The Spring Grove School Board met on Monday, November 15, in the school’s Learning Resource Center from 7-8:15 p.m. Board members Stephanie Jaster, Rhan Flatin, Aric Elton, Kelly Rohland, and Jenny Stender were present. Chairman Aaron Solum did not attend.
Bill Fried, long-time Speech coach, submitted his resignation. Superintendent Rachel Udstuen thanked Fried for his many years of service as the school speech coach to the district.
Principal Luke Kjelland reported that the parent-teacher conferences on Tuesday, November 16, and Thursday, November 18, can be either in- person or virtual.
The school is starting to see teacher fatigue due to the pandemic. Kjelland took an unconventional approach to his report this month. He had board members participate in a compassion resilience exercise. He shared handouts with the board, which identify and describe the four categories that pertain to a person’s wellness – heart, spirit, strength, and mind. He had them complete the compassion resilience reflection worksheet. Kjelland explained, “Compassion is a two-way street and we are all in this together.” Kjelland went on to stress the importance of taking time for yourself and to rest and recharge.
Superintendent Udstuen is looking to the board for feedback regarding visitors in the building, which has been an ongoing conversation during the pandemic. Currently, visitors are allowed in the building outside of the school day. People want to come in after 3:30 p.m. for open gym and hall walking, which Udstuen said she has no concerns about. One question is whether the school is ready to have parent volunteers in the classroom. The Administration wants to get feedback from the staff before a decision is made.
The annual student trip to Washington, D.C. is on the minds of everyone. There are still several unanswered questions that need to be addressed. For example, in the past, $150 has been set aside in case a student needs to come home early. The $150 would pay for a plane ticket. What happens if the bus is ready to leave and someone needs to be quarantined for 14 days in D.C.? Funds would be needed for a hotel room, meals, and transportation.
Hailey Borreson, Spring Grove Student Council, shared with the board that the Student Council is raising money for the Spring Grove Food Shelf. Borreson stated that the 7-12th council wants to use the money to purchase safety equipment and plans to host a school dance on December 4. The dance will take place in the Fest building after the craft fair. The organizers of the craft fair have offered to leave the decorations up for the dance. The proceeds from the dance will be used to purchase safety equipment.
Superintendent Udstuen is taking a three-month sabbatical to work on the Bush grant. The board approved the contract with Southeast Service Cooperative for interim superintendent service while Udstuen is on leave.
The cost to provide transportation regardless of the number of students participating in cooperative sports with Caledonia will cost $4,000. The board approved funding the $4,000 for all sports.
2020-2021 World’s Best Workforce Annual Report was approved and will be submitted, as required, to MDE. Superintendent Udstuen stressed, “Small size plays in our favor.”
The school is moving forward on submitting a grant application to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Foundation Board. The funds will offset student activity fees.
Each year the school board adopts a resolution combining polling locations if the district needs to hold a special stand-alone referendum. Udstuen explained that financially it makes sense for the school to have one polling location instead of staffing six.
Due to the regular meeting dates falling on holidays in January and February, the board will meet on Thursday, January 13, and Tuesday, February 22. Start times will remain the same – 7 p.m. It was noted on the November agenda that due to a typo, the December meeting date is incorrect. The correct date is December 20, not November 20.
The next regular board meeting of the Spring Grove Public School Board is scheduled for Monday, December 20, at 7 p.m. in the school’s Learning Resource Center. The school will continue to offer the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.