The Mabel Canton School Board prepared for the upcoming school year through numerous housekeeping items at its meeting on Tuesday evening, July 15. The meeting lasted a short 20 minutes, with only four directors in attendance.
Choir teacher resignation
The board accepted the resignation of choir teacher Heidi Myhre, pending a suitable replacement. District Superintendent Jennifer Backer said the position has been posted in cooperation with the Lanesboro School District. Between the two districts, Backer said they hope to offer one full-time position that will cover both districts.
School board elections
The board approved the filing for the upcoming school board elections this coming November. Directors up for election this fall include Jeff Rein, fulfilling the term of Dave Swenson, as well as Cristal Adkins, Chris Loppnow and Troy Soiney.
Health and Safety policy
The board approved the district’s Health and Safety policy. The four-page document, which was crafted by the district’s safety committee, will be given to all teachers to review. Backer said the policy covers “all the safety, well-being and health issues related to district” activities.
Financial update
Backer, in the absence of Business Manager Todd Luchtenburg, said the district is getting prepared for its annual audit — which will take place in September.
Backer added that to reduce the district’s deficit — they are now looking at every department for cuts.
“The school board has not had a raise in 10, 12 or 15 years. They’ve taken freezes. My contract has been frozen. The principal (Jeff Nolte) has been offered a freeze on his contract,” she explained. “Teachers went through some cuts — we cut a math teacher last month…we do have a couple cuts in terms of a paraprofessional and a custodial staff potentially. We want to make it look as though everybody is a part of this and we’re not trying to single anyone out here.”
While she said further cuts are not necessary this year — it will be something that will need to be looked at next year. “We want to make sure we do it as a team,” Backer added.
Superintendents report
Backer, in her monthly report to the board, discussed the topic of pupil transportation — mainly on the issue of transporting students into and out of Iowa.
Backer said she had a conversation with neighboring superintendents in Caledonia and Spring Grove who said they specify in their contracts there will be transportation of students beyond the state lines.
However, she said each bus company is able to set its own policies on the issue.
Backer said administration has been busy with the coming financial audit and “figuring out where a lot of our students are going.” Gaining back students who have transferred to other districts has been noted as a priority for this district.
“I have been making a couple phone calls to some of those families to see if they can come back,” Backer concluded.