The Mabel-Canton school board met in regular session on May 18, with all members present. Also in attendance were Principal Michelle Wiedemann, Business Manager Aimee Lake, Superintendent Gary Kuphal, and Lisa Halverson. Both student representatives, Colton Kuderer-Heintz and Matt McClimon, were absent due to a baseball game.
Principal Wiedemann shared a media advisory from Canton City Clerk Brock Bergey, telling of the “Free Little Libraries” that some Mabel-Canton students, along with teacher Paul Tollefsrud, created. Two “little libraries” were placed in Canton (one outside City Hall, and the other at Main Street Park). Since Canton no longer has a public library, this project will fill a need for access to books and other reading materials. Donations of books are being accepted by the City of Canton.
Principal Wiedemann said the Woods class built the boxes, which include a small bench. She said these were then painted by Art students. She said, “So the boys went over today to put those in,… and then afterwards, they (Canton city staff) then took them to lunch at Sarah’s. So, I want to thank Brock and the City of Canton for giving our students that opportunity. It’s just a great thing to see those kids giving back to the community.”
Principal Wiedemann also voiced congratulations to all of the Mabel-Canton students who have become National Honor Society members. She also told of the recent Scholarships Award event, at which almost $2,800 was awarded to senior students. She then thanked local churches for Baccalaureate services that have been held.
Regarding the annual Track & Field day tradition, Principal Wiedemann shared, “Some things opened up for us… As of May 7, we are able to not wear masks outside, and social distancing is something that
we don’t have a capacity or a limit anymore, so because of that, we were able to open up the Track & Field Day to not have to have only two people (per family).”
On the topic of the upcoming graduation ceremony, Wiedemann stated, “Graduation on June 4 is going to be as normal as it can be, with the exception, at this time…masks are still required… As of May 28, there isn’t any social distancing, capacity limits, for inside or outdoors anymore.” But she clarified that currently, the Minnesota Department of Education is still directing that social distancing and masks be used during the actual school days.
It was pointed out that Mabel-Canton will offer remedial-only Summer School. The dates for high school will be June 7-10 and June 14-17, and for elementary will be July 19-23 and July 26-30. Mabel-Canton is mailing letters to students for whom this option is recommended.
Superintendent Kuphal explained to the board that he is recommending a 10-cent increase in lunch prices for the next school year. He said his belief is that it’s better for families if a school makes small increases such as this, rather than leaving prices unchanged for several years until a larger increase is necessary. The board approved the 10-cent increase.
Kuphal said he has begun his annual tradition of “Senior interviews” that he conducts with students that are about the end their years at Mabel-Canton. He said he spends around 10 minutes with each senior, asking each about his/her life and future plans. He also asks for feedback on the “good and bad about Mabel-Canton.”
With Mabel-Canton’s facility improvements upcoming, Kuphal said, “Just as a reminder, June 7, you’ll start seeing a lot of activity around the building as it relates to our referendum project.” He added that although the school will be getting new windows, that portion of the project will likely be delayed until 2022 due to supply problems.
Kuphal pointed out that due to a new guidance from the state, masks are no longer required during school board meetings, but that this only applies to board meetings. The board’s next regular meeting will be June 15 at 6 p.m. The public is welcome.