The Board of Education of Independent School District No. 2683 met in regular session on September 21st, 2015, at 8:25 pm in the Cafeteria at the Greenbush/Middle River School in Middle River, Minnesota.
Board Chair, Shane Kilen called the meeting to order with all board members in attendance. Also present was Supt. Tom Jerome, Principals Eldon Sparby and Sharon Schultz, Amie Westberg, Ryan Bergeron, Lyla Smith, Arlette Pearson, Verna Flaten, Bev Klegstad, Cathy Schenkey, Larry Murphy, Colleen Ness, Kara Wagner, Cooky Kujava, Mark Stromsodt, Brandon Kuznia, William Timm, Sharon Bring, Gary Kiesow, Ann Beito, Mara Gust, Carol Novacek, Martyn Novacek and Dave Thompson.
A motion was made by Joe Melby, seconded by Jeff Nelson and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education approve the agenda of the September 21st, 2015 regular Board Meeting as amended.
A motion was made by Carrie Jo Howard, seconded by Laurie Stromsodt and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education approve the minutes of the preceding regular meeting of August 17th, 2015.
A motion was made by Paul Robinson, seconded by Jeff Nelson, and UC that BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education approve the payment of bills for the month:
Check numbers 31299 – 31413: $259,590.58 and Purchasing Card electronic payments dated August 3rd, 2015 and Electronic Funds Transfers as submitted
The Treasurer’s Report for the month of August was presented and reviewed.
Listening Session Report:
Suggestions and/or concerns:
• Question asked regarding why we are building a building to house 475 students when our enrollment is declining
• Paving parking lot is not a good idea
• What is the cost difference on different sites
• What numbers have we compiled from other school districts
• With this vote, everyone loses”
• Questions and concerns about High School Science
• “Have we heard back from the State with regards to the Application?”
• Concerns about Listening Session format
• Option 1 Costs go to Operating expenses, Option 3 costs go to new building
• Question on comment made by Board member, Paul Robinson
• Need for changes in Listening Session Format
Much discussion was held on Listening Session format with suggestions including taping, more diligence in filling out forms, and more board participation with the actual Listening Session. Concerns included that Board will not be able to engage and discuss with public if all the Board is present.
A motion was made by Laurie Stromsodt, seconded by Paul Robinson, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of District 2683 all attend Listening Session beginning with October 2015 meeting and discuss topics at General Meeting. Joe Melby amended motion to proceed with all board members attending Listening Session beginning with October 2015 meeting and continue this format on a trial basis for the October, 2015 and November, 2015 meetings. Paul Robinson seconded Melby’s motion. Bill review will begin wat 7:00 pm with Listening Session to begin at 7:30 pm with public comment limited to one (1) hour. Vote on original motion: Kilen – Aye, Nelson – Aye, Stromsodt – Aye, Melby – Aye, Robinson – Aye, Stenberg – Aye, Howard – Nay. Vote on amended motion: Kilen – Aye, Nelson – Aye, Stromsodt – Aye, Melby – Aye, Robinson – Aye, Stenberg – Aye, Howard – Nay.
Board member Laurie Stromsodt presented to the board copies of an email that she had received from a community member regarding her position on the upcoming vote. Mrs. Stromsodt had contacted MSBA with regards to this issue and reported that she was told that she is entitled to her own personal opinion on the matter.
Letter from Colleen Ness was presented to the Board with regards to the upcoming vote. Mrs. Ness made a formal request to the Board to not hold the vote on Option 3 in November even if approved by the Minnesota Department of Education. Mrs. Ness also asked to speak to the Board and was informed that if she were allowed to speak, then everyone in attendance at the meeting would also have to be allowed to speak and as such, her request to speak was denied.
Board Chair, Shane Kilen reported that he had been approached by a local co-op manager wondering if the school district is interested in contracting fuel. This manager told Mr. Kilen that his co-op will give $.10 off every gallon of heating fuel purchased. Currently, heating fuel is purchased for each school in the town in which the school is located.
