During the Mabel-Canton school board meeting on August 25, the board heard an update on the facility upgrade project that’s been ongoing throughout the summer. Due to ongoing construction, the meeting was held in Mrs. Peters’ Science Room.
Superintendent Gary Kuphal summarized, “If we didn’t have any supply chain issues, we would be right on track. This is the week that it was supposed to finish, all projects.” He added that while the overall progress is “very close” to the original schedule, supply delays in a few areas have continued to be a concern. Kuphal mentioned air conditioning units and windows as two items that have had significant supply slowdowns. He said he’ll keep the board informed as these areas progress. There was discussion as to when to hold an “open house” event for the community to be invited to see the completed facility upgrades. The board chose Sunday, October 16, 1-3pm.
Kuphal also updated the board regarding the repair of the chimney on the “1914” portion of the building. Because of a lightning strike, the upper portion of the chimney was damaged. But Kuphal said the workers were able to simply remove the upper damaged portion, and the remaining chimney is still tall enough to meet regulations.
The board heard a presentation, via remote technology, from Gail Gilman, representing the Minnesota School Board Association. Gilman’s talk was focused on Strategic Planning, and she suggested ways that Mabel-Canton could undertake this, to help lay out a clear path forward in the coming years. One suggestion from Gilman was to have a large and diverse Strategic Planning Committee. She suggested around 24 members, including staff, administration, family members of students, and other stakeholders and community members. She also suggested that the committee meetings limited to two hours, so that members can stay focused on productive decision making. After discussion, the board agreed to aim for the Strategic Planning process to begin this fall.
Kuphal led a discussion about options for how to honor Coach Karl Urbaniak, who recently retired after a long and legendary coaching career at Mabel-Canton. The board decided upon having wording on the “crow’s nest” at the football stadium to honor Urbaniak’s tenure at Mabel-Canton. An unveiling event was set for October 1. More details will be announced later.
Regarding the three school board positions that will be decided by voters this fall, Kuphal stated, “Thank you to Diane and Dustin and Traci for turning in your application to re-up for another four year term.” He added that no other applications were submitted for these board positions.
The board approved several hirings, including Coranda Vickerman (PE/Health/Social Studies teacher), Nickole Eiken (2nd grade teacher), Shelby Gjere (paraprofessional), Heather Wilder (junior class advisor), and Logan Richardson (junior high football coach).
Principal Michelle Wiedemann updated the board on Mabel-Canton’s COVID guidelines for the upcoming school year, which she said were based on the current guidelines from the Minnesota State High School League. She summarized, “So In a nutshell, if you have COVID, you’re home for five days. Day five, you test, and if you’re negative you can come back to school.” She added that masking for days six to 10 would be expected, or students could remain home through day 10.
The board gratefully acknowledged an anonymous $25 donation to the Music Department, and a donation of $250 to each sport, from the M-C Booster Club. The board voted to increase adult lunch price to $4.95 for the upcoming school year. This was done to come into compliance with state guidelines.
The board’s next meeting will be Tuesday, September 20 at 6 p.m. The public is welcome at all open meetings.