At the November 16 school board meeting, board members Josh Thompson, Jill Harstad, Lanny Isensee, Matt McMahon and Tom Keefe were present as well as Superintendent Ed Harris, Lorri Lowery, administrative assistant; and Principals Shane McBroom and Eric Nelson. Also present were Trista O’Connor, business manager and Aspen McBroom and Carly Backen, student senate representatives. Board member Katie Priebe was absent.
Shane McBroom, elementary principal, thanked the veterans and auxiliary members for the Veterans Day assembly that included the presentation of the colors, songs, Patriot’s Pen essays and the Retreating of the Colors. Judge Joe Chase also came and talked to the 3rd graders about the history of our wars and about the Gettysburg Address and the Declaration of Independence. The PLC Leadership team set schoolwide goals for the 2022 MCA (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments). The leadership team set the following school wide goals for the 2022 MCA scores:
• Reading: Increase percentage of students proficient in Reading from 70.6% proficient (2022) to 73% proficient in the spring of 2023. Chatfield Elementary School Reading in 2021 was 67.1%. State Average – 51.1% (2022)
• Math: Increase percentage of students proficient in Math from 69.4% proficient (2022) to 72% proficient in the spring of 2023. Chatfield Elementary School Math in 2021 was 59.7%. State Average – 44.8% (2022)
• Science: Increase percentage of students proficient in Science from 56.3% proficient (2022) to 59% proficient in the spring of 2023. Chatfield Elementary School Science in 2021 was 65%. State Average – 41.3% (2022)
Chatfield Elementary continues to achieve at a level much higher that the state average in all areas of tested content and came through the COVID times very well.
High school principal, Eric Nelson updated the board on the new trimester instructional model. For students it means a shorter period to complete course work, as trimesters have 57 days as opposed to 80 days in a semester class. Teachers made modifications to accommodate the new schedule and will revisit this model after the first trimester to see if there are any issues that need to be addressed. Nelson also addressed the significant changes to the parking and traffic flow around the high school. Better defined parking areas have lessened congestion and reduced speeds leading to much safer conditions. He congratulated the cross country team for their success this fall and the football team who will play in the semi-finals on Friday, November 18.
Superintendent Harris welcomed the two new board members, Dave Sowinski and Mark Johnsrud and the incumbent Josh Thompson to the new school board term that they will begin in January. Later in the meeting they were sworn in for the new term. He brought forward a request for a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that would allow the teachers’ contract to be adjusted if they change their health insurance to Medica. Currently they have the PEIP (Public Employee Insurance Program) but Medica has more options that are not in the current contract, thus the need for the MOU if they go with Medica. The board approved this request.
Under consent items the board approved the following new hires: Tyler Nielsen, 0.185 business teacher; Brandon Himle, junior high baseball coach; Jasmine Hampton, substitute and Friday custodian; Matt Davidson, 9th grade boys basketball; Elliana Junge, Valleyland assistant; Savannah Vold, girls wresting coach; Janel Sackreiter, Pre-K aide and Valleyland; Ella Bakken, Valleyland assistant; Emma Hanson, One Act play advisor; Kjirsten Oehlke-Kramer, Pre-K long-term substitute. They also approved the retirement of Jeff Finley, elementary custodian, and the posting for that position.
Under action items the board approved the Resolution Canvassing Returns of Votes of School District General Election (certifies the votes), the Resolution Authorizing Issuance of Certificates of Election and Directing School District Clerk to Perform Other Election Related Duties (certifies the election) and the Resolution Establishing Combined Polling Places for Multiple Precincts and Designating Hours During Which the Polling Places Will Remain Open for Voting for School District Elections Not Held on the Day of a Statewide Election (annual resolution). The board approved the increase in the transportation contract as requested by Mike Bernard of Bernard Bus Service. The request was made to attract and retain bus drivers. The bus service would increase drivers’ wages from $37.00 per route to $40.00 per route. This would amount to around a $12,000 increase for the rest of the year. A leave of absence was granted to Jayna Harstad for eight weeks this spring to allow her time to fulfill her student teaching requirements for her ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education) licensure.
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be December 14 at the high school Forum room at 7 p.m.