The Mabel-Canton School Board moved forward on creating a .2 FTE Dean of Students position (two hours a day) for next year at their regular meeting on May 17. The board opted for a “middle of the road” stipend for the position; according to Superintendent Gary Kuphal there is no standard stipend for such a position. For next year, the dean of students will work an extended contract with two extra days before and after the school year as well as possibly an additional one during the year.
The person to serve as dean will be officially selected at next month’s meeting. Kuphal informed the board that Heather Wilder is interested in the position and would be a good fit. Wilder is considering going into administration in the future. If Wilder is selected, there will be a document placing her as a teacher on special assignment. One English class would be removed from her teaching load and given to another teacher; that teacher would give up an elementary art class to another part-time teacher which would increase the part-time teacher’s assignment by .2 FTE.
A question of whether Wilder being on the negotiations team would create a conflict of interest came up. Since the dean of students position isn’t included in the master contract at this time, it was decided there would be no issue at this time.
The board approved the capital outlay expenditure at a total of $102, 680 and a reserve of $30,622. Supt. Kuphal shared that the entire reserve has never been spent.
Every year the committee prioritizes the items on the list as high, medium, and low need; they then choose the items to be purchased that year. In addition, each year they have assigned funds designated for curriculum ($50,000) and technology ($15,000). If those funds are not spent, they remain in the fund for the next year.
New phone system, security cameras, and gym PA
With ESSER funds available, Kuphal felt that it was a good time for some much needed updates to the phone system, security cameras, and a gym PA system. Kuphal noted that the expense of $23,237 for security cameras had to have pre-approval from the state which had already been done. He shared that the new system will have many more cameras with some outside as well.
The phone system came with two prices — one for a $12,000 system in which the school would combine with Lewiston-Altura’s system as HVED already does and one at $30,000 if the school chose a separate contract.
Kuphal didn’t have an exact cost for the gym PA system, but said the funds should cover this as well. The board approved the shared phone system as well as the security cameras and gym PA system.
Mabel-Canton had been working on a strategic plan just before COVID hit. At that time the plan was put on hold. Now the plan is three to four years old and outdated. One of the items on the plan had been to hold a building referendum for the construction that will be taking place this summer. Supt. Kuphal suggested the board consider creating another strategic plan. He shared that MSBA has a streamlined process, but noted they are extremely busy. They may be able to work with the school during the second semester. MSBA’s fee would be $6,400. Jason Marquardt asked if SSC could do this also. Kuphal will check and bring back information for discussion next month.
In other business the board:
•Hired Paul Tollefsrud as new head football coach;
•Renewed cooperative sports agreements with Lanesboro (track and boys golf) and Fillmore Central (wrestling);
•Approved calendars for both 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years;
•Learned no updates were needed at this time to the return to school plan since COVID infections have remained relatively low;
Heard from Principal Michelle Wiedemann that over $30,000 in scholarships was awarded to graduating seniors; graduation will be June 3 at 7 p.m.
The next meeting of the Mabel-Canton School Board will be held June 21, at 6 p.m. in the school’s media center; the public is welcomed to attend.