11/5/20 Business Meeting
The following is an informal summary of the meeting.
The board voted to amend the meeting agenda to add a closed session pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 13D.05, subdivision 3(b), to engage in discussions with the School Board’s legal counsel related to litigation in the case of Hoheisel vs ISD 834, et al., Court File No. 82-CV-20-1882. The Board of Directors seeks legal advice on the status of the matter, alleged claims against the District, the District Attorney’s analysis of the same, and the District’s options for responding to such claims.
At the beginning of the meeting the school board recognized high school coaches and athletic teams for successful completion of a highly unusual fall sports season.
Report for Information: Youth Services Bureau Services
Mike Huntley, the interim executive director of the Youth Services Bureau (YSB), provided an update to the board on the many services YSB provides to the district every year. In 2019, YSB provided more than 600 students across the district with diversion programs and mental and chemical health support. YSB provides services to students at their locations as well as through school-based programs.
Report for Information: Learning Models
Last week school districts received new guidance and updates to the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). Prior to making changes in learning models, MDE has advised districts to evaluate very specific, localized data to better understand how community rates of COVID-19 cases impact the local schools. During the meeting district leaders shared the latest COVID trend data for the county, the school district, and specific school buildings. Based on the rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates in the community administration recommended moving secondary schools into distance learning beginning Nov. 16. With daily case rates showing a continued upward trend, district leaders will also closely watch data in coming days to determine if a move to distance learning is also necessary for elementary schools. (See action item below).
Report for Information: Contract Reviews - October 16, 2020 - October 29, 2020
School board members reviewed recent contracts for goods and services equaling less than $50,000.
Action Item: District Learning Model
School board members approved a motion 5-2 to move middle and high school students into distance learning and keep athletics and activities operating as scheduled. The first day of distance learning will be Monday, Nov. 16. Students in grades 6-12 will have no school on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 11 and 12 as those days will be used as transition days to allow teachers to plan for distance learning. There will also be no school for all students on Friday, Nov. 13 as this was already scheduled as a grading day for teachers.
Elementary students (preK- grade 5) will remain in hybrid learning at this time, as will several specialized programs at the secondary level including our site-based Special Education programs, the Bridge Transition program and the St. Croix Valley Area Learning Center.
Action Item: In Person Board Meeting Options
School board members approved a motion 6-1 to continue holding school board meetings virtually at this time.
Action Item: CESO Contract for Services
The school board approved a contract 5-1 (1 member abstained) with CESO for outsourcing of Transportation Management Services. The three-year contract will cost the district $15,415 per month, or $184,980 annually. As a result of this change the district will have an increased level of transportation staffing, while experiencing a reduction in cost of approximately $19,000 annually (an estimated $47,500 over the term of the contract), as compared to our current transportation staffing costs.
Action Item: Firewall Replacement
The school board unanimously approved replacement of the district’s firewall equipment at a cost of $117,550 with 3 year licensing. Annual costs after year 3 are expected to be approximately $24,090.