As the Fillmore Central School Board met for its regular monthly meeting, it approved several purchases to enhance the school property and experience, one of which was electronic signs at both sites.

Superintendent Richard Keith explained that Stewart Signs offered the lowest quote for the costs of the signs. For the high school, Fillmore Central has purchased a two-sided sign to stand on the ground and will not only be used for school events, but also community notifications.

With this understanding, the Harmony Area Community Foundation will be contributing $15,000 for the sign fund. As a result, the school will pay the difference of $3,000 as well as the installation costs.

Upon installation, the current sign will be removed, though if any other organization needs such a sign, they are welcome to take the sign down and continue using it for their own purposes, Keith added.

In contrast to this, the sign to be purchased for Preston is one-sided and will be mounted on the school building above the elementary office area. Because this sign is primarily for school purposes, the school will foot the entire bill.

However, it was noted if there is a community event the school wishes to pass on to the public, it can be broadcast on the sign.

The cost for the elementary sign will be a little over $10,000. Both signs will receive a $500 discount when purchased before the end of April.

The school will be responsible for preparing the sites, for computer control access and electrical connections for the signs.

There will be a computer capable of directly manipulating the signs in the offices through a Windows-based program. In Harmony, the messages cannot be changed unless a person is either in the school or plugs the prepared message into the sign via a USB chip.

Keith reported that each sign should be operational in June.


At the previous board meeting in March, discussion of purchasing new scoreboards for the Harmony gym surfaced, but nothing was approved, pending more information. This month, Keith and the facilities committee recommended purchasing three new Daktronics scoreboards.

Board member Craig Britton stated the new boards would be a nice addition to have, especially during wrestling since three mats could be set up at once and each scoreboard would hold a different mat's scores. They would also enhance the new floor in the gym.

There were two options for the type of scoreboards to purchase. One was the standard option, which Keith recommends, or a higher-priced scoreboard with a color changing option. The cost would be $6,000 more for numbers changing from green to red at a certain time. Because of the cost savings, the board approved purchasing the standard scoreboards for $24,305.

Keith explained the scoreboards would be installed in the Harmony gym this summer and one or both of the present scoreboards will be installed in the Harmony stage gym.

Personnel changes

The board approved several hires and resignations in various positions within the school staff. It approved John Mease as a custodian in the elementary as he has been filling the position vacated by Jim Schott. He has had much custodial experience as an employee of the nursing home in Houston and through his own cleaning business.

Among the coaching staff, Denise Case and Tim Ostrom submitted resignations as head volleyball coach and B-squad softball coach, respectively. The board approved the resignations. The board approved Kyle Rundquist to fill the vacancy left by Ostrom as B-squad softball coach after he had expressed interest in the position.

The board also approved the list of summer recreational staff for this year. Stephanie Erickson was hired to serve in the SAC (school-age childcare) program for one day per week during the summer. In addition, it accepted hiring Matthew Fassbinder as the long-term sub for Julia Olstad. He is a December graduate of Luther College with a degree in science education.

Among several other resignations, Connie Snitker and Noelle Crawford submitted letters of resignation as day care lead teachers. Also, Jill Miller asked to resign as the school readiness paraprofessional.

The board approved all resignations.

Dean of students report

Chris Mensink related to the board the spring program, featuring the kindergarten through sixth grade students, held on April 11, received a great turnout and many neat comments.

MCA testing for grades three through six have been completed and the teachers did a good job. On Thursday, April 24, there was a statewide tornado drill.

Mensink congratulated Mrs. Maggie Walsh and the elementary students for raising $7,053.05 for the Hoops and Jump for Heart programs this month.

He told the board May includes several field trips for the elementary students. On May 2, third grade students will travel to Luther's planetarium and the Vesterheim Museum. On May 7, second grade students go to the Eagle Center in Wabasha. Fourth grade students will take a field trip about farm safety on May 20. The following day, fourth through sixth grade students will journey to Rochester for a conference. The first grade field trip will be on May 23. On May 30, fourth grade students will go to the Wax Museum from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Later in May, the fifth and sixth graders will participate in a bike trip.

Mensink hoped the baseball fencing would be completed this week.

Upcoming events, besides the field trips, include the fourth through sixth grade students helping to plant a tree. This was set to be on Arbor Day, but due to the weather, was postponed.

On May 14, a Bluegrass Band presentation will take place at 1:30 p.m.

Title One Spring Math Family Event will take place on May 15.

Principal's report

Principal Heath Olstad spoke of the senior class trip and told the board that it was definitely a success. He assured the board members the seniors took in every moment and will remember the experiences they shared forever. He expressed his gratitude and thanks on behalf of the seniors for the board's support in continuing to offer the experience.

On April 3, the seventh and eighth grade band played at Wisconsin Dells. Olstad stated they did an amazing job and got to hear many other bands perform as well.

The annual National Honor Society bloodmobile took place on April 22 and gathered 41 complete pints. More students could participate because of a postponement and recent birthdays actually made them eligible.

Olstad also noted that the Big Band Bash will take place on May 3, but whomever does not already have tickets must plan for next year as tickets for this event always sell out quickly.

Other business

The board approved special education service contracts for vision, hearing, physical and occupational therapy, autism spectrum disorders and transition coordination services for the 2014-2015 school year.

It also approved the lease for 2014-15 for the Head Start program and kept the lease rate set at $450 per month for 10 months.

The support staff was placed on seasonal leave and will be called back in August according to the needs for the next school year.

The Title I summer school program was approved. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth are able to participate in the program for 10 days at three hours per day. The staff will try to have it coincide with the special education ESY (extended school year) program taking place July 28 through Aug. 1 and Aug. 4 through Aug. 8. The cost of the program would be paid with Title I funds.

The board approved a revised Emergency Closing Policy that reflecting changes to the make-up days process as discussed at the March meeting, as well as the 2014-2015 school calendar.

The board approved a resolution for membership in the Minnesota State High School League for the 2014-2015 school year.

Board member Britton also discussed part of the revisions in the plans for resurfacing the elementary parking lot. After certain considerations, the east parking lots will add a possible 60 additional stalls by utilizing perpendicular lines rather than the diagonal lines. With the added space, those parents who are dropping off children and getting out themselves are asked to park in the new lots, not in the drop-off zones. Only school buses and parents dropping children off and driving away immediately should use the unloading area.

Superintendent Keith informed the board of a presentation he had attended with staff from Kingsland and Rushford-Peterson regarding Teachers on Call. This business provides subs for the school and eases the burden of finding a sub last minute from the teachers. The school would not need to worry about money, insurance, liability and taxes. These would be the business' concern. The teachers would have access to a system where they could list their favorite subs and even those they would not want called if they are needed. More information will be needed before any action is to take place.