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Rushford-Peterson School Board

Fri, Jun 30th, 2006
Posted in Education

The Rushford-Peterson School Board followed a recommendation from Toni Oian who deals with the district’s payroll, personnel, and benefits when they chose the health insurance for their employees at their meeting June 26. Oian suggested paying $404 per month for single coverage for each teacher, eliminating vision insurance, but leaving dental insurance coverage as is. The coverage will be reevaluated in January 2007 and July 2007; at those times more funds may be available for insurance. Pat Maloney, R-P’s attorney, opined this would be legal since it was resulting in an increase in benefits.

Non-licensed staff insurance will mirror the certified staff insurance as stipulated in their contracts. Their insurance will cost the school an additional $8,713; this will be funded with money received from tobacco settlements this year.

RPEA, the local teacher’s union was scheduled to meet to discuss the issue on Wednesday, June 28, by law they could not vote on acceptance of the insurance plan until Friday. A two-thirds majority vote will be necessary for acceptance since this was part of the recently negotiated contract.

PDH Driving Academy

Since community education and the school no longer wish to be in the driver education business, the board decided to hire the private firm, PDH Driving Academy, to teach R-P students to drive. While the firm’s name is new, students will recognize the instructor’s faces—R-P teacher Pat Hatlevig and her husband Dick. PDH offered the low bid of $330 total for classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction, a $30 increase over last year’s fees, but under United Driving School of Winona’s total fee of $350.

Public relations

With the departure of Theresa Luther-Dolan, R-P is searching for a new Community Education Director. Efforts to share a director with a neighboring district have been fruitless. The position at this time is .75; although the board would like to increase it to fulltime as requested by the Community Education Advisory Board, funding is not currently available. Board member Jim Kitchens suggested “putting the onus” on the new director to generate other income in order to turn the position into a full-time one. Roger Metz brought up the possibility of the director working on grant writing, public relations, and marketing the district, something board chair John Nitecki agreed was needed.

Since recent postings of the Community Education position have brought no response, the board directed staff to place ads in the weekend Winona and LaCrosse papers in an effort to fill the position.

When Burt Svendsen presented the Planning Council goals including updating the R-P brochure and producing quarterly newsletters, the board asked what help was needed from them. Metz again suggested having the new Community Ed director tackle those items, noting no one else had time to do them. David Boe suggested keeping the school webpage up-to-date while Metz mentioned more use of the local access TV channel to keep the public informed about R-P Schools as well.

Svendsen commented, “We have to sell our school. Are we doing the maximum to do this?”

Superintendent Miller added the district brochure “desperately needs to be redone.”

The board directed the Planning Council to talk to Miller about what they needed to accomplish their goals with Miller in turn presenting the issue to the board.

Other business

Other business conducted at the meeting included:

• approving the preliminary 2006-2007 budget of a little more than $6 million based on a projected student body of 652 students after hearing a positive fund balance is expected at the close of the current year;

• hiring Rebecca Halverson Lind as long-term FCS substitute and Barb Morrison as assistant girls’ basketball coach and accepting the resignation of Eric Hoiland as assistant wrestling coach;

• reviewing and accepting applications for federal programs including Title I, II, III, & V;

• tabling a request to increase pay for scoreboard operators, announcers, and chain gang and voting down a request to add another track and field coach. The board will ask Athletic Director Brad Johnson to attend the next school board meeting to discuss all the sports needs and then make funding and staffing decisions for all athletics.

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