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Fillmore Central to offer trap shooting

Fri, Jun 27th, 2014
Posted in Harmony Education

Members of the Harmony Conservation Club attended the Fillmore Central School Board meeting on June 24. Board member Sue Sikkink explained they had approached her with the idea of starting a trap shooting team at Fillmore Central.

The trap shooting team would be sanctioned by the Minnesota State Trap Shooting League, and would be no cost to the school.

Board member Jim Love asked when the season would be. Conservation Club member Bill Hanlon said the season would run from April to June and last nine weeks.

Dustin Hanson said it would be very flexible, and shooting could be done once a week. Scores would be submitted at the end of the week.

There is currently an FFA trap shooting team that was started by Hanson. Hanlon said this one would be more involved. “It’s not just for FFA kids, it’s open to more, boys and girls are together.”

Hanlon said the students must be 12 years old and have taken the firearm safety class. The Conservation Club has four licensed firearm safety instructors.

As far as safety goes, Hanson said of all the trap shooting in the state, six million shots have been fired and there have been no issues or violations. There will be no guns or ammunition allowed on school grounds. The Conservation Club can loan guns to kids who do not have one.

This would be an official sport in which a student could earn a letter, and team photos would be in the yearbook.

Hanlon said the firearm safety classes are all done online now. The kids have to attend a field day and they must pass a test before they can join and receive their certificate.

Sikkink said they will be looking into an activity fees. There is no cost to the school, and the Conservation Club is volunteering their services as coaches. The Minnesota State Trap Shooting League covers all insurance. Dean Chris Mensink will be looking into the legalities of coaching requirements.

“I think it’s a real positive thing for the school,” said Love. The board approved.

Capital Facilities

Project Change

Superintendent Richard Keith explained a change that has been made in the amount of money needed for the capital improvement projects. One of the projects was installing a sprinkler system at the high school. This project was put in place after the state fire marshal told them it needed to be done.

Keith said there is a new state fire marshal, and a new representative from the Department of Education (DOE). The new person from the DOE would not approve the project without approval from the state fire marshal, so the new marshal had to approve it. The new fire marshal said if the school installs the sprinkler system, they only have to replace one of the doors instead of the multiple doors they were planning on replacing.

This change brings the total cost of the project down from $4.6 million to $4.565 million. This will decrease the amount of the bonds, decrease the cost to the taxpayers, and decrease the cost of bonding by $16,000.

The board passed a resolution approving the sale of the bonds at an interest rate of 2.8695 percent. Keith said there were six bidders.

The board also passed a reimbursement resolution, which means the school will pay some of the up-front costs and be reimbursed at a later date.

Levy and Referendum

The board passed a resolution to convert the $300 voter-approved levy to a board-approved levy. Under new state regulations, a board can levy up to $300 per pupil unit without approval from the public. Currently, the district has a levy of $592.15. A resolution was also passed to put the remaining $292.15 on the ballot to be voted on in November.


A resignation was accepted from SADD advisor Vicki Nelson, who has been the advisor for many years. The board thanked her for her years of service. A resignation was also accepted from Andrea Hellickson in the daycare.

The hire of Terisa Scrabeck as a teacher for Title I summer school was approved. Due to the numbers, another staff member was needed. Judi Markowski was hired as a custodian.

Tenure was approved for Julia Olstad, Diane Keith, Kyle Rundquist, and Andrew Peterson.

A sharing agreement with Kingsland was approved for school psychologist services from Brian Feight.

The board approved a teaching stipend of $1,500 for teachers who would be willing to teach students college-level courses. The board approved three staff development days for the summer, pro-rated, per course, to work on curriculum and meet with college faculty. Olstad compared the stipend to working an overload, and a good incentive for teachers. He would like to be able to offer this option to students.

Principal and Dean Reports

Dean Chris Mensink noted the local banks have once again given out mini grants in the amount of $10,500 to the school. F&M Community Bank in Preston, First Southeast Bank in Harmony, and the First State Bank of Fountain give the grants each year, and teachers put in requests for small projects, items, or field trips. Mensink thanked the banks for doing this every year.

