Caledonia School Board members met Monday, July 17, from 6-8 p.m. at the Eitzen Community Center in Eitzen, Minn. Board members present included Tim Gunn, Leigh King, Mike Peterson, Daniel Small, and Spencer Yohe. In addition, elementary Principal Sue Link, Business Manager/Finance Director Barb Meyer, and Superintendent Craig Ihrke attended. Board members Derek Adamson and Melissa Marschall were absent.
Prior to the agenda’s adoption, two items on the consent agenda were moved to Action Items while one item – School Meals Policy #534 got tabled to an upcoming special board meeting. Yohe moved, second by Small to adopt the agenda after the prior changes; in turn, motion carried.
The board gratefully accepted a generous monetary donation from Families Actively Invested to Help, Inc. to be applied towards food service.
No board showcase or public comment took place.
The consent agenda unanimously was adopted with both minutes from the June 21 regular board meeting and the treasurer’s report approved.
The board viewed a number of School Board Policies and approved policy numbers 102, 418, 419, 424, 425, 504, 506, 507, 509, 513, 514, 515, 524, 532, 601, 602, 603, 604, 613, 616, 617, 618, 620, 621, 624, 708, 709, and 806. The board decided to table policy #534 entitled School Meals Policy.
Yohe moved, second by Small to approve the School Crossing Guard Agreement Between the City of Caledonia and ISD #299; in turn, motion carried.
For the 2023-2024 school year, the board approved the fall sports coaching contracts and co-curricular coaching contracts. Two positions remain available, one for Jr. class advisor and the other for National Honor Society.
Rich Larson, Caledonia Middle/High School’s Ag and Career Technology Education teacher and FFA advisor, addressed the school board about funding for Caledonia High School’s Summer Ag Program. In previous years a state grant funded 50% of the program, however, going forward funding will be less than 50% due to grant funds going towards other new programs in place across the state of Minnesota. With the Summer Ag Program meeting one of the school district’s strategic plan goals, the board agreed to fund the program 100% for one year if additional funding is unavailable. Board member Peterson commented, “It’s a great program and we need to support it!”
The approval of the Athletic Cooperative Agreement between Houston Public School District and Caledonia Area Public School District for boys soccer, girls soccer, wrestling, and gymnastics passed.
Approval for the 2023-2024 District Employee Handbook, the coach’s handbook, and the Elementary and Middle/High Schools Student/Parent Handbooks were tabled to the upcoming special board meeting for further discussion.
Principal Link presented her board report.
The elementary school’s Academic Summer Success program is now finished and had been a success. The students who partook in the program enjoyed fun learning activities while in smaller classes. Link thanks the teachers who took time out of the summer to provide young students with this educational opportunity.
The elementary school is preparing for the inclusion of its additional second grade teacher; for the 2023-2024 school year there will be three second grade sections instead of two sections like in previous years. Cindy Staggemeyer’s room was moved to include a classroom for the third, second grade teacher.
The special education teachers and some of their students participated in ESY (Extended School Year) where these teachers meet with their students to continue learning over the course of the summer.
New students have signed up to attend Caledonia Area Public Schools. Link shared it is enjoyable to meet students’ families, provide tours, and share all that Caledonia Elementary has to offer!
A lot of time has been spent on updating the Parent/Student Handbook in addition to looking for changes in the handbook that need to be made in order to follow current legislation and guidelines pertaining to the elementary school.
A special school board meeting will take place in Caledonia Elementary School’s music room #162 on Monday, August 7 at 6 p.m. The special meeting will consist of further discussion involving the school district’s new strategic plan, School Meals Policy #534, and further discussion on the handbooks. Krin Abraham, who assisted the Caledonia Area Public School District in creating its new strategic plan, will attend the special meeting.
The next regular board meeting of the Caledonia Public School board is scheduled for Monday, August 21 at Crooked Creek Community Center, 16295 Pleasant Valley Rd., outside Caledonia. The public is invited to attend.