Earlier this month, Michael Johnson and his wife, Margaret, hosted the second Milk Fun[d] Run to support the milk program at Fillmore Central. On Tuesday, June 24, they presented a check for $2,300 to Fillmore Central School Board Chair Ross Kiehne during the board's regular meeting.

"We held the Milk Fun[d] Run on June 7 and had a fairly good turnout. We had about the same number of participants as last year," Michael Johnson related.

About 80 people ran in the fundraiser event down the bike trail from Fountain to the Trailside Holstein Farms.

According to Dean of Students Chris Mensink, last year 55 kids utilized the milk system, benefiting from the amount given from the first run, which was comparable to this year's donation.

The board gratefully accepted the donation for the milk break program.

Air conditioning units

This year, the elementary school is hosting a summer food program for local youth, under the age of 18. Because of this, the school must purchase air conditioning units to cool both the kitchen and lunchroom areas.

The ability to host the summer food program is not the only benefit for the purchase of the units. The school will also have more space for meetings and adult education in the summer.

Superintendent Richard Keith explained for the amount of space in the kitchen and lunchroom, three-ton units are appropriate, but may not be adequate if the lunchroom is fully occupied. However, since the lunchroom will only be occupied for two to three hours per day and at less than full capacity, the three-ton unit will be able to handle the job.

The district received two quotes for the units. The board approved the lower bid of $8,900 from Larson Plumbing and Heating.

Handbook changes

Dean of Students Chris Mensink, Principal Heath Olstad and Director of Special Education Micki Breitsprecher presented the first read-through of the changes they recommended be made to the school handbooks for the upcoming school year.

Changes regarding the elementary school have to do with the vision statement and mission statement being updated and the goal to provide healthy lunches. Mensink encouraged parents to pack healthy lunches and not send lunches with little or no nutritional value to school with the children.

Changes brought to the board's attention by Olstad ranged from cheating and its consequences and specific requirements for the use of school equipment, such as laptops. E-cigarettes were added to the policy of banning the use of tobacco products. Also, a change requires all class dues be paid in order for students to attend prom.

Breitsprecher suggested the handbook state that parents must contact the school regarding attendance. She also felt the handbook should include a list of proper and improper clothes to wear and require that a student being removed from a class must complete a "work-it-out" sheet to come back to the class.

Budgets

Several budgets were approved by the school board during its meeting as well. The Health and Safety policy and budget for the fiscal year 2015, the proposed food service budget for 2014-2015 and the operating budget for the 2014-2015 school year all passed.

At the same time, Keith informed the board about a change in breakfast and lunch for the upcoming school year.

"One of the previous complaints of our pricing is that the seventh and eighth grade students have paid the same as the freshmen through senior students but get smaller portions," he stated. "The federal government required an increase in lunch prices to get the true price of the meal and not be subsidized. This year we are not required to raise prices, so it would be a good opportunity to make a differentiation in those pricing structures. The seventh and eighth graders can get less food but pay less money."

In addition to this change for the food price, Keith asked the board to approve providing a price break to parents who pay for the Healthy Snack Cart for the entire year rather than a semester at a time. In this, the school would only raise the semester price to $30 and let the year payment remain $50.

Reports

Mensink briefed the board on the building process. The initial work on the parking lot at the elementary school is done, but the outside buildings had yet to be removed. There was a possibility the buildings would be removed on Friday, June 27. The gym floors were finished and the new signs look good.

This was a good spring for sports with the girls golf team placing third at state. On July 28 there will be an eligibility meeting with Sports Med speaking on head injuries.

The Booster Club hosted a 5K run during Trout Days. At the present the club is doing a membership business drive. It made its first purchase of weights for the weight room. The weights cost $1,700.

Football will be changing this year and Fillmore Central will be included in 16 teams in a district. The school picks up Lewiston for their competitors and looses Chatfield and Caledonia.

Mensink and Olstad mentioned a meeting with the local banks in Preston, Fountain and Harmony about mini grants. The school was awarded $10,500 worth of grants. Both expressed their thanks to the banks for the grants.

Olstad informed the board of the plans for this year's graduating class. This year there were 41 graduates, four of whom were foreign exchange students. Of the remaining 37 students, 33 of them are going to either a two-year or a four-year college. Two of the graduates are going into the military and two others are entering the workforce.

The band and choir recently returned from Florida. "They had a good trip and the kids were great," he stated.

Breitsprecher mentioned her excitement for having the support of a school psychologist for two days per week as a result of the sharing agreement with Kingsland. This year, Special Education filed a Minnesota Continuous Improvement Plan on Monday, June 30. This year there are four areas of improvement noted in the plan.

Other business

The vendor negotiations committee has completed negotiations with Harmony Transit for a three-year contract with an option to negotiate a one-time three-year extension for the transportation contract. Though they had interest from three other companies regarding transportation, they did not submit bids and as such the board has once again gone with Harmony Transit. The board approved the contract.

The board accepted the Teacher Development and Evaluation plan that had been developed with a committee of teachers and administration and which the teachers ratified and signed.

The student activity fees, admission fees and sports season pass costs for the upcoming school year were also set. There was no recommendation for changing the prices. Last year, $31,000 came in from these activities and for the most part covered the transportation cost, which was slightly more.

The board also approved a resolution to convert $300 of the current $592.15 voter-approved levy to a board-approved levy. This is in response to legislation enacted in 2013 that allows school boards to levy up to $300 with school board approval. Additionally, the board passed a resolution for the referendum levy to be placed on the November 2014 ballot in the amount of $292.15 that will be expiring in one year. There would be a zero percent tax increase as a result.

The board voted to join the Minnesota Insurance Scholastic Trust (MIST) program for property/casualty insurance for a three-year commitment. They also renewed with Employers for workman's compensation insurance.

Several action items were addressed at the meeting as well. The board set substitute teacher pay and the number of days one can be a substitute prior to being placed on the salary schedule, substitute secretary, substitute paraprofessional, substitute custodial and van and substitute van driver pay as well as payroll policy regarding 403b sign-up. The only changes from last year's action items are raising the substitute secretary and paraprofessional pay to $9 per hour and the substitute custodial pay to $10 per hour.

Finally, the board approved Richard Keith as the local education agency representative and homeless liaison, 2014-2015 membership with Southeast Service Cooperative and Minnesota Rural Education Association.

The board also set Monday, July 7, as the date for a special meeting to approve bids for construction jobs. Most of the bids were due to be received and opened this week. The special meeting is slated to begin at 7 a.m.