The Lanesboro School Board made it known that there had been an ongoing discussion regarding the reduction of programs to save money during its regular meeting last Thursday evening, April 18. An additional goal is to be more efficient in relation to the number of students attending Lanesboro schools.

Chairman Dave Ruen explained the board felt it should reduce the agriculture program to half-time. Ruen said discussion has taken place with Superintendent Jeff Boggs and it was felt factors such as smaller classes and fewer students warranted cutting back the classes. Ruen emphasized that the school would still offer FFA and other ag-related activities and classes.

School board member Christine Troendle spoke for the board in expressing her thoughts on the board's decision. "I believe it is the general opinion of the board that we do support agriculture programming in the school. This should not indicate that we do not support agriculture education in our schools."

She went on to explain that the school should look at this change as an opportunity to evaluate the class offerings at the school and, "Find out what we need to provide to offer the most value to our students." She concluded by stating that she felt the program could ultimately be strengthened.

School calendar

The board held a discussion on its 2013-2014 calendar. Elementary school principal James Semmen shared revisions to the professional development calendar which would have an effect on which days the school would need to take off surrounding breaks.

The board stressed the necessity of having as many student contact days as possible early in the year in order to prepare for MCA testing during late fall.

The school has a total of 176 student contact days to schedule during the year.

Ruen suggested they seek out suggestions from parents on when certain vacation days could be taken following holiday breaks. The current schedule would have students going to school into the beginning of June.

Other business

In other business, the board handled the following issues.

• The board approved a resolution to once again be a member of the Minnesota State High School League. Membership in the MSHSL is required in order to be recognized in athletic and fine arts competitions.

• The board congratulated the Lanesboro High School band and choir on their Large Group competition scores they received on March 20. The band received three ratings of 'good' and the choir received two 'excellent' rating and a 'superior' rating. It was noted that the band had recently increased the difficulty of pieces they would be playing.

• The board also complimented the music department on the work it did to participate and host the Young Musician's conference on Friday, April 12. Four high school band and choir programs participated in the event.

• Member of the public Sara Baskett asked the board and the school to consider doing something to help make students aware of all available activities at the beginning of the year. She explained that two of her kids had recently attended an FCCLA conference, learned a lot from the experience and wanted others to experience it as well. The board discussed the possibility of putting up additional information on the school's website or having an orientation meeting for incoming seventh grade students who would like to know what they can be involved in.

• It was made known that money from the Brent Tufte Memorial Golf Tournament would go toward weight room equipment for the school. The booster club, which raised $1,950 through the event, was donating the money. In a separate unrelated donation, the booster club gave each Pre-K through Grade 12 teacher $100 to spend on classroom expenses.

• The next board meeting will be May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Lanesboro School Library.