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Lanesboro School Board: Contracts and policies in place for new school year

Fri, Aug 17th, 2007
Posted in Education

Pens were flying at the Lanesboro School Board meeting on August 16 as the 2007-2008 school year contracts for fall sports coaches, non-certified staff, and para-professionals were signed and approved by the board. Sarah Pieper was hired as the daycare director. Coming to Lanesboro from the Spring Grove area, Erin (Wiste) Becker will put her reading teacher training to use as a Title I aide and coordinator. Changes in the coaching assignments included Nate Boyum and Cody Hungerholt sharing the second assistant duties as they join head football coach James Semmen, first assistant Terry Highum and junior high coaches Nick and Jesse Charlebois. Coaches for cross-country will be Jennifer Rogers and Laurie Peterson; volleyball coaches will be Jody Peterson, Darla Taylor and Yasmine Johnson with Amy Eide coaching junior high volleyball.

High school principal Brett Clarke presented recommendations for policy and wording changes in the student handbook. Cell phones are to be used only during passing times and at lunchtime. Penalties for use during class are spelled out-first offense, phone taken away for the day; second, for several days; third, parents must pick up the phone after it's held for five days; fourth, in-school suspension and a parent meeting.

Attendance and semester tests were addressed as well. Saturday school remains the punishment for unexcused absences. Students who miss no more than three days (excused), have no unexcused absences, and have earned an A or B in the class are not required to take the semester tests the final two days of each semester, nor are they required to attend school on those testing days. Students with a B or higher can choose to take the semester test, but taking the test can only improve the grade for the student.

The dress code was clarified also-no visible undergarments, no short shorts or skirts, and no clothing advertising beer or cigarettes.

Clarke informed the board, high school students' grades would be available for parents to access online through JMC's parent portal.

Superintendent Boggs reported to board on health insurance for the staff. During recent negotiations, teachers had asked that insurance benefits be once again considered. According to Boggs, one response from an insurance company called for a $3,000 per month payment for family coverage. SSE (Southeast Services Cooperative) was unable to give a quote; eighty percent of the staff would need to be insured with either $5,000 or $10,000 deductible and the school could not offer HRAs (Health Reimbursement Arrangements) if it was to get insurance there. Blue Cross Blue Shield has not yet returned their response. Apparently, the staff's claim history of previous years is still affecting the current rates. While there are a good number of young teachers now, many of them have not been signing up for health insurance at the school.

Because any changes to HRA must be made before September 1, Boggs urged the board to work to offer the non-certified staff their HRA before then. Union negotiations will not be finished in time to meet the deadline.

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