is that it can be convened much more quickly than the school board, since the open meeting law requires at least a three-day notice prior to official meetings of the school board. Kuphal said the board has a few options for how Mabel-Canton will decide possible changes if/when the COVID-19 situations changes. He said the board could choose to retain the decision-making for any such needs, although he advised against that, due to the inability to convene quickly. Other options include designating the superintendent to make such decisions, either alone or in consultation with the Incident Command Team. After discussion, the board chose to grant Kuphal and the ICT the authority to make decisions on changing the learning model as needs may arise.
Student representative Colton Heintz-Kuderer gave the board an update on how things are going thus far in the new school year. He stated that although many things are different, students are handling it well, under the unique challenges of this year. He also pointed out that the annual FFA hog raffle was recently held, and was a success.
Principal Michelle Wiedemann gave a report, and she echoed Colton’s assessment, saying, “Everyone’s just making the best of it.” She also told of the recent grant received from the city of Mabel, in the amount of $5,000, which Mabel-Canton is using to purchase iPads for students. She also stated that the school is submitting a request for a grant from Fillmore County to use for additional technology and devices.
Principal Wiedemann asked the board to consider approving an additional hour of paraprofessional time for over the lunch hour. The need, it was explained, is due to some paraprofessionals now supervising lunch in classrooms, so there are fewer available in the lunchroom, It was also pointed out that there is more cleaning and sanitizing to be done this year. The board approved this addition.
Kuphal suggested the board consider selecting a company to provide pre-referendum and construction manager services. He explained that the Facilities and Capital Outlay Committee met twice to consider the three proposals received. The committee recommended approving the proposal from Kraus Anderson Construction. The board voted to award the project to Kraus Anderson.
The board acknowledged generous donations from the United Methodist Church of Mabel ($125 for Scholastic Reading Program, and $150 for school supplies), Emma Knick from Lomira Elementary ($400 for music department), and First Southeast Bank ($350 for school supplies). The board approved several hirings, including Tessia Wangsness (Long-Term Sub for Pam Rasmussen’s maternity leave), Courtney Graves (assistant volleyball coach), Nicky Eiken (special education para), and Dave Arnold (van driver).
At Kuphal’s recommendation, the board chose to advertise for bids on snow removal for each of the next two winters.
Mabel-Canton’s next regular board meeting will be October 20 at 6 p.m. The November meeting is set for November 17 at 6 p.m. The board also set the annual Truth in Taxation hearing for December 15, beginning at 6:01p.m