Greenbush Middle River (MN) School Board Proceedings (September 16, 2019)
GREENBUSH MIDDLE RIVER SCHOOL
INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT 2683
September 16, 2019
7:30 PM (Greenbush Middle River School Library)
1. Call to Order at 7:31 p.m.
2. Roll Call
2. 1. Board Members Present:
Carrie Jo Howard, Shane Kilen, Brandon Kuznia, Joseph Melby, Alison Harder, Kurt Stenberg, Laurie Stromsodt
2. 2. Administration:
Supt. Larry Guggisberg, Principal Sharon Schultz, Amie Westberg
2. 3. Also Present: Mara Gust, Susan Lieberg, Arlette Pearson, Tina Taus, Ryan Bergeron, Cooky Kujava, Andrew David McCormick, Dan Taus
3. Listening Session
4. Recommendation to add items to the agenda from Board members or school Administrators
5. Approval of Agenda
5. 1. A motion was made by Carrie Jo Howaqrd, seconded by Laurie Stromsodt to approve the agenda of the September 16, 2019 Regular Board Meeting as presented.
6. Approval of Minutes
6. 1. A motion was made by Carrie Jo Howard, seconded by Allison Harder to approve the minutes of the preceding regular meeting of August 19, 2019.
7. Business Services
7. 1. Approval of Bills based on review by the Audit Committee (S. Kilen & L. Stromsodt)
A motion was made by Laurie Stromsodt, seconded by Carrie Jo Howard to approve the payment of bills check #36462 through check #36537 for a total of $141,887.82 and Purchasing Card electronic payments dated August 6, 2019 and Electronic Funds Transfers as submitted.
7. 2. Business Services Report
7. 3. Greenbush Middle River School District Budget to Actual Expenditure Report (as previously requested by board member to provide on monthly basis).
8. Significant School Events and Communication:
8. 1. Board acceptance of donations to the School.
A motion was made by Laurie Stromsodt, seconded by Kurt Stenberg, to accept the following donation(s).
Thomas & Leatrice Kujava to Greenbush Middle River School in memory
of Theresa Novack $25.00
FM Area Foundation (from Irving & Lillian Christian Endowment) to Greenbush iddle River School for softball scoreboard purchase $2,620.00
Greenbush American Legion Post 88 to GMR School for CLOSE UP program $2,500.00 Greenbush American Legion Post 88 to GMR Clay Busters/Trap Team $2,000.00
Greenbush American Legion Post 88 to GMR First Robotics $2,302.00
Greenbush American Legion Post 88 to GMR Post Prom (Jr. Class) $250.00
8. 2. Dates for T.V. broadcast of “Small Town Robot” on Public TV
Dates for T.V. broadcast of “Small Town Robot” on Public TV Lakeland Prime (KAWE DT):
Thursday, October 10th at 7:30 pm
Saturday, October 12th at 8:30 pm
9. Old Business
9. 1. School Board Policy up-dates.
excerpt from August 19, 2019 School Board meeting.
School Board consideration towards up-dating School Board Policies as recommended by Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA)
A policy manual is recognized as the primary and most efficient way for the School Board to provide administrators, employees, students, parents, taxpayers and members of the entire school district community notice of the School Board’s beliefs and goals and methods of achieving those beliefs and goals.
The impetus for school board policy development or change may come from a variety of sources. It may be triggered because of a change in the law, a change in school district practice, or a change in school board philosophy.
School Board policies can be specific to each school district and a number of school board policies are mandatory and are necessary to meet the requirements of state or federal law.
After recent review of the current Board Policy manual available, it appears the District’s Policy manual is in need of up-dating. The MN School Boards Association provides a policy service to school districts and recommends adoption of policies that are changed due to eg: Legislative changes, new rules or regulations, case law or best practice. Policies may be: (1) new; (2) Legislative and recommended changes; or (3) non-substantive changes or minor corrections.
MSBA Policy Services is a joint effort of the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) and the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA). The Policy Service is a comprehensive legal guide to be used in the efficient management of all aspects of the school system. The law firm of Knutson, Flynn & Deans did the legal work for this service. All model policies have been carefully examined by the law firm to insure compliance with federal and Minnesota laws.