Board member Laurie Stromsodt presented to Board a request from Mark Stromsodt wondering why the Board has not acted on his offer as former Mayor of Middle River of free land to build school in Middle River. Mr. Stromsodt said this offer was made at the Listening Session on July 20th, 2015. Board member Carrie Jo Howard reported that while she understood Mr. Stromsodt to say that as former mayor of Middle River, he felt certain that the City of Middle River would also have land available to build a new school, she did not understand Mr. Stromsodt to indicate this land was free. Furthermore, as “former” mayor, it was not understood that Mr. Stromsodt had the authority to make any offer of land. Both Mr. and Mrs. Stromsodt were insistent that the offer of free land had been made.
• Greenbush/Middle River School District Enrollment
o As of September 4th, 2015: total enrollment is: 399
o Greenbush School: Grades K-5/9-12 = 237
o Middle River School: Grades K-1, 3-5 / 6-8 = 162
o Enrollment in May of 2015 academic year was 419
Greenbush Middle River High School has received ranking as 8th best in the State of Minnesota. Based on Minnesota Department of Education Multiple Measurements Ranking: The Greenbush Middle River High School is 8th best academic achieving High School in the State of Minnesota. Annually, the Minnesota Department of Education evaluates High Schools throughout the state of Minnesota in four categories within the Multiple Measurements Rating System.
o Academic Growth
o Achievement Gap Reduction
o Graduation Rates
Greenbush Middle River School District hosted Open House September 3rd, 2015 from 1:30 – 3:30 pm in each building. The open house was publicized on the radio and in the newspaper. Greenbush Middle River School District hosted 6th Grade Open House on September 1st, 2015 at the Middle River building.
Greenbush Middle River School District Budget to Actual expenditure report:
• As requested by board member, document will be provided on monthly basis
• Budget consists of five (5) fund balances:
o 01 General Fund
o 02 Food Service
o 04 Community Services
o 07 Debt Redemption
o 08 Scholarships
o 09 Student Activities
Border State Bank (Greenbush/Middle River recently donated a large quantity of student school supplies and backpacks. The student school supplies were donated by individuals and collected by Border State Bank. These school supplies are made available to students and distributed to families as needed throughout the year.
Greenbush Middle River School District has been awarded the Rural Education Achievement Program grant. Federal Grant awarded to the Greenbush Middle River School District in the amount of $16,611.00.
Greenbush Middle River School District Staff Workshop was held September 1st – 3rd, 2015. Staff development activities were planned and carried out in preparation of the 2015-2016 school year. Review of district purpose as well as goals for 2015-2016 academic year.
Border State Bank has once again agreed to sponsor a weekly radio news report, which will feature the Greenbush Middle River School District each Tuesday beginning September 8th. The program takes place at approximately 8:30 am on KQ92 and lasts five to seven minutes. This is an opportunity for the Greenbush Middle River School District to discuss, promote and feature our schools, students and district events and accomplishments.
Long Term Facility Maintenance Revenue LTFMR is a product of most recent State of Minnesota legislative session. Districts are eligible for funding for facility maintenance over the next ten years. Revenue is a combination of:
1. Local Levy
2. State share of equalized revenue
Greenbush Middle River ISD is eligible for LTFMR totals for the next ten years.
• Total LTFMR (approximate): $1,473,836.00
• State Equalized Share (approximate): $736,459.08
• Local LTFMR Levy (approximate): $737,376.92
These totals based on Minnesota Department of Education Long Term Facility Maintenance Revenue Projections.
Long Term Facility Maintenance Revenue LTFMR Factors in general are based on:
• Land Values
• Age of building (s)
Long Term Facility Maintenance 10-year plan
• Must be reviewed, approved by School Board and submitted to Minnesota Department of Education every two years
• Revenue may be carried over / built up
• Plan may be modified as needed on a situational basis
Minnesota Department of Education designates the Greenbush Elementary School as a REWARD School.
