The Mabel-Canton School Board met in regular session on June 15. In attendance were Mark Wiedemann, Jason Marquardt, Chris Miller, Cristal Adkins, Superintendent Gary Kuphal, Lisa Halverson, Aimee Lake, Diane Wilder, Traci Livingood, and Principal Michelle Wiedemann. No student representatives were in attendance.
The board discussed the “senior open campus lunch” that has been approved in recent years. This allows senior students to go off-campus during their lunch break, but not in vehicles. Principal Wiedemann said she sees no problem with the situation, and she sees it as a way to reward the seniors. Kuphal said although there are pros and cons to the open campus, he shared his opinion that as senior students are about to graduate and go out into the larger world, “They should get a taste of freedom.” It was pointed out that there are limited options for students to get lunch within walking distance of school, but that students seem to like the freedom anyway. The board voted to approve the senior open campus lunch for the upcoming school year. The board will continue to consider this annually, rather than making it a permanent situation.
The board also discussed the student handbook. Significant discussion centered on whether or not graduating students who violate the substance use policy should be allowed to still participate in the graduation ceremony. Currently, each subsequent violation brings an increased length of ineligibility from extracurricular activities. The consensus on the board was that if a student has accumulated three violations, that student would become ineligible to participate in the graduation ceremony. Board members pointed out that discussion would occur with these students and families prior to a third violation, so there would be no surprise. No formal action was taken, as a second reading of the handbook will occur at the board meeting in July.
Superintendent Kuphal explained that Neil Folstad has submitted a letter of resignation, after 20-plus years as custodian. Kuphal said Mabel-Canton will miss having Folstad on staff, and will miss his many years of experience. He also pointed out that Mabel-Canton is required to have a custodian who has a boiler license, and that Folstad is the only staff member who currently has that licensure. Kuphal said it takes about one year for someone to become licensed. Mabel-Canton will advertise for someone qualified to fill this vacancy.
Business Manager Aimee Lake gave an update on the preliminary Fiscal Year ’22 budget. She shared expected enrollment, revenue and expense projections (90% of enrolled students are expected to be from Minnesota, with the remaining 10% from Iowa). Kuphal shared that it’s important to remember that the CARES Act funds that Mabel-Canton has been accessing are primarily a “one time thing.”
Susie Munroe gave the board an update on the Q-Comp Program. She said, “With the preliminary scores from the spring, it’s looking like both elementary and high school will meet their goals, which is pretty awesome, since we had all spring off.” She added, “One hundred percent of the teachers had their peer review or administrative review.”
The board gratefully accepted donations to Mabel-Canton Schools, including $250 from Gemini (to be used for technology), and $25 from Holly Becker (for Choir Department). The board also accepted the resignation of Annastacia Cowles (School Health Associate).
Kuphal asked the board to consider approving Mabel-Canton to pay the Minnesota School Board Association dues for the year. He said that although membership is not required, he has seen many examples of ways that the school benefits from membership. The board approved paying this fee. The board’s next regular meeting will be July 27 at 6 p.m. The public is welcome.