12/17/20 Business Meeting
This is an informal summary of the meeting.
The board voted 4-3 to amend the agenda to add an action item allowing the school board chair to enter into negotiation with interim superintendent Lansfeldt for a new superintendent contract (see action item below). A separate action item to approve a three year contract was removed from the agenda prior to the start of the meeting at the request of the interim superintendent.
The board recognized our 100% Online Learning teachers who have been teaching in a virtual environment for the entire school year. About 25% of students opted for online learning this year and our online teachers have been successfully keeping them engaged, challenged and learning throughout the school year.
Interim Superintendent Lansfeldt recognized outgoing board members Jennifer Pelletier, Mike Ptacek and Sarah Stivland and thanked them for their dedicated service to our students and our community. Pelletier and Stivland both served on the board for 4 years, and Ptacek served for 12 years.
Report for Information: On the Dial Learning Update
Interim Superintendent Lansfeldt shared information about changes to the state’s Safe Learning Plan which would allow for a return to in-person learning. The revised plan prioritizes in-person learning for students in grades preK-5. Under the new guidelines, districts can choose to return to in-person as long as they use updated safety protocols including regular testing of staff and having staff wear face shields and masks. Districts would be required to utilize a phased-in approach to slowly bring back students, starting with the youngest learners and adding additional grade levels over time. District leaders are meeting with staff to develop a plan to return our youngest learners to school. A recommendation for any change in learning models will be presented to the school board for possible action at the January 7 board meeting. If approved, any change would take effect the week of January 25.
Report for Information: Contract Reviews - December 1, 2020 - December 10, 2020
School board members reviewed recent contracts for goods and services equaling less than $50,000.
Action Item: Audit presentation
School board members voted 7-0 to accept the 2019-2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, upon which the annual audit is based. The district is required to have an annual independent financial audit and to submit audited financial data to the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education and to the Office of the State Auditor. This year’s audit was conducted by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP and the district received what is known as a “clean” or unmodified opinion on its annual audit of basic financial statements.
Action Item: Certify the 2020 Payable 2021 Tax Levy
School board members voted 7-0 to certify the district’s 2020 Payable 2021 property tax levy in the amount of $40,469,667.08.
Action Item: Memorandum of Agreement with Cafeteria Employees’ Organization
The school board voted 7-0 to approve a Memorandum of Agreement with the Cafeteria Employees’ Organization (CEO) to provide salary and benefit increases comparable to those of other groups. The board had approved terms of the group’s 2019-2021 Master Contract back in November 2019 and have since revised the parameters for all employee groups.
Action Item: Final Reading – Policy 510 – Shared Time Students
The school board voted 7-0 to approve the Shared Time Students policy. This policy addresses non-public or homeschooled students enrolled part-time in the district.
Action Item: Final Reading – Policy 721.1 - Board Approval of Contracts and Expenditures
The school board voted 4-3 to approve a policy related to board approval of contracts and expenditures. The policy was designed to provide a clear and consistent process for Board required approval of contracts and expenditures.
Action Item: Superintendent Contract Negotiations
The school board voted 5-2 to authorize the board chair to enter into negotiations with the interim superintendent to extend the superintendent contract for one year. If an agreement can be reached a new contract would be brought before the board at a special board meeting on or before Dec. 23
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. Board meetings are expected to be conducted electronically and web streamed live on YouTube until CDC recommendations related to the COVID-19 situation change.