Superintendent Matt Schultz and the Lanesboro School Board discussed the effects the summer street work will have, at the school at the May 10 regular board meeting. Although Kirkwood Street East past the front of the school will be completely torn up, access will be available all summer through the park road. The street will be widened to provide additional diagonal parking east of the main entrance. Bump outs will narrow the crosswalk areas to improve pedestrian safety.
Handicapped parking spots will remain in the same location west of the main entrance, but will have a lane for wheelchair access between the two spots. Steve Snyder asked if two spots were enough and wondered if a third spot could be added. When Schultz replied that it would require an additional wheelchair lane for an additional spot, Snyder asked if it was possible to designate a spot as handicap accessible for events only. Schultz will check into the possibility.
The box that provides internet access for the school is across Kirkwood from the school. Schultz said they’d need to make sure the school continued to have internet access during the road work. Another concern was the gas line; with child care at the school all summer, it’s essential to have gas for the kitchen.
Schultz was hopeful that the power line which had to be added on a pole during the latest school construction might be buried underground since the street would be all dug up already.
Schultz once again addressed elements of the school’s strategic plan as he reported to the board. One section of the strategic plan calls for experiential education. This was evident when the kindergarteners went for a fun field trip for the first time to the Owl Center in Houston and a park in Winona.
The section of the strategic plan for improving reading and math was addressed as well. Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Rogers will be attending a two-week class at Southeast Services Cooperative on the science of teaching reading and will share what she learns at the class with her co-teachers. Schultz noted that the new reading curriculum is pretty much in line with the concepts of the science of reading. The use of reading centers and teaching phonics are already in place at Lanesboro elementary.
Yet another part of the strategic plan is to provide mental health support. Grades 7-12 took part in a mental health session from 12-3 p.m. recently. The students watched a movie called “My Ascension” which dealt with a girl who was paralyzed after a suicide attempt. A mental health professional then spoke to the students. Following that, the students broke up into smaller grade level groups to discuss the movie and mental health. Students were appreciative of the afternoon; homeroom time may be used next year to address mental health more thoroughly.
The strategic plan also calls for improved communication with parents and students; the school is addressing this by informing parents of the JMC app availability. By using this app, parents can stay connected and check their students’ grades.
Schultz informed the board that this was Teacher Appreciation Week. He took the opportunity to thank all the teachers. He’d also applauded teacher Jordan Anderson on being named the Teacher of the Year by the Fillmore County Journal.
Lanesboro School took advantage of a recent Farm to School grant and made a purchase of meat from McCabe Famliy Farms. Hamburger patties, brats, and hamburger from the local farm now are included in the school lunch menu.
In other business the school board:
• Accepted the resignation of secretary Tara Hanson; another staff member will take on her position, moving from part-time to the full-time position;
• Approved the rescinding of a resignation by high school SPED teacher Alissa Dahl and approved an agreement to extend the probationary period for Dahl by another year;
• Approved MSHL membership;
• Approved the issuance of purchase orders for the fiscal year 2024; this gives Schultz the ability to order supplies for the next school year;
• Adopted resolutions to approve the same cooperative sports agreements with Fillmore Central and Mabel-Canton schools as in previous years;
• Set a timeline for the superintendent review; board members are to have surveys completed and submitted before next month’s meeting;
• Approved the elementary handbook;
• Adopted a resolution to reimburse HVED for student membership in the event that Lanesboro School needed to have a student attend HVED’s ALC either virtually or in person; at this time no students are enrolled in the program;
• Tabled the athletic service agreement since no finished contract was available; the board is concerned about the giant leap in cost of the services for next year.
The next Lanesboro School Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on June 14 in the forum room. The public is welcome to attend.