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Chatfield schools report illness-related absences have been pretty steady

Fri, Oct 23rd, 2009
Posted in Education

The Chatfield School Board held their regular meeting on October 19th, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. following a special discussion about the legislature and the recent building projects with Senator Sharon Erickson-Ropes.

The board talked about numerous topics concerning the new elementary school. Though the school year is going well thus far, a few minor concerns, such as a water leak and work on a pole shed, are still being fine-tuned. Elementary principal Craig Ihrke mentioned that parents really enjoyed parent-teacher conferences, which were held last week. The board also talked about purchasing a new Kubota machine to deal with snow and ice at the elementary school this winter, but decided to wait and see how the first winter goes with the machine they presently own.

The high school also received a share of the discussion. High school principal Randy Paulson talked about the recent success of the open house to show the public the high school renovations. Parent-teacher conferences were held the same night, with Student Senate members conducting tours of the new facilities for all who attended. Board member Matt McMahon mentioned that there are still some renovations which the board would like to complete at the high school, such as redoing the bathrooms, putting in new baseball cages, and replacing the doors on the biology lab cabinets. McMahon detailed the difficulty that the contractor had trying to install the new baseball cages on the unlevel ground designated for them. As a result, the new cages will not be ready for the spring 2010 baseball/softball season. The board decided to wait and see how the projects currently being completed play out before looking into renovating the cabinets in the biology lab.

Superintendant Hainlen briefly talked about the effects of the H1N1 flu virus and other sickness on absences this year, saying that so far the number of absences has been pretty steady, with fewer students absent at the high school than at the elementary. Dr. Hainlen also gave the board an overview of the stimulus money allotted to Chatfield Schools. He also mentioned that he will be present at the National FFA Convention this year to judge events and to see two Chatfield students receive awards.

The board approved a resolution regarding the Potter Center for the Arts, which, summarized by Dr. Hainlen, says that "we as a board want to meet together with the city and the EDA on accepting those terms" which have been proposed for the building. The resolution will "help the steering committee to try and get funds" for the project, according to board member Greg LaPlante.

Board member Jerry Chase also mentioned that teacher negotiations will be held on November 6th.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be held on Monday, November 16th, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school media center. Full coverage of all Chatfield school board meetings can be viewed online at

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