The Spring Grove Public Schools Board, including administration and the business manager, met in person on Monday, July 20, 2020, at 7 p.m. in the media center while adhering to the governor’s guidelines for capacity (10 people total). The public and media attended remotely through Google Meet.
Board members Aaron Solum, Stephanie Jaster, Rhan Flatin, Kelly Rohland, and Jenny Stender, were in attendance. Christian Myrah was absent.
The board approved the consent agenda, including the contracts for special education teacher Kaitlin Bratland and science teacher Taylor Elton.
Kjelland presented a recap of his first month on the job. Due to the difficulties of getting out and conducting face-to-face conversations, the school created a video introducing the new principal to the community.
The student handbook is in the process of being edited and will be completed once the school finalizes the 2020-21 school schedule.
Principal Kjelland shared with the board the students AP score and explained that Spring Grove students were significantly above both state and national average. Kjelland went on to stress that “of tests taken in six different subject areas, 83% of Spring Grove students received scores of three or higher, which is very impressive. For instance, in AP United States History, our biggest subgroup, our percentage of scores of three or higher was 76.9%, as opposed to 59.3% in the state of Minnesota, and 58.7% nationally.”
Spring Grove students attending the Summer Academy are required to use separate doors and bathrooms. The students are also being screened upon arrival as well as having their temperature checked and recorded. Students are also required to wear masks.
Kjelland discussed the concept of trauma centered schools and the power of partnerships when it comes to mental health. Kjelland stressed that the student’s mental health would be an ongoing conversation moving forward.
Superintendent Udstuen reminded the board that graduation is scheduled for August 7, 2020, at 7 p.m. at the football stadium. According to the Governor’s Executive Orders, the maximum number of attendees is 250 people. Each family will receive a certain number of tickets. Udstuen continued to explain the social distancing plans emphasizing that everyone will be required to wear a mask the entire time they are in the stadium except for those under two. Saturday and Sunday are rain dates.
The superintendent shared the first draft of the school’s plan for ensuring that the school is safe for students. Once the governor announces which of the three options schools will reopen under the plan will be finalized. The plan will continue to evolve throughout the school year.
The three options are: 1. In-person with space for social distancing, 2. Hybrid – operate at 50% capacity, and 3. Distant Learning – students not coming back. Udstuen stated the school has enough space for all the students to return if option 1 or 2 is selected and still be at 50% capacity.
The goal of the administration is to “personalize learning for the kids.” For example, some of the kids will not be able to return to school so that the school will offer them distant learning. Udstuen mentioned that some teachers want to take their kids outdoors as long as possible.
The plan to reopen the schools covers everything from how to communicate, screening, food service, arrival and dismissal logistics, masks, transportation, daily cleaning, and training staff. Every detail will be covered in the plan, including what disinfectant to use to kill the virus.
Superintendent Udstuen concluded by saying, “We will have everything figured out when kids come back on September 8.”
Keeping the safety of the students and staff in mind, the board passed a motion to not allow outside groups in the school once the contract year starts.
Fiscal matters presented before the board were approved except for the designation of the official school newspaper, was tabled until the August meeting.
Superintendent Udstuen recommended that the board hiring Jim Cunningham as a cook. This was approved
The board approved the resolution suspending school district policies that conflict with Emergency Executive Orders, federal and state waivers, or other federal or state legislative or legal actions related to COVID-19.
The August 17, 2020, meeting of the Spring Grove Public School Board of Directors is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The school board, administration, and business manager will meet in person (10 max). The school will continue to offer our meetings on Google Meet for anyone else who would like to attend. For assistance monitoring the meeting, contact the district office at (507) 498-3221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.