Due to COVID-19, the regular May 18, 2020, Spring Grove Public Schools Board meeting held in compliance with Minnesota’s requirements for remote board meetings at 7 p.m. remotely through Google Meet.
Minnesota remote board meeting requirements are:
•School board members are reminded to mute their microphone or phone when they are not speaking.
•School board members wishing to speak should use the chat feature, then wait to be recognized by the Chair. The Chair will determine the order in which board members wishing to speak will be recognized. When recognized, the board member should unmute the microphone or phone, speak, and then mute their device.
•All votes will be conducted by roll call. Each school board member should wait until their name is called before voting.
•Persons monitoring this meeting from a remote location may submit a comment by emailing Tanya Elton at email@example.com.
•This meeting is being recorded. Access to the recording will be made available on the school district’s website as soon as is reasonably possible.
Chairman Aaron Solum called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.
Board members in attendance were: Aaron Solum, Stephanie Jaster, Rhan Flatin, Kelly Rohland, Jenny Stender, and Christian Myrah.
The consent agenda included the May 18 agenda, minutes from April 20, 2020, regular board meeting and the May 4, 2020, special school board meeting as well as the Treasure’s Report/Approval of Bills; The board accepted the resignation of science instructor Jenny Dregne and assistant cook Sandy Wojahn. It approved the 2020-21 Speech and Language Pathologist service contract and the MN State High School League annual membership agreement.
There were no guests wishing to address the board.
Principal Nancy Gulbranson emphasized that teachers are focused on making the month of May as normal as possible as they finalize the traditional end of year ceremonies. She reminded the board that graduation was rescheduled to August 7, the last day of school is May 29, and the last day for the seniors is May 27, as noted at the May 4 special board meeting. National Honor Society new inductees are Addison Deschler, Olivia Mendez, Jakob Myrah, Kelsey Bratland, and Honorary Membership to Rachel Krenzke. Amelia Solum is the 2020 Valedictorian, Alex Deters, Salutatorian; Elena Myrah, Honor Student; and Jacine Johanningmeier, Honor Student. Kindergarten Guides are Lilly and Lucy Bergrud, and Jaxon Van Minsel. Junior Guides are Olivia Mendez and Isaac Griffin. To ensure that students living in rural areas feel included and a sense of belonging, the Energy Bus “will travel the rural route to bring familiar faces to our isolated students, and a hot meal.” The end of the year collection and final locker and desk contents pick-up and delivery will happen curbside on May 26 and 27 for seniors and May 28 and 29 for K-11. Gulbranson extended a thank you to the Bingham Foundation for the 20 years of support.
Superintendent Rachel Udstuen shared with the board that the staff will not be able to grill outside for the seniors’ last meal at the school; Red’s Foods will be preparing all the food. Graduation scheduled for August 7 will be held outside on the stage unless COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, then changes to the ceremony will be made at that time. Udstuen emphasized that it is now time to think about what fall will look like. The administration and staff are just starting the discussion about this fall. Ideas include rotating classes; teachers move from class to class, temperature check, virtual learning, teachers on the video screen. Extracurricular activities will look different. Udstuen mentioned that “parents and teachers are giving 100%.”
At last week’s listening session, parents gave lots of feedback. There are more listening sessions offered before the end of the school year. Udstuen emphasized that, “We are all in this together. We are all here for the kids.” Udstuen stressed that “It is time to reimagine what learning looks like and what education looks like. COVID-19 is an amazing opportunity for education.”
There were no reports for the Houston County Collaborative or the HVED meeting.
Other board reports
Program: The Distance Learning Assessment/Grading Plan was developed with the following three concepts in mind: (1) Equity mindset. No inequities, (2) Not retaining any students, and (3) No student should receive an F. Teachers have focused on creating plans that worked for the students and parents to make sure some learning was happening. Udstuen stated, “The District wants to reach all students, so all are successful.”
The superintendent recommends approving the following summer rental fees: (1) $5/month or $15/summer for a band instrument; (2) $15/month or $45/summer for a summer technology device rental; and (3) District allowed to use a sliding scale for summer rentals for families experiencing financial need (half price for those who qualify for reduced-price meals, and free for those who qualify for free meals).
The board approved the Letter of Agreement between the school and Spring Grove Education, addressing teacher performance pay, development, and evaluation during COVID-19.
Building/Grounds/Equipment: The District received and approved one quote from Four Season Maintenance, Spring Grove, to resurface the playground for $32,854.
A new freezer is needed due to an influx of government commodities and food supplies not used as fast during the COVID-19. Reinhart Food Service, La Crosse, submitted a quote for an 8’x10’ walk-in, modular, self-contained freezer for $9,931.00. Schmitz Refrigeration out of Caledonia submitted a quote for an 8’x8’ freezer for $10,708. Neither quote included installation. The board approved purchasing the freezer from Schmitz.
General: The District added one more teacher day to the approved 2020-21 Calendar. The teachers recommended adding a floating workshop day this summer for the teachers.
The chairman adjourned the meeting at 7:52 p.m.
The next regular monthly Spring Grove Public School Board meeting is scheduled for June 15, at 7 p.m., remotely through Google Meet. For assistance monitoring the meeting, contact the district office at (507) 498-3221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.