1/6/22 Organizational Meeting
School Board Meeting Notes
At the start of the meeting the board elected new officers: Alison Sherman, chair; Katie Hockert, vice chair; Annie Porbeni, clerk; and Bev Petrie, treasurer.
Action Item: Resolution Delegating Contract Authority
The board voted 6-1 to approve a resolution authorizing administration to contract for budgeted items not to exceed $100,000. The previous authority was not to exceed $50,000. Minnesota statute states that the board may authorize its superintendent or designee to lease, purchase, and contract for goods and services within the board-approved budget. The current statutory limit on the delegated contracting authority is $175,000 and boards have discretion to set the limit at a lower amount if they so choose.
Action Item: Oak Park Learning Center
Board members voted 6-1 to endorse a multi-phase plan to renovate learning spaces within the Oak Park Building for students in the Bridge Transition 18-21 program and the St. Croix Valley Area Learning (ALC). The board approved a budget of up to $3.8 million for Phase 1 of the project, which will focus on the Transitions remodel. This work is expected to begin this summer. They also asked for more information related to the budget and design for Phase 2, which would renovate space for the ALC and shared spaces such as the lunchroom and gymnasium. They expect to take action on Phase 2 at a future meeting. The projects will be funded through a combination of long-term facility maintenance and capital outlay funds and would not impact the district’s general operating budget.
Action Item: Policy 514 – Bullying Prohibition Policy
School board members voted 7-0 to approve policy 514: Bullying Prohibition.
Action Item: Establish 2022 Calendar of Meetings
The board voted 7-0 to approve its meeting calendar for 2022. Watch for the calendar to be posted online.
Action Item: Establish 2022 Board Member Salaries
School board members voted 7-0 to approve their salaries for 2022 at the current rate. Each elected school board member receives an annual salary of $4,750. The elected board chair receives an additional $500 for a total annual salary amount of $5,250.
Action Item: RFP for Superintendent Search
Board members voted 6-1 to award a contract to Minnesota School Board Association(MSBA) to conduct a superintendent search.
Report for Information: COVID 19 Mitigation Update
The school board reviewed recent data related to COVID-19 cases in our community and discussed the current masking requirements in our schools. Per a resolution approved earlier this year the board must revisit the masking requirement prior to the start of each quarter. Administration will continue to monitor COVID case rates and the board will re-evaluate any changes to the masking requirements at the January 20 meeting - prior to the start of Semester 2 on January 25.
Report for Information: Legislative Platform
During the meeting the board discussed several priorities for its 2022 Legislative Platform. Each year the board approves a legislative platform, which members share with local legislators to express needs within the school district. Priorities for this year include:
Linking the basic formula to inflation to provide a reliable and predictable funding stream.
Increasing special education and English learner (EL) funding to reduce shortfalls.
Lifting the Safe Schools levy cap and/or providing additional funding to allow districts to hire additional support staff to address the safety and mental health needs of students.
Resisting enacting new unfunded or underfunded mandates.
Removing barriers and providing incentives to allow districts to address the shortage of teachers, substitute teachers, school bus drivers, paraprofessionals and other staff.
Providing districts the flexibility to adapt learning environments for positive student outcomes and the ability to make decisions based on local needs.
The school board is expected to adopt a legislative platform at a future meeting.
Report for Information: 2022-23 District Calendar
School board members reviewed two proposed calendars for the 2022-2023 school year (view Option 1 and Option 2). The calendars were created by a committee of parents, staff, teachers, and administrators and was based on feedback gathered by the community. Both options would start school before Labor Day on August 29. Option 1 would have a shorter winter break and end the school year on June 2. Option 2 extends winter break for a full two weeks and ends the school year on June 7. The calendar is expected to come back before the board as an action item at its January 20 meeting.
Report for Information: First Reading Policy 201.1 Board Purpose
School board members reviewed policy 201.1 Board Purpose as part of a first reading. The policy will come back for a second reading at a future meeting.
Report for Information: Second Reading Policy 204 – School Board Meeting Minutes
School board members reviewed policy 204 – School Board Meeting Minutes as part of a second reading. The policy will come back for a final reading at a future meeting.
Report for Information: School Board Committee Assignments and Working Groups 2022-23
Board members discussed committee assignments for the coming year, and will vote to approve those assignments at a future meeting. Board members serve as representatives to various groups that support the district, like Northeast Metro 916 and the Minnesota State High School League. Members also serve on working groups in the areas of finance and operations, legislative, policy and personnel.