MSBA Policy Services began in 1995 and currently has more than 370 members. Each year subscribers will receive policy newsletter(s) and additional new or revised policies. All policies, administrative regulations, exhibits, and forms are numbered and organized by general categories. Every year the model policies will be reviewed and updated to reflect any changes by legislation or court decisions. Whenever a policy is updated, those changes will be part of the District’s Policy Manual.
Most school districts do not have the time and personnel to develop a comprehensive policy manual. In addition, school districts would require substantial legal assistance to develop policies on their own. MSBA believes school district’s enrolling in their Policy Services program is much more cost effective for school districts than policies developed and revised by their own legal counsel.
– Supt. research and post required or Mandated Policies (sample currently on GMR website. Go to: ADMINISTRATION tab… scroll down to School District Policy Manual and “click” Series 100)
– Legal Counsel review Mandated Policies which require alteration based on the size of GMR (Administrative) staffing
– Board approval (en masse, Board member review Annual Policies as per MSBA)
9. 2. Required & Elective courses within the GMR Master Schedule
Principal Schultz and Susan Lieberg to report to the Board Required & Elective courses within the GMR High School Master Schedule.
10. New Business:
10. 1. Approve employment of Special Education Para Professional.
Suggested Board Action: Motion by Kurt Stenberg and seconded by Laurie Stromsodt to approve employment of Ms. Hayley Olson as a Para Professional.
10. 2. Approve employment of Special Education Para Professional.
Suggested Board Action: Motion by Carrie Jo Howard and seconded by Brandon Kuznia to approve employment of Ms. Jerri Puttbrese as a Para Professional.
10. 3. Approve employment of Special Education Para Professional.
Suggested Board Action: Motion by Laurie Stromsodt and seconded by Kurt Stenberg to approve employment of Ms. Diane Wallace as a Para Professional.
10. 4. Approve employment of Special Education Para Professional.
Suggested Board Action: Motion by Laurie Stromsodt and seconded by Allison Harder to approve employment of Ms. Michelle Weber as a Para Professional.
10. 5. Approve employment of Long Term Substitute Food Service staff member
Suggested Board Action: Motion by Carrie Jo Howard and seconded by Allison Harder to approve employment of Ms. Debra Wiskow as a Part Time Food Service worker.
10. 6. Approve Employee Agreement developed by Legal Counsel for a licensed Teacher to supervise a [Kindergarten] student teacher.
Approve Employee Agreement developed by Legal Counsel for a licensed Teacher to supervise a [Kindergarten] student teacher from August 30 thru December 13, 2019. The District expects Ms. Hultgren to sign the Agreement and GMR Education Association has indicated they would sign the Agreement also.
Suggested Board Action: Motion by Kurt Stenberg and seconded by Brandon Kuznia to approve Employment between Ms. Liz Hultgren and the GMR School District for supervising a [Kindergarten] student teacher from August 30 thru December 13, 2019 conditional with signature from Ms. Hultgren and GMR Education Association.
10. 7. Certification of 2019 Pay 2020 Preliminary School Tax Levy
The Truth-in-Taxation calendar indicated below refers to taxes levied in 2019 and payable in 2020 for use in the 2020-2021 school [budget/fiscal] year.
Between Sept. 8 – Oct. 7: School board members review and approve the proposed tax levy and send the certified levy to the [Home] County Auditor.
Nov. 24: Deadline for the County Auditor to mail a parcel-specific notice to each property owner in the GMR School District service area.
Dec.16: GMR School Board includes as a regular School Board agenda item, the Payable 2020 School Tax levy and adopts the levy during its Regular meeting. The certified levy is sent to the [Home] County Auditor.
On or before January 7, 2020: The certified levy is sent to the Department of Education. The certificate of Truth-in-Taxation is sent to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Because of the 2001 Tax Law Changes, the local levy effort for supporting school programming changed. In the 2001 legislative session, the basic general education levy was repealed and replaced with state education aid. As a result, local Levy authority is pretty much limited to areas such as Health & Safety, Crime Levy, Community Education (eg: School Readiness and Early Childhood Family Education).
