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Fillmore Central School Board: Board approves JV boys basketball team

Fri, Dec 1st, 2006
Posted in Education

PRESTON - The Fillmore Central School board approved the addition of a Junior Varsity Boys Basketball team, along with the addition of a new coach, at their regular meeting last Monday night, November 27..

Current coach Chris Mensink approached the board asking for support to move forward with the hiring of Steve Schroeder to help him coach the 21 students that have signed up for basketball this year.

"It's a good problem to have," said Mensink. "But with 21 kids, it's impossible for me to get to all of them."

Mensink added that he would hate to lose the enthusiasm and interest the kids have in the game, and all of them have a lot of potential and talent.

According to Mensink, a Junior Varsity team and another coach would allow sophomores to play B-squad, and also have some varsity experience. Mensink could be helping out during a practice while Schroeder was at a game, and vice versa. They would also be able to give each of the boys the attention and help they need, and get more of them playing in games.

"To find these kids time to play is what I want," stated Mensink.

Mensink mentioned there are other schools with a JV basketball team but some of them are as far away as Plainview and La Crosse. Bussing to the games would be an extra cost, as well as officials. The coaches would also be willing to officiate at games if needed. Mensink is going to look into finding more schools nearby to come up with 10-12 JV schedule for the season. Some of the kids would be playing in both JV and Varsity, and a couple of kids will be sharing uniforms. There are currently between 10-14 kids that would qualify for the JV team.

The price of hiring another coach would be approximately $2,670 for the season. Admission will be charged to the Junior Varsity games the same as other basketball games. The JV program will be evaluated at the end of the year to plan for next year's season.

Principals Reports

In her principal's report, elementary and middle school principal Brenda Lentz shared that a new Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) has been formed and the fist meeting was held. Twelve families showed interest in the organization. Leslie Christianson, who has three children in the school, is the President. Lentz explained that the group will help answer questions and alleviate any transition issues for students. Lentz believes it will be a nice addition to family support at Fillmore Central.

Lentz also explained that parent surveys were recently handed out for parents with children in grades K-8. The survey was used to assess how parents and students feel about school safety, discipline, and academic issues, among other things. The survey information is used for the district's Safe and Drug Free and Title I applications. Most of the parents answered Strongly Agree or Agree to questions about supervision, safety, respect for students, academic needs and parent involvement. In the survey, parents were given an opportunity to write what they liked about the school, what they wanted to see more of and what they wanted to see less of. One of the things mentioned in that part by more than one parent was the topic of bullying on the bus and bullying in general. When asked how often she gets reports of bullying, Lentz said she gets reports quite often, but it does happen every day, on the bus and in the school. According to Lentz, the bullying tends to happen more often in situations where a lot of kids are together and there is less supervision, such as the bus, the playground and in the hallways. When bullying is reported, which is not every time it happens, the policies that are in the student handbook are followed. Lentz also mentioned a Second Step Violence Prevention Program at the school which helps kids solve problems.

The Transportation Committee has met with Harmony Transport to discuss the bullying that goes on during the bus rides, and what can be done about it. Chairman Ron Stevens, who is also a bus driver, said the problem is a common one.

"When you get 50 kids all in one space, there's going to be problems," he said. "They're kids."

Stevens also said that the problem comes and goes, and kids that get along one day don't get along the next day. Separating the kids on the bus is very difficult to do. Also what some kids see as bullying, other kids might see as joking around, as there are different levels of sensitivity to bullying.

Not all bullying that happens on the bus or at school gets reported, and Lentz said they cannot do anything about it if they don't know about it. Stevens mentioned that things were different years ago when kids in high school were on the bus, and these days there are very few kids above eighth grade riding to school. It was brought up that maybe it would be beneficial to have a high school student on the bus, and it was also mentioned that there had been a discussion about security cameras.

Banking Service Quotes

At last month's meeting, it was noted that local banks in Harmony, Fountain and Preston were interested in giving quotes to the district for their financial investing. Currently the district uses the MN School District Liquid Asset Fund (MSDLAF) for depositing their money, as they have for many years with no problems. F&M Community Bank in Preston and First Southeast Bank in Harmony submitted quotes for interest that they could offer. The Bank of Fountain chose not to participate. Dan Christianson from F&M Community Bank was at the meeting to answer any questions about their quote. A representative from First Southeast Bank could not make the meeting.

Christianson encouraged the board to invest their money locally, whether it is Harmony, Fountain or Preston, as he feels the funds should be invested in the district. He mentioned the fact that the local banks contribute a lot of money to the school district through the Mini Grant program and other donations, as well as paying taxes.

The district currently has around 1.7 million invested in the MSDLAF under two accounts. F&M gave a quote of 4.8 percent, compared to the MSDLAF daily rate of 5.06 percent. These numbers fluctuate a little throughout the year.

The board voted to table the decision until the next school board meeting to give members a chance to look over the numbers. Stevens stated that the district has been happy with their current situation for many years.

Other business

• Members of the board from the Extra-Curricular Activity committee mentioned the fall sports season went very well with no problems. They also mentioned that there will be many changes happening in the Three Rivers Conference, with Goodhue leaving the conference.

• The board approved the hiring of Kristy Ruesink as the Community Ed. Administrative Assistant at 20 hours a month.

• The board also approved a quote from Custom Alarm for security cameras and keyless entry additions at both sites. Money for the project will come from the Safe Schools Fund.

• The MSBA (Minnesota School Board Association) Winter Leadership Conference and Phase II Training will take place January 10, 11 and 12 at the Hyatt in Minneapolis.

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