The Spring Grove Public School board met Monday, October 18 in the Learning Resource Center, from 7-8:10 p.m.
Board members in attendance included Stephanie Jaster, Rhan Flatin, Aric Elton, and Kelly Rohland. Aaron Solum and Jenny Stender were absent.
Vice-chairman Jaster called the meeting to order. The board unanimously approved the consent agenda, including the meeting agenda with the addition of an action item under personnel, minutes from the September 20 regular board meeting, the treasurer’s report and bills, and paraprofessional contracts for Amanda Buckland, Amanda Kripps, and Kim Klug. Plus, the Cooperative Extracurricular Agreement with Caledonia and the MOU for Paid Time Off with no changes from last year were approved.
The board accepted the bid from MHC Medica for health insurance. Superintendent Udstuen explained that the bid came in 6% below the school’s current rates for PEIP.
Jenny St. Mary was hired for the temporary administrative assistant position. The superintendent noted that St. Mary has a background as an administrative assistant and is flexible in her schedule and the number of hours she works. Udstuen mentioned that Rachel Bjerke would move over and work with parents on COVID-19 issues, and St. Mary will staff the front desk.
There are concerns about students that participate in cooperative sports driving themselves and teammates to practice. The school has two options. Option one is to provide transportation for all cooperative sports. In the past, the school paid for fall and spring transportation; this year winter would be added which would only be gymnastics. Option two is if there are less than seven students, the balance would be charged among the participating athletics. Udstuen explained, “The school provides transportation on practice days (three times a week) and expects parents to get their students to the games since hopefully, they are attending.” It was recommended that the board table it until the November meeting.
The second reading of the MSBA/MASA model policy with revisions from the 2021 legislative session was approved.
Principle Kjelland announced that the school is experiencing a substitute teacher shortage and that he and Assistant Superintendent Gina Meinert covered a lot of classes in October. Anyone interested in substitute teaching should apply for their Minnesota substitute license.
Check out the school website. Based on suggestions from the Houston County Collaborative, Meinert is updating the school’s website to set it apart from other school websites. The Collaborative explained that Spring Grove is unique and healthy, and the website should reflect these attributes. Meinert added an “About” tab which includes community-based partnerships, the profile of a learner, redefining ready, and design teams. The history page was moved from another tab.
The superintendent and assistant-superintendent wrote a Bush Foundation grant application and learned that the school was awarded either $50,000 or $80,000. Unfortunately, due to all the excitement and noise during the call, Udstuen and Meinert are unsure how much the school was awarded. The Foundation shared that they do not usually give three rounds of funding to schools, but they like what the Spring Grove schools are doing.
There are zero active COVID cases in the school, and, currently, there four are in quarantine from contact outside of school. On Monday, October 18, the school switched from mandatory masks to recommend masks. In addition, the Bi Next and Cue tests will be offered at the school. If a family does not want their child tested, they do not have to. The school should not run out of any COVID test kids anytime soon. The state purchased the tests for the kits, plus the school has a $40,000 grant to buy more.
Superintendent Udstuen explained the results of the school’s metrics during her report summarizing that the school is more interested in growth. “If we are not meeting growth, then we are not challenging them.”
The next regular board meeting of the Spring Grove Public School Board of Directors is scheduled for Monday, November 15, 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.