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Second Lanesboro school board meeting of the week

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Education

Parents packed the room at the July 16 Lanesboro school board meeting in hopes of further discussing the recent hot-button bullying issue, although it was lunch prices, substitute teacher pay, and renewing yearly agreements that dominated the meeting (a special meeting focusing on the bullying issue was held the previous Tuesday night).

The meeting began with the approval of previous bills, payrolls, financial statement, and the treasurer's report, all of which were approved unanimously without any discussion. The next topic on the agenda was on health and safety. The approval of that would ensure the school could change electrical outlets, fire detectors, be inspected by the IEA, and have a mock-OSHA run through (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). It was swiftly and unanimously approved by the board.

The board agreed to accept Ziebell's Hiawatha Foods bid to sell milk to the school. It was noted that milk prices this year are slightly lower than last year's, due to more inexpensive milk and lower diesel gas prices for deliveries. Ziebell's held the school's milk contract for the 2008-09 school year as well. The school board also accepted the bid of Jack Konrad/Sara Lee for supplying bread. The school's cooks noted they would like to start providing whole-wheat white bread, which Sara Lee provided, while Wonder Bread (the competing bidder) did not.

The board decided that the school breakfast and lunch prices would remain the same for the 2009-10 school year as they were for the 2008-09 school year, due to the lower prices of food and to make it a little easier for financially-stressed parents. Many other schools in the district, it was noted, are raising their prices to help combat debt. Also remaining the same this school year is the pay for substitute teachers, who will be paid $100 per day plus mileage.

The board unanimously approved the personnel agreements, and renewed the school's membership in the Hiawatha Valley Ed. (HVED), a $54,000 per year membership that superintendent Jeff Boggs described as "well worth it." The price per year is based on the number of students in HVED's district.

During the "patron comments" of the portion, one concerned community member questioned the 11th grade standardized test math scores, which were recently published and were among the lowest in the area. The board promised the issue was going to be addressed at the next meeting. Another woman further questioned the board on the bullying issue, although both the elementary and high school principals were absent from the meeting so most questions were not able to be answered. Lastly, a concerned father requested that the school notify parents of specific bullying incidents, without naming the children involved. He also requested future school board meetings be held in a larger location, as the public has been showing up in such large numbers that people are often crowding the hallway outside the room to listen. The board agreed this was a good idea and would be considered for the next meeting.

The Lanesboro School Board will meet again on August 16 at 7:00 pm at the Lanesboro Public School.

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