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Fillmore Central begins Superintendent Search


Fri, Jan 28th, 2011
Posted in Education

More discussion about the Flexible Learning Year took place at the Fillmore Central School Board meeting on January 25.

The board set up the three public meetings they need to have by the middle of March. The first one will be February 9 at 6:30 at the Fountain Community Center. The second will be on February 14 at 6:30 p.m. in Preston. The third will be in Harmony on March 2, also at 6:30 p.m.

Luehmann showed the board a tentative calendar for next year if the Flexible Learning Year goes through. School would begin on August 18, and the first semester would be over before winter break.

Board member Jim Love spoke about the recent MSBA meeting and the districts in Southwest Minnesota who have gone with the Flexible Learning Year (FLY). He said the districts that didn't get involved really regret it and wish they would have.

All of the schools had the same concerns, especially about the Minnesota State Fair. Love said out of the 16,000 students, only 300 were missing the first week because of the fair. They also only had to have one day off school because of the heat, in the schools that do not have air conditioning.

Love said the schools that started this last year have already seen a tremendous improvement in staff development. They also have found that the many schools working together has been very beneficial.

There was some discussion about kids who are in 4H going to the State Fair and missing school. Luehmann said they will treat it like any other excused absence, or like when students go on a vacation with their families.

Luehmann stressed that one of the main goals of the FLY is to have more student/teacher contact time before the state mandated testing in the spring.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Special Ed. Director Michelle Breitsprecher informed the school board of a grant opportunity for the district. Breitsprecher explained that School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is a 2-year grant opportunity. Applications were accepted from December 1 until January 14. She will find out on March 1 if Fillmore Central is selected.

According to Breitsprecher, this is a very competitive grant, with only 18 schools in all of southern Minnesota that will be chosen. The grant provides schools with training and support to promote improvements in student behaviors throughout the entire school, especially students with challenging social behaviors.

Breitsprecher explained that this training will help the kids who "fall through the cracks," the students who do not qualify for Title I or Special Ed., but who still need additional help.

The grant money will pay for six days of training for seven staff members. Data and improvements will be tracked through a computer program, which will also be provided. A sign-up sheet was passed around the entire school, and 80 percent of employees signed it in approval of seeking out this grant. Breitsprecher noted that two employees were not present the day it was signed.

Superintendent Search

Board member Jim Love said the Superintendent Search committee met and would like to move forward with advertising for a part-time superintendent. Superintendent Myrna Luehmann will be retiring as of June 30.

Love recommended sending out a simple email to the MSBA (Minnesota School Board Association) and the Superintendents Association describing the job and the district and see if they get any applicants.

The board agreed to let the committee act on its behalf and put something together for the advertisement for the search.

Budget

Luehmann stated they have been working on the budget to make revisions to the original for 2010-2011. She also talked about the gas and electricity budgets and how they stand halfway through the school year.

Luehmann mentioned a few things the board will have to think about in regards to the budget for next year. She said they will need to decide if they are going to have a FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) class next year. FACS teacher Jill Zmyewski retired at the end of the semester, and they chose not to replace her for second semester. However, Luehmann said they trying a FACS class for eighth graders this semester with Art teacher Carrie Mathison teaching.

Luehmann also said they need to look at hiring a full-time Tech Director soon. Right now the district shares Jeff Thompson with Spring Grove schools, and Luehmann said they need someone here more often.

"We need more time with him," she said. "There are more computers now, and SMART boards, and a lot of testing that is going to be online. He is overwhelmed right now."

Luehmann said she doesn't know where the money will come from to increase his hours at the school or hire someone to fill in or replace him, but she feels it will be eventually necessary.

Organization for 2011

The board went through the organizational list they must go through at the beginning of each year. Ross Kiehne will remain chairperson, and Craig Britton will remain the vice chairperson. Deb Ristau will replace Sue Ostrom as the clerk, and Jim Love will remain the vice clerk. Sue Sikkink will remain the Treasurer.

All board salaries will remain the same as in 2010.

There was an agreement to disband the Public Relations committee. Shelly Topness, the new board member, replaced Ostrom on the Community Education committee and the Meet and Confer committee. She also replaced Sikkink on the Policy Committee. Sikkink replaced Ostrom on the Staff Development committee, and Love replaced Ostrom on the Facility Focus committee. All other committee assignments remained the same.

The Official Depositories remain: First Southeast Bank in Harmony, First State Bank in Fountain, F&M Community Bank in Preston, and MSDLAF. The Official Newspapers are: Republican-Leader, News-Record, and Fillmore County Journal.

The official stations for school closings remain the same. The Official Legal Counsel also remains the same with Knutson, Flynn, and Deans.

The regular school board meetings will remain on the fourth Tuesdays of the month at 6:30 p.m.

Spring Coaches

The board approved the list of coaches for spring sports as presented by Athletic Director Jane Montgomery.

Ryan Scheevel will be coaching baseball, Tris Tollefson coaching softball, and Brad Holten with boys' golf. Bonnie Piehn will be coaching girls' golf, with Lane Powell coching junior high golf.

Montgomery said she does not have the numbers from Lanesboro yet. Right now, there are 20 people in grades 9-12 signed up for baseball, and seven in grades 7-8. For softball, there are 15 girls in grades 9-12, and 12 in grades 7-8. There are 18 boys in grades 9-12 signed up for golf, and seven in grades 7-8. For girls' golf, there are 9 signed up in grades 9-12. There are nine people in grades 7-12 signed up for track.

Other Business

Dean Chris Mensink reported that the recent box tops and milk caps competition was a success. The school raised $1,900 in box tops, $865 in Milk Moolah, and $1,300 from Kemps.

The board approved an open enrollment request for a seventh grader from the Lanesboro school district.

The February meeting was changed to February 14 at 5:30 p.m. in Preston. This will be followed by the FLY public meeting at 6:30.

Lisa Sackreiter informed the board that the Fillmore Central FFA received a donation of $2,500 from the America's Farmers Grow Communities program.

Board members took the oath of office.

The board voted to keep Driver's Training fees the same as last year.

The board approved the extension of child care leave for Mrs. Siebenaler for three more weeks until February 14. Sue Snell is her long-term substitute.

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