CPA Kali Lentz from Smith Schafer reported on the recent 2021-2022 audit to the Rushford-Peterson School Board at their regular meeting November 21.
The audit showed a $150,000 increase in property tax levy from the year before with total revenue up from $11,115,285 to $11,764,540. The food service fund showed a $116,000 surplus with a balance of $222,559 at the end of the year.
General revenues exceeded expenditures by $61,095 for the year. The Community Service Fund revenues and incoming transfers exceeded expenditures by $3,429 for the year, chipping away at the troublesome deficit balance. The year end deficit balance for the fund was $74,618.
Smith Schafer issued an unmodified “clean” opinion for the district’s financial statement with no compliance exceptions.
Farm to School mini-grant
Superintendent Ben Bernard informed the board that a Farm to School mini-grant had been officially applied for. If approved the grant will supply funding to purchase local beef and cheeses to use in all school lunch menus using hamburger or cheese. If the school receives the grant, they will be notified mid-January. The funds would be available for use during the 2023-2024 school year.
Board member Ken Sawle asked if some of the surplus in the food service fund could be used for such a project if the grant is not received. According to Bernard, this would be a possibility.
FFA president Emma Heiden addressed the board during the public comment period to thank the board and the Creamery for the successful fundraiser during the parent-teacher conferences. The Creamery sold $5 burger baskets to parents and staff at the conferences with proceeds going to the FFA.
Hannah Highum, also an FFA officer, spoke to remind the public that the annual FFA meat, cheese, and fruit sale was on-going. Proceeds from all the FFA fundraising help fund future FFA trips to conventions and competitions. Last fall, 20 R-P students were able to attend the FFA national convention.
Elementary principal Angela Shepard shared that December is particularly busy. The children are preparing for the upcoming Christmas Concert which will take place December 8 at 7 p.m.
Ag in the Classroom, a popular event last year, will be presented by teacher Courtney Thorman beginning in December.
The kindergarteners did an ABC exchange with 25 other schools across the U.S. Once again, the RP students were responsible for creating the letter “Z” for the exchange.
First graders had a fun activity in which they had to disguise a turkey’s picture. They were busy this week journaling about why they chose thei particular disguise for their turkey.
Middle School/High School principal Mr. Timm shared many positives happening in his school. Thirty students were honored at the Academic Letters Assembly. Seven band and two choir students participated in the recent Three Rivers Honor Band held at Cotter High School.
Riley Tesch and Ella Woxland earned the R-P Triple A Award; the duo now advance to section competition with a chance to become the state Triple A recipients. They were recognized for their outstanding achievements in academics, arts, and athletics.
Mr. Timm applauded the cast and crew of the Little Shop of Horrors all-school musical. He also thanked the National Honor Society for putting on the Veterans Day program.
Stonework on the front of the school where the ramps are located was added on late in the building process. This stonework has been subject to water getting behind the stone; as a result some of the stone has been falling off. The rest of the building stone was applied with a different process and does not have the same issues. Administration has met with Wieser Brothers and the mason who installed the stone. They are all working to find a permanent solution to the issue.
In other business, the board:
• Heard that the concession stand has been subject to a lot of red tape from the state; water lines must be trenched in rather than bored;
• Approved a 2.5% pay increase for Chuck Ehler (maintenance) and Stephanie Evenson (school nurse); the two positions had been missed last spring when other raises were given;
• Set the organizational meeting for the board on the same day as the regular board meeting, January 23;
• Learned the shot clocks have been installed in the gym and will be wired this week.
The next RP School Board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. December 19 in the forum room. The public is welcome to attend; a public comment period is available early in the meeting.
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