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Fillmore Central School Board gives final approval

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Education

The Fillmore Central School Board gave the final approval for many changes, additions and reductions in programs and staffing for the 2010-2011 school year. With the move of the seventh and eighth graders to the high school, as well as the needed budget cuts, administration has been working on the schedule and staffing assignments.

Superintendent Myrna Luehmann mentioned that the FACS (Family and Consumer Science) teacher, Jill Zmyewski, will be retiring after first semester next year. Her recommendation is not to hire anyone for her position for second semester, see what their needs are and maybe look for a replacement the following fall.

The high school choir position will go from full time to a .8 FTE position. The Media Director position will go from full time to half time. The shop and Ag teacher, Lisa Sackreiter, will have an overload, since she will be taking on the youth service and school-to-work duties that Zmyewski has this year. Her position will be increased to full-time next year. The art position at the high school will also be increased to full-time to accommodate classes for the seventh and eighth graders. They are still looking for a .33 FTE high school phys. ed. teacher, which would be one class per semester. The high school technology assistant will also have an overload.

Board member Deb Ristau asked if it would be better to hire a FACS teacher second semester instead of paying another teacher an overload for her duties. Olstad said that option could be left open.

Luehmann said she felt comfortable with the three percent decrease in the budget, which comes to $200,000. "I don't think it will be worse than that," she said. "Nobody is getting put on ULA, and we're keeping all of our tenured teachers. Not every school has been able to do that."

Board member John Torgrimson, who is on the budget committee, said he also felt comfortable with the numbers. He asked high school Principal Heath Olstad how he felt about the changes.

Olstad said he felt confident. "Are there certain things on that list that I hate to do? Absolutely. But I still think it's a well-rounded K-12 opportunity for our students."

Board member Sue Ostrom asked if all the teachers know where they will be next year. Luehmann said they are still waiting for some Title I money, after which they will know more. There are still some things up in the air. She stated they will probably be shutting down the downstairs bathroom and classrooms next year to save money on maintenance and cleaning. The bathrooms downstairs need renovating, and they can put that off for another year.

Staff Changes

The board also approved several changes to staff for the next school year. They approved three resignations. One was from Jason Detert, the high school art teacher. Alice Bigalk, the work experience coordinator and transition specialist, is retiring at the end of this year. Jill Zmyewski, FACS teacher, as well as school to work and youth services coordinator, is going to retire after first semester next year.

The board approved the hire of a special ed. paraprofessional for the elementary school, David Broadwater, at 6.75 hours per day. They also approved to increase paraprofessional Nancy Broadwater's hours to add 15 minutes two days a week for driving time. Sarah Holten was hired for the vocal music teacher for grades 5-12.

The board also added ten days to Dean of Students Chris Mensink's contract. Luehmann stated this was already in the budget.

The board approved the non-renewal of contract for non-tenured high school special ed. teacher Betsy Sullivan. Luehmann said this cut is due to a decrease in special ed. numbers as well as the reconfiguration of the high school staffing. High school Principal Heath Olstad spoke on behalf of Sullivan, complimenting her on her three years with the district, and stating that she should be proud of the work she has done with her "dynamic group of students."

Summer School

The board approved the summer school recommendations from Luehmann. The only course the district has not had for a while is Title I. Luehmann said they have not had the funds for that for a few years. The Title I summer school will be held for two weeks in June and one week in August. Students have to qualify for Title I to participate. Luehmann said they had more people registered than they thought they would. Right now two teachers are hired, but there are three in the budget in case the numbers require it.

The board also approved the summer school schedule for Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) and summer school for speech students from birth to age six. This includes home visits as well as the special ed. summer school. The special ed. summer school for K-4 will take place in August for three weeks. Luehmann said students must show signs of regression over school breaks to qualify for that.

Construction Project Update

Building and Grounds Supervisor Blaine Moe gave the board an update on the construction project that will be taking place at the middle school this spring. Moe said they have torn down the west boiler and scraped the asbestos off. They have also disabled the second boiler, which will be taken out at the end of the week. According to Moe, Morem Electric has the pad and conduit ready for the new furnaces.

"Things are going really well," said Moe. "We are way ahead of schedule right now."

Other Business

The subject was brought up about changing the noon hour policy to make the school a totally closed campus. Some board members felt the seniors deserve the privilege of having open noon hour, so no changes were made to the policy. Next year, only the seniors will be allowed to leave campus during lunch.

There will be an orientation and tour of the high school for the sixth and seventh graders on May 5. Orientation for the eighth graders will be on May 12.

Olstad reported that the Senior Class Trip to Washington, D.C. was a success, with 43 students participating.

The last day of school is on May 21 when students will be dismissed at 11 a.m. Graduation practice will also be on that day. Graduation is on May 30.

The board approved the following items:

•The student accident insurance renewal

•An open enrollment request for a child entering kindergarten next year

•The seasonal lay-off of support staff

•The hire of Sheldon Stockdale to mow the lawn at the Preston site this summer

•A Child Care Leave request for Tonya Keim, Early Childhood Family Education Director.

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