The Board of Education of Independent School District No. 2683 met in regular session on January 25th, 2016, at 7:36 pm in the Library at the Greenbush/Middle River School in Middle River, Minnesota.
Supt. Tom Jerome called the meeting to order with all board members in attendance. Also present was Supt. Tom Jerome, Principals Eldon Sparby and Sharon Schultz, Ryan Bergeron, Arlette Pearson, Verna Flaten, Cooky Kujava, Terry Howard, Mara Gust, Ashley Benke, Adam Benke, Dawn Benke, Nancy Olson, Cathy Schenkey, Debra Ness, Molly Rustad, Lisa Berg, Dave Thompson, Joel Howard, Luke Novacek, Brandon Kuznia, Tom Super, Dade Melby, Shannon Zak, Gage Zak, Mark Stromsodt, Barb Geer, Nathan Westlund, Hanna Westlund, Elroy Aune and Kara Wagner.
Supt. Tom Jerome asked for nominations for Board Chair. Laurie Stromsodt nominated Joe Melby and Carrie Jo Howard nominated Shane Kilen. Vote was taken with all members voting for Kilen except Stromsodt who voted for Melby.
Board Chair Shane Kilen then asked for nominations for Vice Chair. Laurie Stromsodt nominated Joe Melby and Carrie Jo Howard nominated Jeff Nelson. Vote found Nelson with four votes, Melby three votes.
Board Chair Shane Kilen asked for nominations for Clerk. Laurie Stromsodt nominated Carrie Jo Howard. With no other nominations, Howard was named Clerk.
Board Chair Shane Kilen asked for nominations for Treasurer. Laurie Stromsodt nominated Joe Melby and Carrie Jo Howard nominated Paul Robinson. Vote found Melby with four votes, Robinson three votes.
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 Greenbush Middle River School District committee assignments as listed:
Board Committee 2016 2016
MSHSL Kilen Kilen NWRIC Stromsodt, Howard, Alt. Stromsodt, Howard, Alt. MSBA Robinson Robinson Certified Negotiations Nelson, Melby, Howard Nelson, Melby, Howard
Principal Negotiations Robinson, Howard, Kilen Robinson, Howard, Kilen
Support Staff Melby, Howard, Stromsodt Melby, Howard, Stromsodt
Building & Grounds Robinson, Nelson, Kilen Robinson, Nelson, Kilen
Sports Board Representatives Melby, Stromsodt, Robinson Melby, Stromsodt, Robinson
Howard Howard Meet & Confer Representatives Kilen, Stromsodt, Nelson Kilen, Stromsodt, Nelson
Technology Committee Stromsodt, Stenberg, Kilen Stromsodt, Stenberg, Kilen
A motion was made by Paul Robinson, seconded by Joe Melby and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education approve the agenda of the January 25th, 2016 regular Board Meeting as amended.
A motion was made by Carrie Jo Howard, seconded by Paul Robinson and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education approve the minutes of the preceding regular meeting of December 21st, 2015.
A motion was made by Kurt Stenberg, seconded by Laurie Stromsodt and UC that BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education approve the payment of bills for the month:
Check numbers 31758 – 31863: $258,708.86 and Purchasing Card electronic payments dated December 4th, 2015 and Electronic Funds Transfers as submitted
The Treasurer’s Report for the month of December was presented and reviewed.
Listening Session Report: The Listening Session was held immediately preceding the regular board meeting with all board members in attendance.
Suggestions and/or concerns:
• Why aren’t the Minutes on the school’s website? They have been for several months
• Could District Expenditures also be put on the school’s website?
• Could Monthly Board of Director’s meeting Agenda be put on the website?
• Community member brought up that a Committee should be formed with members of both communities, with diverse backgrounds to look at the future of GMR. Community member stated that he brought this up two months ago and is wondering where we are with it. Discussion was later held by Board and plans were put in place to form Committee.
• Community member thanked each Board member and member of Administration for the hard work they have done and continue to do.
Principal Schultz along with Greenbush Middle River Middle School students gave a Presentation on “Coding”, allowing each Board member to see first-hand the different applications our students learn with coding.
Luke Novacek gave presentation on Greenbush Middle River High School Clay Target League. He reported on the popularity of the sport along with giving a report on the successes of GMR’s Team. Comments state-wide were made with regards to how respectful our Team is.
• Greenbush/Middle River School District Enrollment
o As of December 14th, 2015: total enrollment is: 409
o Greenbush School: Grades K-5/9-12 = 244
o Middle River School: Grades K-1, 3-5 / 6-8 = 165
o Enrollment in May of 2014 academic year was 419
Discussion was held on Building and Grounds as well as capital issues. Further discussion was held regarding “Committee” being formed as requested by Board member, Stromsodt. Each Board Member is asked to bring four names of community members to Supt. Jerome by February 19th of individuals they feel could serve on this Committee. Committee will consist of two community members from each Greenbush, Strathcona and Middle River along with six staff members, administration and Board Members. The purpose of the Committee is to discuss what Options are available to our school district.
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
Upon inspection by Simplex, it has been determined that “Fire Panel” located at the Greenbush location needs to be replaced. Fire panel is “old” and many replacement parts are no longer available or in production according to Simplex. Replacement will also require electrical work/upgrades. Simplex Grinnell bid: $12,985.00, Electrical bid: $16,720.00 – $19,870.00
Northwest Service Coop Administrator’s Forum will be held January 27th in Bemidji. Supt. Jerome will attend. Topics covered include: “Office of Civil Rights and Your District”, “What Actually Happens in Conference Committee???” & “Legislative Update” and “We’re Listening : Early Learning in Minnesota”.
