The Lanesboro School District Board of Education heard from accountant Pam Ristau at its regular November meeting last Thursday evening. Ristau presented information regarding the district's 2012-2013 audit report.

Ristau reported the district was running fiscally sound. The audit had produced an unqualified opinion, meaning no major issues had arisen.

The fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2013, had seen a net position decrease from 2012 by $236,419. The general fund unassigned fund balance, which deals with all revenues and expenditures not accounted for in the district's other funds, had decreased by $502,134 from $3.4 million to $2.9 million. Revenue had increased by $125,190, but expenses went up $213,731 from 2012.

Ristau noted this was a strong fund balance. She also noted the school's strong food service fund balance, which gained $7,823 to total $43,868. Ristau said many other districts usually see a negative balance there.

The debt service fund increased by $6,348 and the school was able to pay off $249,757 in principal, interest and fiscal charge expenses.

Ristau also showed that student enrollment had kept constant.

Upon reviewing the community service fund, Ristau noted the balance was $80,805 in the red. She said the state was recommending schools should not have a negative balance in that fund. The fund supports the preschool, daycare, summer recreation programs and other services.

Superintendent Jeff Boggs noted the programs had run as normal. Ristau recommended the board transfer roughly $147,000 from the general fund to the community service fund to bring the balance to $50,806. The board approved the fund transfer retroactively for June 30, 2013, with language stating the transfer would not adversely affect the educational opportunities for their students.

Board member Steve Snyder asked if there were any trends the board needed to be aware of.

Ristau replied the school needed to keep their enrollment up and also that interest revenues and earnings had gone down over time.

She also explained the school saw the $500,000 decrease in the general fund balance due to the construction of a greenhouse, acquisition of a van and purchases in technology.

Following Ristau's report, the school board approved the audit.

Food service

New food service director and head cook Chad Rich gave the board an update on what was occurring with the school's food service program since he took over at the beginning of the year.

He reported on a food service conference he had attended in Houston, Texas, which he felt had helped prepare him to start at Lanesboro. He had the opportunity to learn about products from 500 vendors present at the conference and attend culinary demonstrations. Rich had attended another similar conference two years ago.

Due to changing state food standards, Rich said á la carte options had changed. Whole grain and fruit-based options are replacing the candy bars and soft drinks.

Snyder asked Rich what percentage of the food he prepared was pre-packaged and what was from scratch. Rich said between 75 and 85 percent of the food he prepares is from scratch.

The board complimented Rich on his work thus far, sharing they had heard from students that the meals had been good. Rich reported he had been having food vendors compete for the school's business. According to him, that has reduced costs so far in comparison to the previous year.

FFA team

The board issued a formal congratulations to the Lanesboro FFA Dairy Judging Team during its meeting. The team had recently taken second place at the National FFA Dairy Evaluation and Management competition in Louisville, Ky.

The team, coached by Stacy Leiding and Pat Troendle, was composed of Lanesboro students Kayla and Haely Leiding and Travis and Jared Troendle. The team now has the opportunity, if they so choose, to attend an international dairy judging competition in Europe.

Personnel matters

The board approved a maternity leave request from band director Katrina Schuneman for the end of February. Chris Gustavson was hired as her temporary replacement.

In other personnel news, the winter sports contracts were approved. John Smith will be the boys' basketball head coach; Chris Hanson will be the B squad boys basketball coach; Brett Klaehm and Cody Hungerholt will serve as boys C team coaches. Girls' basketball head coach is Kelly McMillen; B team coach is Dave Rogers and C team coaches are James Semmen and Jared Pierce. Cheerleading coaches are Melanie Haugen and Julie Jensson.

Other business

The board members and Boggs took a tour of the school's woodshop in order to see the new dust collection system that had been recently installed.

It was determined students would be dismissed for the Christmas break on Friday, Dec. 20, at 11:32 a.m.

The Lanesboro School District tax hearing and budget discussion was approved to be part of the regular December board meeting on Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.