At the July 9 meeting of the Chatfield School Board, all board members were present except Matt McMahon and Katie Priebe. Present were Superintendent Ed Harris; Administrative Assistant Lorri Lowery; new Business Manager Trista O’Connor and principals Shane McBroom and Randy Paulson.
Under school board committees, Scott Backer said the board has just begun the process of addressing the previous goals of the superintendent and future goals that the board would like to see.
Shane McBroom, elementary principal, talked about the success of the week long elementary program called Camp Invention. The program focuses on STEM curriculum and students were busy with robots and all kinds of creative experiences. Sixty-one students attended the camp and parents were invited to see their projects at the end of the session. High school principal, Randy Paulson, was happy to report that the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant has been approved. This is a joint venture between Chatfield, Cannon Falls and Minnesota State College (MSC) Southeast in the amount of $441,952. Through the NSF Grant the school hopes to develop and implement the following over the next three years:
•MSC Southeast will facilitate collegiate education, credits, and laboratory capabilities so that more students can participate in advanced manufacturing and STEM curriculum.
•Four modules of study will be developed: Design Fundamentals, CAD-CAM, Machining and CNC Programming.
•All partner high school faculty members will have access to dedicated professional development, training and networking opportunities.
•The college will coordinate training for technical educators throughout southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, including opportunities to connect with area industry.
•Winona State University and MSC Southeast will partner to build transfer agreements so that students can earn associate of applied science degrees at MSC Southeast and then transfer into directly related programs at WSU as college juniors.
Both principals stated that the custodians and cleaning crews are ahead of schedule and many classrooms are ready for the new school year and thanked them for their work.
Superintendent Harris discussed the outcomes of the school board retreat in June and listed several things that the board could consider from this in a work session. Some of the ideas were to develop a chain of command guide for school board members and the public, review the superintendent evaluation tool and to consider the usefulness of the School Perception staff survey. The Community Survey that was sent to district patrons to get input on budget issues is due on Friday, July 12 and Harris is pleased that the number of responses from the community has been very good. The finance committee needs to meet to close out the expenditures of the remaining construction funds. At the end of his report, Harris played the video “Why We Play” that is required viewing of all school board members by the MSHSL. The message of the video was to explain the goals and purpose of high school sports.
Under the consent agenda the meeting minutes were approved for meetings on June 5 and June 13. Also approved was the HVED agreement to purchase education services for 2019-2020, and the employee 2019-2020 activity passes. Spring varsity coaches Jerry Chase, softball; Brian Baum, baseball; Jeff DeBuhr, track and field; and Paul Wagner, golf, were approved as well. The following job postings were approved: part-time elementary nurse, junior high/ninth grade football coaches and kindergarten teacher. Resignations accepted were: Brittney Klug, ECFE teacher; Kyle Tollefson, ninth grade football coach; and Cheri Vondal, kindergarten teacher. The dance team was given approval for a fundraiser to sell “Love Your Melon” hats. New hires approved were: Jayna Harstad, preschool teacher; Amy Gernes, .25 art teacher; and Jenna Dokken, elementary counselor.
Under action items, the donations and grants received in the amount of $38,041.38 were acknowledged and the submission of the long term facilities management plan was approved. Resolutions regarding board control of extracurricular activities and the corporate resolution agreement allowing the business manager to work with investments were read and approved. Lastly, the food service contract with Taher was extended for one year.
The meeting adjourned and the next board meeting will be on August 7 in the Forum Room at the high school at 7 p.m.