Minnesota School Board Association Conference was held January 14th – 15th in Minneapolis. Board Members Melby and Robinson as well as Supt. Jerome attended conference.
Greenbush Middle River School District currently has one section of 4th grade students. Students are currently attending school at Greenbush site. Decision regarding placement of 5th grade students next year must take place this spring.
FIRST Robotics Kickoff was January 9th. Build season is January 9th – February 23rd. FIRST Robotics team will have six weeks to design and build robot to meet specifications of competition. Greenbush Middle River School District FIRST Robotics Team is scheduled to compete in two regional competitions.
Advisor of FIRST Robotics program is Mary Anderson. Current number of student participants in FIRST Robotics Team #5172 is 44 which is comprised of seven 9th grade students, 11 10th grade students, 11 11th grade students and 15 12th grade students.
Greenbush Middle River School Board Member Training is offered through Minnesota School Board Association. MSBA offers Phase I, Phase II and Phase III training for all board members as well as officer training. Phase II training will not be offered by MSBA until August of 2016. Upcoming MSBA School Board Member Training Opportunities include: Workshop held in Maple Grove, Bemidji and St. Cloud. Workshop Topics Include: Statutory Duties of Board Officers, The Open Meeting Law & Other Questions Frequently Asked, as well as break-out sessions for Board Chair, Clerk and Treasurer. Kilen, Howard and Melby to attend training to be held in Bemidji on February 19th. MSBA will also offer training for school boards as a whole. Supt. Jerome was directed to look into what training the Board could utilize from MSBA.
During the 2015-2016 academic school year, the Greenbush Middle River School District has offered courses for college credits utilizing existing staff within our district that met criteria. Classes taught by Greenbush Middle River High School Instructors for College Credit include:
o College Trigonometry Mrs. Kern
o Intro to Computer Tech Mrs. Gust
o Introduction to Literature Mrs. Dahl
o Biological Principles Mr. Stromlund
o Calculus I Mrs. Kern
o Public Speaking Mrs. Dahl
Online College in the High School course offerings allow GMR students to remain enrolled as a student and earn dual High School and College credits “online” through various colleges in Minnesota. Students during the 2015-2016 academic year have enrolled in eleven Online College in the High School courses through Normandale Community College, Alexandria Technical & Community College, Northwest Technical College, Northland Community & Technical College. Online College in the High School Courses include: Fall: Cultural Anthropology – 3 students, General Psychology – 5 students, Intro to Philosophy – 3 students, Critical Thinking in Society – 1 student, Medical Terminology – 1 student. Spring Semester: Intro to Web Concepts – 3 students, CAD – 1 student, Consumer Economics – 1 student, Medical Terminology – 5 students, LifeSpan Psychology – 2 students, Abnormal Psychology – 1 student, Social Problems – 8 students.
Report was given by Administration and Board Members attending recent Technology Committee Meeting. Great concern was shared regarding how behind Greenbush Middle River School District is with regards to technology. Discussed Chrome Books and the need for them along with Staff Development for Technology.
Supt. Jerome reported that a breakdown of capital requests as submitted by staff will be presented in the very near future. At that time, Supt. Jerome will call for a Committee to work on prioritizing needs and wants.
Supt. Jerome, acting on a Board Member’s request, is in the process of exploring possible transition to a paperless board meeting. One option would be BoardBook which is a web-based software application that streamlines the distribution and publishing of agenda packets for board meetings. Benefits of BoardBook include: easy distribution, less paper waste, research past meetings in a matter of seconds. BoardBook is available by annual subscription. There is no software to install or cost to set up. Once you agree to a signed subscription, service will be activated.
Principal Sparby successfully acquired a grant from Flint Hills Resources and Science Museum of Minnesota. Greenbush Middle River 4th and 5th Grade Students will be transported by charter bus to Science Museum of Minnesota March 10th & 11th and will “camp in” overnight. Teachers and students as well as additional chaperones will participate.
Mr. Chad Stromlund has begun teaching science with supervision of Mrs. Susan Lieberg until his variance is approved.
Greenbush Middle River Revised Budget Update will be presented at February’s regular Board Meeting.
A request has been made to begin audio taping all Greenbush Middle River Board Meetings. This process will begin at February’s regular Board Meeting.
Possible reductions will be presented at February’s regular Board Meeting. Administration has been in discussion and researching possible areas were reductions can be made due to projected shortfall in budget. Supt. Jerome presented the following possible areas for reduction: Support Staff – No room to cut; Bus Routes – No room to cut; Food Services is currently already being minimally staffed; Reduce classroom expenditures; Reduce extra-curricular activities; possible retirements which would cause reductions through attrition; Combine classes – current 2nd grade very small as is the projected Kindergarten class. Supt. Jerome reported that the Legislative Session and its actions are still pending. Board will need to determine if Administration will be directed to balance the budget.
• Principal Schultz
o Regional Staff Development Day – Educational Technology Tools – Jan. 18th in Thief River Falls
o FCCLA Mid-Winter Conference – 10 students attending
• Principal Sparby
o Triple A Award banquet and local recognition on February 10th – Game Presentation of Triple A Winners, Julie Stenberg and Nick Kaml to be held on February 11th.
o “Design Crew”
o Minnesota Science Museum will hold school presentation on March 8th – Science Matters
A motion was made by Kurt Stenberg, seconded by Joe Melby, and UC that, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education 2683 accept the following donations:
Anonymous to Jr. Class Prom $ 100.00
Digi-Key to Greenbush Middle River School District (Music) $ 500.00 Carrie Jo Howard made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Joe Melby and UC.
Regular School Board Meeting : February 29th with Listening Session to begin at 7:30 pm. Bill Review will take place at 7:00 pm.
Carrie Jo Howard, Clerk
(March 23, 2016)