At the November 18 Lanesboro School Board meeting, Superintendent Matt Schultz updated the board on the solar panels for the school. They were supposed to have been installed before the 2021-22 school year began, but that was pushed back to October. The installation didn’t happen then either and now is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2022. Schultz explained that Novel Energy Solutions, the company who is supplying the solar panels, recently changed engineering firms, which has delayed the project.
The construction bills were approved for the month of October. Schultz noted that there is $25,000 left to pay Market & Johnson for retainage and one more outstanding item on the project, which will be completed in June and paid for after that.
The walk-in cooler in the school kitchen is functional, but does need some repairs. That cannot be done until it’s empty and can be brought down to room temperature so it will have to wait until June when school is out for the summer. Drain tiles were installed in the playground area to help with issues with ice forming there. The PA system is still being worked on, but the high school side of the building is complete. The new PA system will allow the office to call or announce to just one section of the school at a time such as the high school, elementary school, or daycare. The school staff now have badges to access the building and the master keys are being collected as they are no longer used. Every time a badge is used, it is registered on a computer, which is helpful for knowing who is in the building and when. The new system will also make it easier to allow community access to school facilities.
Kelly Bram was hired as a daycare employee and Alicia Soppa and Samantha Drogemuller as paraprofessionals. Bret Klaehn and Matt Asleson were hired as the winter head coaches.
Board member Sarah Peterson reported that there is a lot of new housing planned for Lanesboro via a housing development and new apartments. “I can’t help, but think that that’s a good thing for the school,” she commented.
Superintendent Schultz gave his report to the board. He is currently working to obtain a grant for cameras on the buses. He updated the board on the use of the ESSER III funding, which is COVID relief dollars specifically for schools. One of the requirements of receiving the money was to have conversations with families to find out what the needs and wants are in the district. Schultz spoke to a wide cross-section of families from varying demographics with children in the Lanesboro school. He found that in-person and in-school learning was the most important thing to most people followed by health and safety, technology, and summer services. He noted that about 80% of the ESSER money is going towards staffing. In addition to the staffing, the school was able to purchase some computers and classroom equipment along with HEPA air filters for all the elementary classrooms. The filters were installed last week. The school was also able to use some of the funds for professional cleaning services. Funds received from the American Rescue Plan were put into the summer rec program.
A resolution accepting the monthly donations was approved and included a $1,000 donation for a flag pole, $10 for the scholarship fund, and $60 in elementary donations.
An MSHSL grant submission was approved. The state returns the tax dollars paid for state tournaments to the League which then distributes it back to school districts in grant funding.
The first readings of policies 501, 502, and 514 were reviewed.
The next Lanesboro School Board meeting will be held on December 17 at 7 p.m. with the annual Truth in Taxation at the beginning of the meeting.