At their regular meeting June 1, the Houston School Board set the season pass rates for next school year. High school students remain free; single parent/guardian family passes remain at $60.00; two parent/guardian family passes remain at $90.00. A new elementary (K-6) pass with adult supervision required was added with a price of $20.00.
After some discussion, the board decided to admit all senior citizens to all events for free. Their reasoning was that senior citizens have supported the school for years, and that the games and events provide entertainment and socialization for the senior citizens as they attend and support the school’s young people.
Possible private use of Hurricane Hub
Another fee topic came up regarding private use of Hurricane Hub. People have been attending events at the Hub and were asking if it was available for private use. Up to this time, the use of the building has been free for community groups to use.
The board agreed that if the school was not using the Hub, it could be used by private parties. After some consideration, the board appeared to reach a consensus that they were willing to allow private use, but that a fee would be required to cover the expenses of the additional use.
Richard Erdmann pointed out that it costs money to have the building open; he felt a rate should be set or they should ask for donations sufficient to cover the expense. Arlin Peterson opined that an event that doesn’t involve kids should have a fee and shared that he felt people would expect to pay a fee. Mark Swenson agreed that private events should be charged a “modest” fee. Josh Norlien pointed out that the Hub also has a kitchen available.
Superintendent Mary Morem will put a document together to cover such rentals for the next board meeting. It was noted that no alcohol, tobacco, or gambling would be permitted at any of the school’s buildings and the renter would be responsible for liability insurance.
Houston/Caledonia co-op agreement
During the public comment period, Amy Kulas read from a prepared statement. Kulas, speaking as a parent of student athletes, thanked the Houston School Board as well as the Rushford-Peterson and Caledonia school boards for offering all the athletic opportunities to the Houston students. Kulas went on to say that she views the bump to class 2A as an opportunity, and declared that it is “our responsibility to continue to work together.”
Kulas closed her comments by quoting the motto of one of Houston’s youth wrestling coaches, “Attitude, effort and teamwork!”
Later in the meeting, Morem presented an updated cooperative athletic agreement with Caledonia. She had been asked by the board to clarify transportation to be provided by Houston schools. Houston school will provide transportation to the event; parents will have the responsibility of providing transportation home from the event. Gymnastics was added to the agreement with Caledonia.
Morem clarified that at this time, Houston provides a coach for wrestling at Caledonia and one for track at Rushford-Peterson. A fee of $1,822 is paid for each sport as well as a prorated cost per student.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the SMEC (Southern Minnesota Education Consortium) contract;
• Appointed Richard Erdmann to the Health and Safety Committee;
• Consolidated polling places for school elections to one site, the Houston Fire Station;
• Discussed the possibility of offering early voting for the upcoming building referendum; Morem will check into the possibility further;
• Approved MSHL membership and MREA renewal;
• Approved the non-renewal of a 0.25 FTE contract with probationary teacher Anita Jarvis;
• Learned that because of recent state legislation the 2008 vans can be used for a longer time;
• Approved the purchase of math manipulative kits for the new math curriculum from Cengage Learning for grades K-5 at a cost of $5,082;
• Accepted donations of $250 from the Legion for the band for Memorial Day performance and $4,976.40 from online donations from a girls basketball fundraiser;
• Changed the next regular board meeting from the scheduled July 6 to June 29.
The next Houston School Board meeting will be held June 29 at 6 p.m. in the high school media center; the public is welcome to attend.