Minnesota recognizes school board members each February for their time and dedication to the state’s youth. Spring Grove school board members Aaron Solum, Stephanie Jaster, Rhan Flatin, Kelly Rohland, and Angie Solie were acknowledged at the February 21 board meeting.
Superintendent Rachel Udstuen expressed her appreciation to the board during her monthly report, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
The board approved the consent agenda, including the meeting agenda, minutes from the January 9 board meeting, financial reports, payables, the speech advisor contract for Scott Solberg, and the resignation of paraprofessional Harlee Gavin.
Executive Director Debbra Marcotie presented an overview of the Hiawatha Valley Education District (HVED). Chairman Solum represents Spring Grove schools on the HVED board of directors and serves as the buildings and grounds committee chairman. In addition, Udstuen sits on the HVED Superintendents’ Advisory Council.
HVED vision statement, “Exceptional Teams Empowering Exceptional Students,” was emphasized throughout the presentation. In addition, the organization’s mission statement provides leadership with a map, “In partnership with member districts, will be a progressive educational agency that embraces modern technology and data-driven, research-based methodologies and resources to provide a high-quality education to all students so that they may reach their full potential.”
Marcotie reviewed HVED structure and the programs and services they provide to the schools they serve; Bluffview Montessori Charter, Caledonia, Chatfield, Dover-Eyota, Houston and Minnesota Virtual Academy, La Crescent-Hokah, Lanesboro, Lewiston-Altura, Mabel-Canton, Plainview-Elgin-Millville, Ridgeway Community Charter, Rollingstone Community Charter, Rushford-Peterson, Spring Grove, St. Charles, and Wabasha-Kellogg and View Connections Academy.
HVED funding includes federal dollars (32%), state dollars (40%), and local dollars (28%).
Programming is focused on special education for qualifying students from birth to age 21 and general education.
Additional information about HVED and its services and programs can be found on the organization’s website at hved6013.org.
Principal Luke Kjelland shared the Fastbridge winter data compared to the fall data for math, reading, early math, early reading, and CBM reading. The goal was to see a 2% increase and all five categories met or exceed the goal. Udstuen and Kjelland unanimously agreed that they love the school’s new reading program.
Student representative Jensen Krosch shared with the board that the February 4 formal dance was attended by 80 students at the fest building. Krosch thanked the organizers of the Festival of Trees for the backdrop, which made for stunning photographs. Krosch added it was “a fun time.” Although the student council will sponsor a service day at the end of March, the date and activities have not been finalized.
Superintendent Rachel Udstuen eagerly announced that demolition of the science lab will begin on June 5, with work scheduled to be completed the week of August 14. Occupancy is scheduled for August 28. The end is in sight for this long-awaited project.
The board unanimously accepted the annual wellness report. The plan identifies four goals: 1. Food and beverages will not be used as a reward for students. 2. All K-6 students will have physical education class daily for 25 minutes. 3. Encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks. 4. Provide 30 minutes daily for lunch between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for all K-12 students.
In other business, the board:
- Accepted the quote from Innovative Office for the science room cabinets. The total cost is $71,432.90;
- Approved Chairman Solum committee appointments;
- Scheduled a work session on March 1 at 5 p.m. to meet with ISG and discuss finances and the proposed referendum in November.
The board went into close session at 9:20 p.m. for the superintendent’s annual evaluation.
The next regular meeting of the Spring Grove Public School Board is Monday, March 20, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.