The Chatfield School Board met on December 18 at 7 p.m. in the high school media center. Board members Jerry Chase, Lanny Isensee, Scott Backer, Matt McMahon and Amy Jeffers were present along with Superintendent Harris, Administrative Assistant Lorri Lowrey and Business Manager Karyl Lyons. Board member Katie Priebe was not in attendance. Student Senate members Kyle Nosbisch and Joey Steien were also present.
Superintendent Harris presented a slide show for the Truth and Taxation Hearing. He explained that all school districts must follow certain steps before adopting a tax levy for the following year. He went on to discuss the property tax levy for 2018, provided information on the current budget and gave time for public comment, of which there was none. The amount to be levied for 2018 is an increase of 3.36%, or $2,906,389.05.
There was no one signed up for district patron time but Carla Nelson, Republican State Senator, was present to give a little background about the last legislative session. She congratulated the school district for their educational progress. Chatfield’s math and reading scores are both better than the state average. As chairman of the Educational Finance Committee, she said their mission this year was, “focus on students – fund what works.” This was evident in that the per pupil formula was raised 2% for the next two years and the early learning scholarships were expanded. This year the educational budget was 18.7 billion dollars; an increase of 1.3 billion dollars. She also discussed the changes being made for teaching licensure that are more flexible and should result in helping the teacher shortage. Emphasis on career and technical education was also addressed this session to address the shortage of qualified workers. Both Superintendent Harris and high school Principal Randy Paulson thanked Nelson for her continuing support of education.
Board member Lanny Isensee reported on the Joint Powers discussions with the city about CCTV. The school’s contribution this year will be $7,500 for equipment expense and operation of the local television station. He acknowledged the service of Craig Manahan who is retiring from his duties with CCTV and thanked him for his contribution to the success of CCTV. Interviews for his position have been held and a candidate has been chosen.
Student Senate representatives, Kyle Nosbisch and Joey Steien reported that the Student Senate is selling candy canes this week to raise money for their Snow Dance on January 27. They also talked about the new project they’ve started called the Student Care Closet that provides clothing, food and hygiene products for students who are in need of these items. They have gathered these items and students may anonymously visit the Student Care Closet for them.
Principal Paulson reported that the high school has now instituted an email system that disperses information either individually or grade specific to keep students better informed. He also announced that Chatfield High School now has a math articulation agreement with Southeast Technical where students who receive a grade of C or better in a specific math class do not have to take the Accuplacer test for entrance to certain math classes at the technical school. Craig Ihrke, elementary principal, discussed the ongoing safety discussions that the elementary site team is working on using the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) protocol. The 4-6 Grandfriends Concert new format was well received with attendees having coffee, juice and cookies and playing bingo before the concert began. On December 22 at 2:15 p.m., representatives of the Masonic Lodge will be presenting bikes to students. This “Books for Bikes” program gives students a chance to win a bike based on the number of steps they have read in the Action 100 program. The elementary school is very thankful for the support of the Masons. Superintendent Harris gave an update on the construction projects that are a month ahead and on budget. The two new science rooms will be ready for use when school resumes after vacation. Teachers are moving into these classrooms at the end of this week. The walls of the STEM addition are now in place and the classrooms should be ready by April or May.
The consent agenda was approved with the addition of two new paraprofessional hires: Pam Flattum and Christy Carr. Also approved was the resignation of head engineer Steve Irish and the job posting for the head engineer. Superintendent Harris and high school Principal Randy Paulson praised Steve Irish for his long tenure and dedication to the district and thanked him for his service. The first reading of district policies was presented and the second reading of district policies was approved.
Under new business the contract for activities director, Dan Schindler was approved. The board then officially approved the final levy of $2,906,389.05 for the 2018 school year. Lastly, they approved the resolution for Discontinuing and Reducing Program and Positions.
On the calendar of events, the next two meetings will be at 7 p.m. in the high school media center on January 22 and February 26 because of holidays on the usual meeting dates. Winter break is December 25-January 1 and January 18-19 will be teacher workshop days with no school for students.
After the meeting adjourned State Senator Carla Nelson toured the new science classrooms with Superintendent Ed Harris and board members.