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Fillmore Central School Board proposed 2009/10 budget

Fri, Jun 26th, 2009
Posted in Education

Many decisions were made for the 2009-2010 school year at the recent Fillmore Central School Board meeting on June 23rd. There were also some changes made to the teachers. The board accepted a resignation from Charlene Grabau, a part-time custodian. They also accepted a resignation from Heather Shupe for the Youth Enrichment Program. A replacement for Grabau, Cheryl Tesch, was approved for hire.

Two new teachers were hired as well. The board approved the hire of Aaron Janssen for the high school Social Studies position. Emily Kastler will take over the first grade teaching position at the elementary school.

Two teachers who have been with the district for three years were approved for tenure. Jessica Powell is the elementary music teacher, and Nate Carlson teaches high school Health and Physical Education.

The board also approved the renewal of High School Principal Heath Olstad's contract. It is a two-year contract with no changes, and Olstad has agreed to a salary freeze for that time.

Fees and salaries were also set for the next school year. The board decided to keep the substitute teacher, paraprofessional, custodial, secretary and van driver pay the same as last year. The price for hot lunch for students and teachers was increased by five cents, as well as extra milk. The price for breakfast will remain the same.

The board looked at the fees for sports and other extra-curricular activities. They decided to make the fee for all sports $75 and all other activities $35. The maximum family fee is $300.

The admission price for sports was raised to $5 for adults, $55 for a season pass, and $140 for a family season pass.

There was also a major change to the school calendar for next year. Superintendent Myrna Luehmann suggested they start school two weeks earlier, on August 24. The last day for students will be May 21. This will allow workers to start on the large heating and ventilation project at the middle school at an earlier date to give them more time to get done during the summer months.

According to Luehmann, if a district has a project going on that is more than $400,000, they are allowed to request a change in the schedule. Their request from the Department of Education was approved.

Luehmann said she had spoken with Blaine Moe, the Custodial Superintendent, and he had no problems with an earlier start date. She had also spoken to the athletic Director, Jane Montgomery, regarding sports, as well as some other teachers, none of whom had a problem.

Board member Deb Ristau said there may be some issues with school starting early due to the heat those two weeks. She also said there are families that have made plans for vacations and other things during that time. "I just hope that we can support those families, because I think there will be some frustrations," she said.

Operating Budget

The budget committee met and came up with an operating budget for the 2009-2010 school year. Board member John Torgrimson commended the administration and everyone for their work. "This is the first time in my three years that we have come close to a balanced budget," he said. "I'm very happy with how it's being presented."

The operating budget has a deficit of negative $5,150, which is much better than in recent years. Luehmann said the budget is very tight.

"I think it's a sign of the times that we have to keep an eye on the budget," she said. "We have to really look at everything that is being approved and have eagle eyes this year."

Root River Program Report

Micki Breitsprecher gave her annual report on the Root River Program. The program ended the year with nine students. Five of these students attended the program along with some classes in their home district, and four of them attended the program full time. They had class from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with an eight-period day. Breitsprecher would like to see that change to match the Fillmore Central schedule of 8:20 to 3:20, with a similar block period schedule.

There is a referral for a seventh grader this year, although it is not certain yet if he will be coming. Breitsprecher said she has heard that there is a growing need for middle school students, but has not had many requests. Luehmann believes that the day will come. The idea is to transition the students back to regular school, and if they can be helped earlier, it would be even better.

Other Business

During his principal's report, Olstad shared that 22 of the graduates are going to a four-year college, 22 are attending a two-year technical school, one is joining the military and three will go into the work force.

The board approved changing the staff health insurance to a Blue Cross/Blue Shield VEBA plan.

First Southeast Bank in Harmony, F&M Bank in Preston, and First State Bank of Fountain are again offering $10,500 in mini-grants to the school district. Teachers are applying for grants up to $500 each for many different projects.

The board approved the following items:

• An open enrollment request from a student who lives in the Lanesboro district. He has been attending the Root River Program and some classes at Fillmore Central.

• An early kindergarten admission for a student who will turn five in September.

• The room lease for the Root River Program rooms at the Harmony Community Center

• The first reading of both the high school and Root River Program handbooks with some minor changes,

• The revision of the 08-09 budget

• The Taher Food Service budget for 09-10

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