At the January 19 Lanesboro School Board meeting, Superintendent Matt Schultz updated the board on the school’s transportation situation. He noted that the district may be losing a driver soon and there is no one available to replace him. The school has been struggling to find enough bus drivers as it is for regular school transportation and events and losing one will have a significant impact. “It’s an issue that we’re going to have to address somehow,” he said. “We need drivers.” The current bus drivers are already stretched thin and won’t be able to cover all the transportation needs during the next school year if they’re down to five route drivers. Schultz is trying to avoid getting to the point where the school has to limit transportation options for families, but it may be necessary. Board member Steve Snyder noted that if someone wasn’t available to drive all the time, but could at least part of the time, it would help. For example, if a farmer was only able to drive bus in the winter months during his off season, maybe someone else who would prefer not to drive in bad weather could drive that route during the fall and spring. To compound the issue of not being able to find people willing to drive bus, starting in February, a 40-hour class, which will cost several thousand dollars, will be required to obtain the license, and will further dampen interest in the job. Snyder suggested that the consequences of not having enough drivers be made known to the public so they are aware of the impact it will have on school families. The board will continue to discuss options for the matter at further meetings.
Christine Troendle was elected as board chair, Steve Snyder as vice chair, Sarah Peterson as clerk, and Steve Storhoff as treasurer. The school board members’ compensation was approved with no changes. Compensation for the chairperson will remain at $1,500, the clerk’s and the treasurer’s at $1,200, the directors’ at $1,000, the chief negotiator’s at $500, the other negotiator’s at $400, and the education district representative’s at $300. The positions of facilities chair and other facilities member were removed as the renovations project is nearly complete at the school. Peterson and Mark Holmen were appointed to the policy committee, Snyder and Storhoff to the Finance, Facilities, and Long-Range Planning committee as well as the Personnel committee, and Troendle to the Advisory committee. The board representatives were appointed with Storhoff to the MSHSL, Peterson to the EDA, and Troendle to HVED. Troendle was also appointed as the board’s legislative liaison.
The regular meetings were moved from the third Thursday to the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lanesboro Schools Forum. The Merchants Bank of Lanesboro was designated as the district depository, Nethercut Schieber Attorneys, PLLP was approved as the board’s legal counsel for general business, and Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger, PA for school law. The superintendent and board chair were set as contacts for both. The Fillmore County Journal was approved as the district’s official newspaper.
Snyder gave the Finance, Facilities, and Long-Range Planning committee update. The walk-in fridge in the kitchen is functional, but does need some repairs, which will have to wait until the school year is over since the fridge needs to be emptied and brought to room temperature first. The PA system is still being worked on as there are a few newly installed speakers that aren’t working right. Snyder asked Superintendent Schultz if it would be possible to install a large standard clock in the gym as the digital ones are difficult to read. Schultz will look into it.
The board approved a motion to direct the superintendent to make recommendations for adjustments in curriculum, programs, and staff for the 2022-23 school year.
A $40 donation to the scholarship fund and $1,000 for the elementary school were accepted with gratitude.
The next Lanesboro School Board meeting will be held on February 9 at 7 p.m.
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