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Fillmore Central okays tennis court lease


Fri, Jul 27th, 2007
Posted in Education

PRESTON - Preston City Administrator Joe Hoffman attended Fillmore Central's school board meeting once again last week about the tennis courts and the proposed lease. This time the board approved the 30-year lease, and the tennis courts will be constructed later this summer.

Hoffman outlined a few of the changes that had been made to the lease since the board members saw it last, and some of the more important parts. The city will be responsible for the construction and the future maintenance of the facility. The insurance paragraph states that the city has liability coverage for all claims in the facility, with the exception of students using the tennis courts for school, such as in P.E. class or after-school programs. In those cases, the school's insurance will take over coverage. When not in use by the school district, the courts will be open to the general public.

According to Hoffman, the original diagrams did not include a half-court practice area that will be on the north side of the courts. He explained that there will be a backboard, but the area will be open, with no fence.

Paragraph number nine states that in case of a default, the city and the school board can get together and try to agree upon a resolution. If the issue cannot be resolved, it will go into arbitration with a mediator.

Superintendent Myrna Luehmann agreed that it was unlikely there would ever be any problems that couldn't be resolved. " We don't know what future generations will want to do," she pointed out. "I think that's what happened with the last tennis courts. It may seem like we are being too careful, but we want to make very, very sure that we don't end up in the same predicament."

The lease was approved, pending the attorneys getting together to clean up some of the language and make it consistent throughout.

Root River Program

Membership Agreement

Luehmann wrote an agreement with the five districts that used to make up the Root River Ed. District (RRED), which includes Fillmore Central, Chatfield, Kingsland, Mabel-Canton and Lanesboro. Since RRED was dissolved in June, Fillmore Central will still be hosting the day treatment program, now known as Root River Program, in Harmony. Even though some of the districts are no longer part of RRED, they will still be sending students to the day treatment program, as there is no other day treatment program in the area.

Luehmann explained that she doesn't want Fillmore Central to be left with all of the financial responsibility, and the agreement states the districts will support the program if the numbers fall to eight students or less. According to Luehmann, eight students in the day treatment program is enough to break even financially.

Each district has to approve the agreement, which Luehmann calls a "place to start." She also mentioned that there have been many changes in the tuition billing system. Where once they used to charge per student and per day in the program, it can no longer be done that way. It will be difficult to determine billing, as the numbers in the program can change drastically throughout the year. The board approved the agreement.

Staff Changes

Due to some resignations in the last year, many new positions are being filled at both the K-8 building and the high school. There are also a few positions still open for the next school year. The board approved the hiring of Alan Marsh for the elementary special ed. teacher. Tonya Jones was hired as the Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Coordinator and Child Educator. Tara Corson will be the ECFE Parent Facilitator. At the high school, Lisa Sackreiter will be the new Ag teacher.

Among the resignations accepted were Erica Try, who coordinated the Early Risers and the Talented and Gifted Programs. Custodian Allen Dungan resigned, and two part-time custodians informed the school they will not be returning in the fall.

Charlene Grabau, Connie Moe and Brenda Hahn were hired as part-time custodians. There is still one part-time position available.

K-8 Principal Brenda Lentz stated that the person hired in June to teach K-5 music has accepted a full-time job elsewhere. Lentz believes the position, being a .7 FTE, will be difficult to fill, and they may have to use a long-term substitute until a permanent teacher is found. She will be contacting the other three applicants to see if they are still interested.

Student Handbooks

High School Principal Heath Olstad discussed changes to the student handbook, and the board approved the second reading. He decided not to add anything about cell phones, and just try to enforce the rules as best as they can, as well as increase the penalties for repeat offenders. He also added a section about post-secondary students, and what they are required to take at the college level to meet Fillmore Central graduation requirements.

Lentz gave the first reading of the K-8 student handbook. She has changed the time for parents to call and inform that their child would not be in school from 9 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The dress code section will now include the rule that no undergarments can be showing, and a cell phone section. Currently, Lentz gets the phone for a 24-hour period on a first offense.

Scoreboard

Board member John Torgrimson updated the board about the donated scoreboard for the new baseball field. A group of former Preston High School athletes, in honor of their coach Norm Larsen, have donated a scoreboard to the school. Torgrimson said they are hoping to have it installed around the same time as the tennis courts and to get electricity wired from the tennis courts to the scoreboard.

The scoreboard will be wireless with a remote, and is worth around $7,000. There will be a dedication ceremony for the scoreboard, named after Larsen, who passed away a month ago. Larsen coached baseball at Preston from 1948- 1954.

The board accepted the gift, and expressed their appreciation to the group of former athletes who donated it.

Other business

• After hearing from the Parent Teacher Committee (PTC) last month about promoting the school, board member Sue Sikkink brought up the suggestion that Fillmore Central advertise their school at the Jem Theater in Harmony. The price to advertise is $130 quarterly, or $520 a year. The advertisements are shown before each movie is played, and Sikkink thought it would be a great way to promote the school. The idea will be brought up to the PTC.

• The board approved the one-year lease with Semcac for using a classroom at the elementary school for the Head Start Program. The board also approved the lease with the City of Harmony for the use of some rooms for the Root River Program. There will be an office area, three classrooms, a room for Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center, and one room with a six-month lease that contains items currently being stored. According to Luehmann, the room should not be needed after six months, as the program will be under way and they will have cleared the room out.

• The board approved the first reading of several mandatory policies that will be added to the policy manual. The list of mandatory policies comes from the MN School Board Association (MSBA).

• The board members will get together for an informal meeting on August 2 to help create a mission statement for the school.

• The board approved the hiring of Becky Mueller for the junior high volleyball coach. They also approved a child care leave request for Holly Kanengeiter, Community Ed. Director.

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