As a result of the 2005 legislative session, new Levy authority exists for:  for “Q-Comp” or “Pro-Comp”, a new teacher compensation program. To receive the Q-Comp levy authority, (a combination local levy and state aid revenue), school leaders and the local Teacher Association must design and negotiate compensation plans that include a pay-for-performance component. The provision allows Districts and their Teacher Association to develop their own plans and encourages reforms in the
longevity (education-based steps-and-lanes system). The law requires the negotiated alternative pay plan be approved by the Commissioner of Education. The law prevents lowering teacher salaries from current levels. In 2011-2012, 50 Minnesota public school districts (out of 339) and 54 charter schools implemented Q-Comp programs or have been approved to implement Q-Comp. There are no area schools or schools in NW MN that have advanced towards adoption of Q-Comp.
Exhibit 10.7.3 School Tax levy Payable in 2018 – $497,220.46
Exhibit 10.7.2 School Tax levy Payable in 2019 – $425,047.02
Exhibit 10.7.1 PROPOSED School Tax Levy Payable in 2020 – $489,979.13
A motion was made by Carrie Jo Howard, seconded by Brandon Kuznia, to certify the 2019 payable 2020 school tax levy for the “MAXIMUM” amount.
Note 1 The specific dates and timeline are established by the MN Dept. of Revenue
Note 2 Source(s): MN Dept. of Education & MN Department of Revenue
Note 3 As per statute, Board meetings containing a Truth-in-Taxation agenda item cannot begin prior to 6:00 pm.
10. 8. Principal report on Student Achievement
Principal Schultz will provide a report on student achievement to the Board.
10. 9. Board Approval to dispose of obsolete equipment and materials.
Effective use of school building space (eg: storage availability) will at times require disposal of obsolete equipment and material(s). Program supervisors have developed a list of items to dispose. Protocol for disposal of obsolete equipment and materials will largely follow the model MSBA Policy  for disposal of obsolete equipment and materials.
Suggested Board Action: Motion by Kurt Stenberg and seconded by Allison Harder to approve disposal of obsolete equipment and materials in accordance with MSBA Policy for disposal of obsolete equipment and materials.
10. 10. Purchase a School Van (Type III Vehicle) to replace an existing “aged out” vehicle.
There are various categories for School vehicles. We are most familiar with the big yellow School Buses which require a special school bus driver license or endorsement. School buses can be in service as long as they meet an annual State of MN Department of Transportation safety inspection.
Type III school buses and Type III Head Start buses are restricted to passenger cars, station wagons, vans, and buses having a maximum manufacturer’s rated seating capacity of 10 or fewer people, including the driver. A special special school bus driver license or endorsement is not required, however, a person (eg: Coach or Activity Advisor) using a Type III vehicle to transport students must go thru training prior to use. NOTE: GMR Type III training is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.
Type III vehicles “age out” after 12 years as per MN Statute. GMR has two (2) Type III vehicles that can be used for transporting students, both “age out” in February 2020. For that reason, the District has been looking into replacing both vehicles in 2019-2020.
About a month ago the District received a bid for a used (2018) passenger van for a cost between $27,000 – $33,000 depending on mileage. The exact same van (however new) is available thru the NW Service Cooperative’s purchasing program for $27,033. If the District is required to take a Type III vehicle out of service in February 2020, the purchase of a vehicle thru the NW Service Cooperative’s purchasing program is the best value (price, warranty) for the District.
As far as the “other” Type III vehicle that is “aging out” in February 2020. The District is exploring options for a [smaller] Type III vehicle that can be used for transporting students and be used by staff when traveling to meetings.
Suggested Board Action: Motion by Brandon Kuznia and seconded by Allison Harder to approve the purchase of a Type III school vehicle thru the NW Service Cooperative’s purchasing program for $27,033.05
11. Reports and Communication
11. 1. Status of negotiations with GMR Education Association
To-date, two (2) meetings have been held between Teacher and Board Negotiations representatives. Meetings have been positive and held in a business-like manner. Language proposals were presented to the Board by the Teachers and have been reviewed, clarified and discussed. Time has been spent on reviewing and discussing negotiation proposals within the context of a total package settlement. Time and discussion has also been spent on comparing GMR to Schools Our Size (SOS).
