At their regular meeting June 20, the Rushford-Peterson School Board approved a five-year contract with Nike. In this contract, R-P agreed to purchase Nike apparel for its varsity sports programs at 40% off the retail price. BSN Sports will also set up online stores for each sport so the public can purchase gear (both Nike and less expensive apparel) to support specific sports. A percentage will go back to each individual sports team from the sales.
Activities director John Loney noted RP was offered the program because they had just purchased Nike football uniforms for next year. The coaches had preferred Nike uniforms to the other uniforms they had checked out. The football uniforms cost $18,000, which will be counted toward the $50,000 amount of the contract. Even if the $50,000 is not met, the school will still save money on what is purchased.
The five-year contract is because schools usually replace uniforms every five years, rotating which sport’s uniforms get replaced each year. Any purchases from the BSN online school stores will count toward the total.
Loney shared that the Booster Club was on board with the contract and will have its own online store as well. The onsite school store could use the apparel credits to purchase and offer items at the school as it has in the past.
Solar for schools
The board received three bids for the construction of a solar power system for the school. Ultimately, they opted to go with Solar Connection, which will cost $124,000 total for 60 kWh; the school’s share of the expense will be $15,778 if the grant application is successful.
Superintendent, Dr. Ben Bernard shared that the installation would be on the roof of the building and would not be above the gymnasiums. The system will have a warranty of 10 years on the installation and 30 years on the parts. Bernard felt most maintenance can be done by school staff. The final grant application still must be completed and approved.
Business manager Toni Oian shared a document showing the adopted 2022-2023 budget, a revised 2022-2023 budget, and the proposed 2023-2024 budget.
Food service ended the year with a surplus of $232,409, almost $100,000 more than budgeted. With the increase in free and reduced lunches, a lot more food was served than anticipated. Now with all meals free next year, it’s expected that local sales will go down, but state revenue will increase. Another possible Farm to School grant would also increase revenue.
Community education ended the year with a $73,097 deficit; the budget for next year anticipates a $144,475 deficit. In the past, money has been moved from the general fund to cover preschool expenses. In October, money will be most likely moved once again. Oian pointed out that going to five-day a week preschool with wrap-around care will increase expenses.
Dr. Bernard stated that they were not hiding this and realized some changes need to be made to make this better.
The general fund balance at year end was $1,222,725 with a projected $1,265,113 for next year. An increase of 4% in state aid and reimbursement going up quite a bit for SPED expenses will help, but the new unemployment requirements mandated by the state will affect the budget negatively.
In other business, the school board:
• Approved restructuring of food and custodial services to salaried professional positions; positions will be advertised and interviews will be held;
• Accepted donations totaling $6,082;
• Approved renewal of MREA and MSBA membership;
• Approved the school’s literacy plan, insurance proposal, and Q-Comp annual report;
• Heard that HVED was working toward a building purchase; the board and Dr. Bernard are asking for more information from HVED on how such a purchase will impact both taxes and services for the RP community and students. Dr. Bernard commented that he believes that all education is about people and that he feels it’s essential to fix the organization also; the board will discuss the possible purchase in more detail at their July meeting.
The next meeting of the Rushford-Peterson School Board will be July 17 at 6 p.m. in the school forum room. The public is welcome to attend.