During the monthly board meeting at Fillmore Central on Tuesday, June 24, members of the Harmony Conservation Club approached the board to propose the formation of a trapshooting team.

The club broached the subject by first speaking with the school's extracurricular advisory committee about the possibility of the school forming the team. Bill Hanlon and Dustin Hanson, as well as several other club members, were present to add to the discussion.

According to both Hanlon and board member Sue Sikkink, incorporating the team into the school extracurricular offerings would have no expense to the school as the cost falls on other entities such as the Minnesota State Trapshooting League. The Harmony Conservation Club volunteered its services to coach the team.

Sikkink informed the board eligibility and insurance for the team had been discussed. The team, according to the state regulations, can include students from sixth grade up to seniors in high school. Those interested in the team must first take a firearms safety course and a firearms safety instructor must be on site at all times. The Harmony Conservation Club has four of these instructors.

"They are required to have a certificate to be on the team. The class for the certificate is available online and went very well," Hanlon stated.

With the course being available online, questions were raised about how instructors would know if someone else were completing the course for the student.

"Every day there are 15 questions at the beginning regarding the previous lessons. If the student fails, they are done," Hanlon informed.

Of course, the team would have a season and tournament to compete with other schools.

"Spring is the main season for teams to qualify for the state tournament. It is an eight-week season, from April to June. The schedule is very flexible and there is a field day once a week for practice. Because of the online course, the field day is a little longer and it fills up fast," Hanlon related.

Due to classes filling up quickly, it is not unusual for students from the Cities or other areas to apply for the field day in this area.

This is a growing opportunity for students, for both of those who are involved and those who are not involved in the FFA.

"There are more kids able to be on this team, not just FFA members. We don't want to exclude them, but we want to give more people a chance to be on the team," Hanlon said.

This activity has been very safe and had no violations since its conception over a decade ago.

"Since it began there have been 6,000 kids in it and six million shots fired with no mishaps. As for insurance, everyone is covered under the Trapshooting League," Hanlon stated.

"For those kids wanting to be on the team who have no guns, we will have guns available," he continued.

After briefing the board with the details, board member Sikkink noted the coach for the team would have to have a background check. Chris Mensink, dean of students, will investigate the legalities of the team. Board members Shelly Topness and Jim Love expressed their support, thinking this a positive venture for the students.

"There doesn't seem to be a down side to this," Topness said.

Capital projects update

Superintendent Richard Keith updated the board of a change in the amount the board approved earlier this year for funding the improvements at the schools.

At this point in time, Keith has been working with new personnel regarding approval of certain parts of the project. There is a new state fire marshal and a new contact in the Minnesota Department of Education.

The fire marshal traveled to the Harmony campus to investigate the need for a sprinkler system within the building. Prior to his visit he did not approve this part of the project, but after seeing the building, he finally said the building does need a sprinkler system.

Conversely, he said there was no longer any reason to replace the doors.

Because the doors do not need to be replaced, the amount necessary for the project decreased from $4,660,000 to $4,565,000. Since the total amount has decreased, the fee for bond issuance has similarly decreased $16,000, also saving the taxpayers a little money by decreasing their taxes. However, if for some reason the doors do need to be replaced after the project has begun, taxes may increase again, simply to compensate for that change. In that case, the only change would be to bring the taxes back to what they are presently maintaining the zero percent increase from the taxes now. The board approved the change within the total amount.

Sale of the bonds took place on June 24 with six bidders entering, showing a healthy number of bids. The board also approved a resolution authorizing general obligation bonds. In addition, they approved a resolution authorizing the reimbursement of several of the up-front costs of the capital improvement projects and then be reimbursed from the proceeds of the bonds.

Personnel

Several changes in the personnel department were approved at the regular meeting. Vicki Nelson resigned as the SADD advisor. The board thanked her for her years of service. Andrea Hellickson also resigned from the daycare.

Title I summer school staff was approved at the regular meeting last month, but because of the enrollment number, the board accepted Terisa Scrabeck as an additional summer school teacher. She will be teaching seven students in kindergarten. Additionally, there are 10 students slated for first grade to be taught by Mary Beth Ostrom and nine students in grades two through six, taught by Jolene Nelson with Nancy Broadwater assisting.

The board also hired Judi Markowski to be the custodian at the elementary school in place of Jon Haug.

Diane Keith, Kyle Rundquist, Julia Olstad and Andrew Pederson were given tenure status.

For several years, Principal Heath Olstad has been working to equip high school staff to be able to teach dual-credit courses. He hoped to offer teachers willing to teach college courses additional summer staff development hours to meet with college faculty and a stipend of $1,500 for each course they teach. He would offer three days of pro-rated salary per course for the staff development to work on curriculum and meet with college faculty. The board approved the college-level teaching stipends.

Finally, for the personnel, the board approved the sharing agreement with Kingsland for the school psychologist services of Brian Feight.