The next meeting will occur after the Supt. of Schools obtains Negotiations Planning & Costing Model software from the vendor previously used by the GMR School for Teacher negotiations.
11. 2. Greenbush Middle River School District K-12 enrollment (as of September 12, 2019)
11. 3. School District Audit(s)
Public School Districts are subject to program inspection and / or financial auditing.
The Certified Public Accounting Firm of Eide Bailly will perform a financial of the GMR School District’s financial affairs Sept. 24-27.
NOTE: A Food Service Audit by the MN. Dept. of Education previously scheduled for the 2019-2020 school year has been re-scheduled to a future school year.
11. 4. Border State Bank / KQ 92 Greenbush Middle River School District Weekly Radio Program.
Border State Bank has once again agreed to sponsor a radio news report, which will feature and promote the Greenbush Middle River School District once a week (Tuesdays). KQ 92 (Warroad) will positively feature the Greenbush Middle River School District every Tuesday at approximately 8:35 a.m. The Border State Bank sponsored KQ 92 radio program provides the GMR District the opportunity to discuss, promote and feature our school district, students, district accomplishments and events. Supt. Guggisberg will be on-air in September. Principal Schultz will be on-air in early October.
11. 5. Legal update as it relates to petition by Middle River Annexation Property Owners Group
– The GMR District Attorney filed a motion to dismiss the pending detachment and annexation lawsuit in Roseau County Court on or about July 26;
– The Petitioners’ (Middle River Annexation Group) submitted a brief in opposition of the dismissal on August 12;
– A hearing was held in Roseau County Court on Aug. 27 at 10:00 a.m.;
– On August 30, 2019, Judge Donna Dixon declined to dismiss the lawsuit at this stage. Judge Dixon determined she would like to have more information before deciding the case and that she is going to allow for some limited discovery [gathering of information]. She scheduled a conference call with plaintiff (MR Annexation Group) and defendant (GMR School District) attorneys on September 12 to discuss the scope of discovery and discovery deadlines;
– On September 12, the Judge, plaintiff and defendant attorneys held a conference call. The Judge is seeking additional information (also known as “discovery”) and provided a general timeline to attain discovery information. The timeline for additional discovery information will be February 1, 2020. A scheduling conference is scheduled for April 6, 2020. Full discovery must be completed by May 1, 2020. Motion(s) to dismiss the lawsuit are due by June 5, 2020.
– After that, we wait for a decision from the Court. If the motion to dismiss the lawsuit is not granted a court date will take place in early October 2020.
11. 6. Community Education programming
Community Education programming in GMR has diminished in the past two years for various reasons. The District intends to improve its efforts in Community Education programming using Community Education funding obtained from State funding and local levies.
Com. Ed. can support and offer various Adult and Youth enrichment classes or cooperate with other groups to offer classes such as:
1st Aid [LifeCare]
CPR [LifeCare EMTs]
55 Alive (Mature Driving Course) [AARP];
Basics of Baby-sitting [Women of Today];
ATV Safety [MN DNR];
Snowmobile Safety [MN DNR with local instructors];
Gun Training [MN DNR with local instructors];
Com. Ed. programming includes:
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)
Board Motion: Moved by Carrie Jo Howard and seconded by Laurie Stromsodt to adjourn the meeting.
13. Calendar of Events to note:
College Fair for Juniors and Seniors in Thief River Falls – September 16, 2019
Regional advocacy effort for K-12 Public Education in preparation for the 2020 Legislative session.
MREA – Thief River Falls on Sept. 17, 2019 7:00- 9:00 pm
School District Financial Audit – September 24-27
Picture Day – September 26
Volleyball “Dig Pink” Breast Cancer Awareness – October 1
Homecoming events and activities – Oct. 5 – 10
Career Fair for Juniors and Seniors in Roseau – October 15
Fall Teacher Conference (MEA) – October 17-18
October regular School Board meeting – October 21
Veteran’s Day program – November 11
Minnesota Rural Education Annual State Conference – November 17-19 (First Robotics presenting on November 17)
GMR Target Team annual Blood Drive – November 20
After Board meeting adjourns: [optional] School Board walking tour to view the new Dust Collection System in Industrial Technology classroom.
(October 30, 2019)