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Rushford-Peterson School board deals withroutine matters

Fri, Feb 15th, 2008
Posted in Education

RUSHFORD - It was slim pickins' for new business at the R-P school board's regular meeting last Monday, February 11. But maybe that's a relief after a year that included a 500 year flood.

Superintendent Chuck Ehler reported that he and administrative assistant Karen Thompson had worked through a way to save $4,113.95 per year by taking advantage of current low interest rates and refinancing the lease agreement on the school's property. The board approved.

Rates are going up for various services and personnel in the Hiawatha Valley Education District and thus the contracts for Rachel Brown, elementary school psychologist and Jill Diana, middle school counselor, came up for discussion. Both salaries are partially funded by H.V.E.D.

The board chair wanted Ehler to speak to whether the extra cost to the district for this personnel was warranted.

Ehler said he could speak to the fact that he felt Rachel Brown's services were "well-warranted and would recommend we continue" to fund the rest of her salary. Ehler deferred to middle school principal Joel Hovland to discuss Jill Diana.

Hovland spoke highly of Diana, mentioning the variety of services she offers to different groups of students and concluding, "she's a real asset to us." The board approved the motion to absorb the higher cost of the salaries for these employees.

Ehler presented a plan "in the works" that he and technology support person Corey Mattson have put together to lease 35 new laptops from Winona State University.

The plan, if approved, would offer the benefits of having new computers on hand for $6,000 per year, rather than the approximately $26,000 cost of buying them new every three years; it would mean high-speed internet access for R-P students; the district would not have the cost of maintaining a server and would have only minimal repair costs.

The board will consider the plan formally at a future meeting.

Forty-five minutes into the meeting, the board moved to close the meeting to the public and press so that they could discuss a purchase price for the Richard & Holly Holle property east of the current athletic fields.

Before closing the meeting, the board learned:

--that the Screaming Eagles wrestling team finished with an impressive 21-2-1 season.

--Corrina Schiltz and Emily Frick will advance to regional competition in the new Poetry Out Loud competition.

--Kingsland will forfeit its boy's basketball game played prior to January 30 against R-P in light of allegations that a Kingsland player violated MSHSL rules and thus disqualified himself from the team.

-R-P will no longer have a girls' golf team as the L.A.R.P. co-op no longer exists. R-P had only three girls somewhat interested in the team this year. On the other hand, hiring an assistant boys' golf coach will allow the district to have younger (middle school) participants.

--the 9th grade Knowledge Bowl team is winding down a successful season by advancing to sub-section competition.

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