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Rushford-Peterson joins Minnesota Schools Food Buy Group


Fri, Aug 29th, 2008
Posted in Education

RUSHFORD - At its monthly meeting last Monday, August 25, the Rushford-Peterson School Board approved Superintendent Chuck Ehler's recommendation that the district join a food buying co-op, the Minnesota Schools Food Buy Group, as the most recent cost-saving measure for R-P schools.

The Anoka school district manages the co-op, to which fifty-one schools already belong. There is a membership fee of $400, but Ehler said he could assure the board that with what he's seen of the prices available through the co-op, "we'll make up that in a short time."

The board still needed to decide on local bids for milk (Kemps), bread (Sarah Lee), and gasoline (Pam's Corner) for the district.

Handbooks and Policies

The majority of the meeting was spent hearing from new principal Shane McBroom on his sizeable assignment of updating student, parent and staff handbooks and policies.

McBroom said that reading the current handbooks allowed him to observe that the district is currently operating in part under some outdated policies. In addition, McBroom was able to make a few additions that reflect issues he considers important.

He recommends adding a standard grading scale for the district, "out of fairness to parents and students" so that, for instance, a percentage will always correspond to the same letter grade district-wide.

McBroom said faculty will still have the freedom to incorporate their own variations on the grading scale as long as the grading scale is clearly laid out in the course syllabus.

Student dress codes were reinforced so that students will be required to wear clothing that does not "jeopardize safety or health...(and) not be a distraction" to other students and staff.

The policy states that the district does not wish to "abridge the right of free speech," and that students are not discouraged from wearing clothes that express political, religious, or philosophical opinions as long as those opinions are not "obscene, defamatory, profane, and do not advocate violence or harassment against others..."

Middle school principal Joel Hovland added that he reinstated a former dress code rule that "shorts and skirts may not be shorter than fingertips when arms are held at your sides."

District-wide, students are basically required to "dress in keeping with community standards," and when the issue of ambiguity is raised, those present agreed the student's principal would be the final arbiter in the decision of appropriateness.

McBroom also updated the district's crisis management plan, using pieces of Rochester district's plan (his former employer), and pieces recommended by the state. Ehler complimented McBroom's work which he says clarifies staff roles in a crisis.

The board approved the first reading of the updated policies. Copies of the crisis management plan were not available to the press.

The board approved bowling as an extracurricular activity, provided eligibility requirements are met. Board member Jim Kitchens reported that there's been a Rushford bowling team for years and they've performed well at the state level.

In other business, the board:

• accepted resignations from Ellen Highum (Elementary Para for 28 years) and Audrey Wenzel (Community Education Aide);

• approved hiring the following: Emily Peterson (Middle School Special Ed. teacher), Luke Rye (6th grade), Beth Nelson (Middle School Special Ed. Para), Jo Bestul (Elementary Special Ed. Para), Leah Dessner (9th grade volleyball), Jesse McNamer (8th grade volleyball), Bonnie Hulsing (Lilleby Pre-school Instructor);

• Acknowledged receipt of another flood donation from a senior high school student in St. Peter, Minn. who raised money for R-P schools for her senior project. The student Melissa Aune, wrote in a letter: "As you probably know St. Peter went through a tornado about ten years ago and I know how long it took us to get back on our feet and that is why I wanted to do something for you."

Aune held a benefit concert and collected $308 for R-P schools.

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