The Spring Grove Public School Student Council planned a week of memorable and safe activities for the school’s 2020 Homecoming. The week started with Monochromatic Day on October 19 and culminates on Friday night, the 23rd, with the varsity football game against Lanesboro.
The school board met in person on Monday night, October 19, 2020, in the media center while adhering to the Governor’s guidelines for capacity (10 people total). The public and media attended remotely through Google Meet.
Board members present were President Aaron Solum, Stephanie Jaster, Christian Myrah, Kelly Rohland, Jenny Stender, and Rhan Flatin.
The Board unanimously approved the consent agenda, including the part-time temporary (September-December) employment contract for Chad Pierce – custodian, and the agreement with the Winneshiek Medical Center Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Center for the 2020-2021 Sports Medicine/Athletic Training Services.
The Crisis Prevention Intervention Team composed of Luke Kjelland, Scott Solberg, Gina Meinertz, Blaine Storlie, Adri Fisher, Kaitlin Bratland, Laura Eglinton, Chris Deck, Lynn Solum, Lori Storen, Trisha Myrah, Kasey Thompson, Lori Wiste, and Sarah Burfield developed the Crisis Prevention Intervention Team Plan. Principal Luke Kjelland explains that the plan limits the use of restrictive procedures (holds, removal). Restrictive practices can only be used in an emergency or when students are in danger of harming themselves or others.
Assistant Superintendent Gina Meinertz and Kjelland have been working together on the Student Well-Being Teams and Student-Centered Network Team. There will be monthly meetings with signups starting after homecoming week.
Parent-Teacher Conferences scheduled for November 17 and 19 will be virtual due to COVID-19.
Kjelland reminded the Board that both 11th and 12th graders have Open Campus Privileges/Flex Course Privileges this year. A non-contact procedure was developed and implemented in the office to prevent all 11th and 12th graders from checking out simultaneously on the same computer when leaving campus. Kjelland shared a picture of a black locker door with magnetic photographs of all the 11th and 12th graders. In white are the words In School, Outside Off-Campus, and On-Campus. All the students need to do is move their picture to the correct category letting the office know where they are at any given time.
The Spring Grove Virtual Academy “has brought some twists and turns with our response to distance learning for the students and families who chose it,” shared Meinertz. “We chose a program with strong rigor and high expectations for students, but the ease of use has been of concern at times. We have made necessary adjustments and increased supports and are on the right track.”
The City of Spring Grove received a $500 grant to plant prairie plants to the Roverud Park. City employee and School Board member, Flatin, is working with the school’s seventh graders on this project. Meinertz reported, “The students are mapping out the natural prairie spaces, learning about diversity, habitat, communication techniques, and the math behind these processes. The students are creating a presentation of their recommendation to present to the city council.”
Superintendent Rachel Udstuen began her monthly report by stressing that Kjelland and Meinertz are lots of fun to work with and advocate for customer service with the school’s parents and the community.
Udstuen presented the Board with a COVID-19 update on the reopening of the school this fall. The 14-day case rate is rising in Houston County overall but is not rising in Spring Grove; therefore, the school does not have to switch to the hybrid model. She explained that the school is ready to go to the hybrid model if necessary. Schools are looking at taking a break during the holiday season because families plan to go out of town to visit family. Schools are wondering if they should self-quarantine after they return. Currently, Minnesota does not require a quarantine if you travel. It does not appear that it is a concern in Spring Grove, so the Board did not act. The Board did approve two spectators per participant in the gym for Spring Grove Elementary/Youth Sports and drama and approved volunteer coaches in the gym. The school is prepared to hold weekend tournaments at the current time.
Udstuen announced that the Houston County Collaborative is entering into an agreement with MN Education Equity Partnership (MNEEP), which is exciting news for the Spring Grove School. The Superintendent explained that MNEEP would help the school conduct a racial equity survey of the school and lead a volunteer staff focus group.
AASA, the school superintendents association, has established a Minnesota group. The Minnesota group met for the first time in October. Assistant Superintendent Meinertz is participating in the organization’s Superintendent program.
Superintendent Udstuen recommended the Board approve the 1st Reading of MSBA Model Policy, Revisions from the 2020 legislative session. Motion approved.
The next regular meeting of the Spring Grove Public School Board of Directors is scheduled for November 16, 2020, at 7 p.m. The school board, administration, and business manager will meet in person (10 max). The school will continue to offer the board meetings on Google Meet for anyone else who would like to attend. For assistance monitoring the meeting, contact the district office at (507) 498-3221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.