• Based on Multiple Measurements Ratings System
• REWARD Schools are categorized as Top 15% academically achieving schools in Minnesota
• Approximately 720 elementary schools in Minnesota are Title 1 elementary schools and eligible for designation
• REWARD Schools are the top 15% academic performing public schools that demonstrate exemplary academic achievements in the following areas:
o State exam proficiency
o Student Growth
o Closing of achievement gap
Minnesota Department of Education designates the Middle River Elementary School as a Celebration Eligible School
• Based on Multiple Measurements Ratings System
• Celebration Eligible Schools are categorized as next 25% academically achieving schools in Minnesota immediately below the REWARD status schools.
2015-2017 Certified Staff Master Agreement – The Greenbush Middle River Education Association has reviewed and ratified tentative 2015-2017 Master Agreement. Upon official board action, tentative agreement will become ratified.
Greenbush Middle River School District Seniority and Teacher Certification List has been presented to staff and board for review/approval. Board will be asked to certify during October board meeting.
Greenbush Middle River School District ACT Test Results
• 2015 Graduation Year
o Minnesota State Average: 22.7
o GMR Student Average: 22.9
• Percent of ACT-Tested Students Ready for College-Level Coursework
o Minnesota State Average: 39%
o GMR Student Average: 43%
Land has been offered to the Greenbush Middle River School District in the City of Middle River by David J. and Karleen M. Thompson for the sole purpose of building a new school. Upon a motion by Laurie Stromsodt, seconded by Jeff Nelson and UC, this offer was accepted and will be forwarded to JLG for inclusion in the recent application to the Minnesota Department of Education to build a new k-12 school building in the Greenbush Middle River School District.
New Tax Impact Calculator is available beginning September 22nd to compute potential tax increase district wide. This calculator is available on the Greenbush Middle River School District website. On September 17, 2015, Roseau County Auditor reported that tax calculation of 6.7 times existing tax is not correct in all situations. Board and audience were encouraged to visit and use this new tax calculator. Information needed to complete calculation includes parcel # only. This information is available on taxpayer’s tax statement or by visiting their county’s website.
• Principal Schultz
o Annual Curriculum Report
• Principal Sparby
o Coaching Assignments 2015 – 2016 – Still in need of two basketball coaches. Kaley Heggedal has agreed to take one of the girls basketball coaching positions and John Lee has agreed to take the Assistant Coaching position for track.
o For upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences, early dismissal may be needed.
o New Pre-School student may need Para
o Requirements for teaching College in the High School changing
A motion was made by Paul Robinson, seconded by Kurt Stenberg, and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of District 2683 approve the hiring of Denise Allen, as a bus driver.
A motion was made by Carrie Jo Howard, seconded by Joe Melby, and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education 2683 certify the 2015 payable 2016 levy at the MAXIMUM amount.
A motion was made by Carrie Jo Howard, seconded by Laurie Stromsodt, and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of District 2683 approve the hiring of Charlotte Berns as a paraprofessional.
A motion was made by Kurt Stenberg, seconded by Laurie Stromsodt, and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education 2683 accept the resignation of Joey Novacek as a bus driver.
A motion was made by Joe Melby, seconded by Laurie Stromsodt, and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education 2683 approve the Long Term Facility Maintenance 10 year plan as presented.
A motion was made by Carrie Jo Howard, seconded by Joe Melby, and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education 2683 approve the Master Contract for certified staff for the 2015 – 2017 school years.
A motion was made by Paul Robinson, seconded by Laurie Stromsodt, and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education 2683 accept the following donations:
Anonymous donation for school supplies $30.00
Carrie Jo Howard made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Joe Melby and UC.
UPCOMING DATES: Regular School Board Meeting – October 19th, 2015 at Greenbush. Listening Session to begin at 7:30 pm with Board Meeting to follow not later than 8:30 pm.
Carrie Jo Howard, Clerk
(November 11, 2015)