Spring Grove School Board members met in the school’s Learning Resource Center on Thursday, January 13, 2022, from 7-7:40 p.m. Board members present included Chairman Aaron Solum, Stephanie Jaster, Rhan Flatin, and Aric Elton. Kelly Rohland attended virtually, and Jenny Stender was absent.
Aaron Solum will serve another term as board chair and Stephanie Jaster was elected to another one-year term as vice-chair. Jenny Stender will serve as board clerk, and Tanya Elton was elected as board treasurer.
The board approved the 2022 school board meeting schedule. Meetings will be held on the third Monday each month, except for the first two meetings of the year due to holidays. All regular board meetings start promptly at 7 p.m.
Attorney Erin Benson of Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. is the School Attorney for 2022.
The board approved Tanya Elton as the designated authority for electronic fund transfers.
Chairman Solum agreed to represent the board on the Hiawatha Valley Education District (HVED) Board of Directors for 2022 if no one else stepped up to serve on the board.
Principal Luke Kjelland reported that there are not enough subs to cover staff shortages, “When we have eight teachers out in a school our size, it is a significant challenge.” Everyone is stepping up to cover classes, including Kjelland and Assistant Superintendent Gina Meinertz. Interim-Superintendent Bruce Klaehn has asked both Kjelland and Meinertz to track their time in the classroom. The teaching staff created a two-week plan in case they are out for an extended period of time. Kjelland shared, “A significant amount of work goes in to creating a two-week plan.”
Meinertz shared with the board, “The staff has been great! “They are doing everything they can to get through this crazy time.”
Klaehn shared in his report that the only thing he has heard from the staff, “Maybe not too much more new stuff.”
The first annual seniors versus staff basketball game ended with staff 49 and seniors 40.
Klaehn announced that the school will be meeting on Monday, January 17 to discuss modifying COVID guidelines based on the recent CDC guidelines shortening isolation and quarantine time.
The board unanimously approved the resolution directing the administration to make recommendations for reductions in program/positions for 2022-23. This resolution is standard business that is done every year at the January school board meeting.
Klaehn recommended tabling MSBA/MASA Policy #491 – Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination or Testing and Face Coverings Policy until the February meeting. It is not known what the January 13 Supreme Court ruling means. Klaehn explained that on January 3, 2022, Spring Grove School was under 100 employees, but that number fluctuates throughout the school year and the school’s numbers are expected to reach 100 this spring. Another unknown is whether the employee count includes school board members.
The next regular board meeting of the Spring Grove Public School Board is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22, at 7 p.m. in the school’s Learning Resource Center. The school will continue to offer the board meetings on Google Meet for anyone who would like to attend virtually. For assistance monitoring the meeting, contact the district office at (507) 498-3221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.