Mensink also mentioned the Booster Club donation of $1,700 for weights in the weight room.

Principal Heath Olstad said the band and choir just returned from their trip to Florida, which went very well. He also passed out a summary of the graduating seniors plans for next year. There are 33 out of 37 seniors planning to attend a four-year college. Two plan on going into the military, and two plan to join the workforce.

Pay Scale and Fees

The board set the substitute fees for 2014-2015. The only changes made were to increase substitute para pay to $9 an hour and substitute custodial pay at $10 an hour.

Student activity fees, admission fees, and sports season pass costs were also approved with no changes. There was some discussion on how much money was actually brought in with these fees. Love asked what the fees actually covered and if it made any difference. Darla Ebner looked up the numbers and found last year the fees brought in $31,000, and transportation costs were a bit more than that.

Milk Run Donation

Michael Johnson once again came to the board with a donation for the school milk program. Johnson raised money with a Milk Run during Fountain’s Trail Days. He said there were 80 participants this year who walked the bike trail from Fountain to his farm, and they raised $22,300.

Mensink said there were 55 students who used the milk program last year. The board accepted the donation with many thanks.

Operating Budget

The operating budget for the 2014-2015 school year was approved. Bookkeeper Darla Ebner outlined a few changes from last year. Major projects from last year were removed. The PERA employee contribution was increased by 0.5 percent, and the Health and Safety was increased $300,000 to catch up from projects. Kindergarten will now be funded by the state as 1.0 instead of 0.6.


The board approved the first reading of the K-6 and 7-12, faculty, Root River Program, and coaching handbooks.

There were no changes made to the coaching or faculty handbooks. Mensink noted the only change to the K-6 handbook was a change in the wording of the vision and mission statement.

Olstad pointed out the changes made to the 7-12 student handbook. There were several wording changes, including changing the word “detention” to “consequences” in regards to cheating. He also added information about the care of the computers the students are using. The number of electives was changed to fit in with the 8-period day, and personal electronic equipment was changed to just electronic equipment. It was added that no activities will be scheduled on Wednesdays after 6 p.m. except for MSHSL tournaments.

One big change Olstad noted was there will no longer be an option for reduced lunches, only free lunches. So anyone who previously qualified for reduced lunches will automatically qualify for free lunches.

Under the tobacco and alcohol use section, e-cigarettes were added, as they are still considered tobacco. All class dues must be paid to be able to attend prom.

Special Ed. Director Micki Breitsprecher outlined some of the changes made in the Root River Program student handbook. It was noted that parents must contact the school and transportation when a student will not be at school. A list was made of acceptable clothing and not acceptable clothing in regards to the dress code. Under discipline, if a student is removed from class, they must complete a Work-it-Out sheet to return to class. There were also some minor changes made to the level system.

Lunch Prices

The cost of lunch for 7-8th graders has always been the same as 9-12, even though the younger students receive smaller portions. Keith said the state wants the schools to raise their prices until they are at the actual cost of a meal. Keith felt this was the right time to increase the cost of lunch for 9-12 and leave the price for 7-8 grade the same.

The cost of healthy snack for elementary students was increased from $25 per semester to $30 per semester. However, parents have the option of paying for the entire year for $50.

A/C Units

With the summer food program in swing and going well, an air conditioning unit is needed for the kitchen and lunchroom in Preston. Keith received two bids, and the low one of $8,900 from Larson Plumbing and Heating was approved for two 3-ton units.

Other Business

A special meeting was scheduled for July 7 at 7:00 a.m. to go over contracting bids.

The board approved the following items:

•The proposed food service budget for 2014-15

•A teacher development and evaluation plan

•A three-year transportation contract with Harmony Transit, with an option to renew for another three years

•The Health and Safety policy and budget for 2015.

•Membership in the Minnesota Rural Education Association

•Membership for Southeast Service Cooperative

•The designation of Mr. Keith as the Local Education Agency Representative and Homeless Liaison

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