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Rushford-Peterson School Board: R-P in good financial shape

Fri, Oct 20th, 2006
Posted in Education

The R-P school board proved that when it comes to district communications and technology, they're all on the same page, by hiring RSchoolToday of Winona to create and maintain a high-tech informational website for the district.

The unanimous vote came at the board's regular meeting Monday, October 16.

RSchoolToday is part of the Distributed Website Corporation of Winona, a company with an impressive national client list.

The recommendation to contract with RSchoolToday came from new Community Education Director, Beth Theede, who explained in a presentation to the board that the current website is simply outdated and doesn't meet the criteria for an effective website today.

Initial costs of hiring RSchoolToday will be $3,536.40, according to Theede, with an annual upkeep fee of $1,536.40.

Theede's presentation followed that of Darwin Viker of Larson Allen and Weishair accounting firm who, each year at this time, does yeoman's work in presenting the district's audit in a speedy, yet meaningful way.

Board members received a lengthy packet with materials from the audit, but the bottom line, according to Viker, is that the district continues to be in "good shape" financially, despite the fact that it was only a mere four years ago that the district was operating in standard operating debt (SOD).

One advantage the district has financially over many others is that there are no debt service fees, typical in a district with aging facilities. The undesignated general fund balance is currently at a healthy $934,000, but Viker warns that fund balances are, for a number of reasons, cyclical, and that R-P can expect to go into at least a slight downward slide soon.

In an informational item, Superintendent Miller informed the board that he'd been trying to reach state education department specialist John Ryberg, the official who gave the school property near the football fields a negative report after a visual review of it in 2004. After many attempts, Miller was able to contact Ryberg, who responded by sending the same lengthy report he'd sent in 2004.

While board members don't necessarily agree on what should be the future of the property, there is agreement that the Ryberg report needs further clarification. To this end, board chairman John Nitecki informed the others that he is going to pursue a face-to-face meeting with Ryberg and will keep the board informed about whether and when this meeting will occur. Nitecki invited any other board members to join him.

Other Business

In other business, the board:

• accepted the resignation of teacher Gretchen Schade, effective February 15, 2007.

• granted a 12-week maternity leave to Community Education director, Beth Theede, to begin on approximately November 4.

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