School board member Jenny Stender received a round of applause for her five years on the board, at the December 19 Spring Grove School Board meeting.
Chairman Aaron Solum called the Truth in Taxation meeting to order at 7 p.m. and returned to the regular board meeting at 7:05 p.m. The board approved the 2023 Levy of $665,415, representing a 4.43% increase ($28,205).
Board members present included Chairman Solum, Stephanie Jaster, Rhan Flatin, Kelly Rohland, and Jenny Stender. Due to school responsibilities, Aric Elton arrived at 7:10 p.m.
The board unanimously approved the consent agenda, including the resignation of Custodian David Erschoff-Costet.
Principal Luke Kjelland announced that on Friday, December 23, students will be dismissed at 1 p.m. for in-service. The highlight of the day is the annual staff student basketball game. Kjelland shared behavior data and noted that the number of referrals for problem behavior is down as compared to this time last year. He mentioned that Tuesdays have the most referrals.
On behalf of the Student Council, Clara Myrah reported that the council is holding a fun activity for students. Students can purchase a candy cane for a dollar and have a personalized message, signed or unsigned, which will be delivered to the recipient. Using class funds, classes were asked to purchase one thing, which would be given to the town’s nursing home residents. In addition, the council is creating little stockings out of paper bags, which will be delivered on Friday in time for Christmas. Flatin commended the council for the nice project.
Assistant Superintendent Gina Meinertz announced that she, Adri Fisher, and Maddie Rainey are supporting a group of students eager to start an equity club. “We met with the diversity club in Caledonia, who shared what they do and gave us recommendations.” The group is looking at different values and are studying different models in the area.
Meinertz reported that the farm partnership students are studying nutrition and cooking. The students planned a meal, developed a budget, looked at recipes, and walked to Red’s to purchase supplies before heading to the kitchen to cook. Meinertz shared that one student exclaimed, “This is the most real-life thing I’ve ever done in school.”
Meinertz is creating a brochure scheduled to be distributed to potential new families through the Chamber of Commerce and area realtors.
The Mabel-Canton Public School and Spring Grove have been comparing their emergency action plans and sharing resources. Meinertz said that both schools have found areas to improve.
Superintendent Rachel Udstuen stated that the ISG planning meeting went very well. “We had 23 community members show up.” ISG gave the same presentation they gave to the board and then the group toured the building. Udstuen noted that the meeting was “eye-opening,” and the school’s message was clear. She said, “People have taken great care of this building, and we have gotten more than our years’ worth out of many things. So, it felt like it was time to address some needs.”
In other business, the board:
• Approved the first reading of the school meals policy #534;
• Approved an annual family pass for a cost of $200.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:31 p.m.
The next regular meeting of the Spring Grove Public School Board is Monday, January 9, 2023, at 7 p.m. in the school’s Learning Resource Center. In addition, the school continues to offer board meetings on Google Meet for anyone who would like to attend virtually. For assistance monitoring the meeting, contact the district office at (507) 498-3221 or email email@example.com.