Caledonia Area Public School District’s board members met Monday, October 16 at Caledonia Elementary School in room #162. Board member Mike Peterson called the meeting to order at 6 p.m., led with the Pledge of Allegiance, then took roll call. Board members present included Derek Adamson, Tim Gunn, Leigh King, Melissa Marschall, Peterson, Daniel Small and Spencer Yohe. In addition, Superintendent Craig Ihrke, Elementary Principal Sue Link, Dean of Students John Wahlstrom, Community Education Director Gretchen Juan and Business Manager/Finance Director Barb Meyer attended. Middle/High School Principal Nathan Boler was absent.
The board unanimously approved to adopt the Agenda.
Concerned resident, Chuck Schulte, addressed the board during Public Comment about the board’s decision to approve a Joint Powers Agreement with HVED (Hiawatha Valley Education District) in purchasing the Winona Mall in Winona, Minn. Schulte shared he toured the Winona Mall himself, spoke with the mall’s current shopkeepers, and met with Winona State University’s president. He expressed concern with Winona being a longer commute time for students transported outside Caledonia for services. Schulte questioned the board on the amount it will cost for heating, air conditioning, insurance, annual maintenance, and electricity regarding the Winona Mall building. In closing, Schulte requested, “I’d like to see the JPA. I’d like a copy.” Board member Peterson said he will get Schulte a copy and thanked Schulte for his time.
Board member Small moved, second by King, to approve the Consent Agenda which includes minutes from the September 25 regular board meeting, the Treasurer’s Report, and the proposal from Rogich Brothers Snow Removal for the 2023-2024 school year. Motion carried in a unanimous vote.
Board member Yohe moved, second by Small, to approve ratification for the 2023-2024 Winter Sports Coaching Contracts in regards to wrestling, boys basketball, girls basketball, and gymnastics. Motion carried. Yohe acknowledged the difficulty in finding coaches.
Principal Link shared what Caledonia Elementary School has been up to.
Link thanked the fifth grade class and custodian Brandon Jones for their help in building the homecoming float, whichpresented the theme “Beach Your Best Self,” derived from the Top 20 mindset. PACE provided beach balls and candy to distribute at the homecoming parade. The elementary school’s safety patrol was included in this year’s homecoming parade. Link stated, “They deserve recognition. The more the merrier!”
Parent/teacher conferences took place on Thursday, October 12. The next round of conferences will be held Thursday, October 17.
Grades K-5 will visit the McCormick Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze on Wednesday, October 18. Link thanked the McCormick family for allowing students to visit.
In closing, Link acknowledged the continuous paraprofessional shortage.
Dean of Students Wahlstrom met with the truancy committee. The plan is to create a uniform approach to how truancy is handled in Houston County for students over the age of 12. Wahlstrom looked into how other counties deal with truancy issues and found most counties have a uniform approach in place to reduce chronic absenteeism.
Wahlstrom shared he has been conducting teacher evaluations and commented, “We have awesome teachers in our district!”
Community Education Director Juan provided her report.
Juan shared Early Childhood Screening will be held Thursday, November 9 and Friday, November 10. September’s babysitting and home alone classes received a good turnout. Upcoming classes include Defensive Driving scheduled for Monday, November 13 and Tuesday, November 14. The class needs additional participants in order for the class to be held. Women’s Self-Defense is scheduled for Saturday, November 18. The class is open to girls over the age of 13. CAPS (Caledonia Area Public School) Care had their licensing visit Monday, September 25.
Superintendent Ihrke stated he felt good about how the first quarter went and looks forward to second quarter.
The board reviewed school policies 536-541 and policies 605-608.
Yohe moved, second by Adamson, to adjourn the meeting at 7:11 p.m. Motion carried with unanimous approval. The next regular Caledonia Public School board meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 20 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at Caledonia Elementary School in room #162. The public is invited to attend.