The Spring Grove School Board met to vote on, but not further discuss, a shared sports offer from Mabel-Canton Schools on Oct. 15. All the talking had already been done at an earlier work session.

The board voted unanimously to decline an "all sports" cooperative offer from ISD No. 238 that originated in January. Since then, numerous meetings and work sessions were held on the subject, most recently on Oct. 10. Only Chairman Aaron Solum was not present to vote on the 15th, due to illness.

"It's not that we're closing all doors, but we have no need for it right now," board member Kristy Folz said.

"I think that there's a possibility of other options than a six-sport co-op," member Eric Bjerke added.

"They can come to us anytime, with anything they've got (to discuss)," Christian Myrah said. "(But) we don't have anything for them right now."

New K-6 playground

After over a decade of study, fund raisers and planning, a new set of K-6 playground equipment will finally be coming to Spring Grove.

Students and teachers have already raised approximately $4,000 towards the purchase, Superintendent Rachel Udstuen reported prior to presenting the offer to the board.

The board unanimously approved the purchase after three designs were shown on the overhead viewer.

With nearly 30 parents and students in attendance, the third option brought an audible affirmation from the crowd. That's the one that board members also liked.

Udstuen said that Spring Grove had been approved for a 50 percent grant through manufacturer Game Time, affiliated with Minnesota/ Wisconsin Playground of Golden Valley.

That company will supply the $45,776 playground set for $27,261. The board decided to take advantage of the offer immediately since the grant would have expired on Oct. 31.

The playground will keep a recently installed merry-go-round. The plan includes 11 ground-level events and six elevated play components.

Top priorities are slides and a variety of climbing areas.

Swings can be added separately, since they aren't allowed to hang from climbing features for safety's sake, Udstuen noted.

Installation will take place next spring.

Several contracts offered

Three affirmative votes approved contract offers. The first was for elementary paraprofessional Jennifer Mark, while the second was for the same job title, going to Lynn Solum. Mark was offered 28.75 hours per week, while Solum will work 15 hours per week for the district.

A full slate of winter coaching contracts passed on a single vote without discussion. All coaching positions are the same as last year, Udstuen noted.

Food service mandates discussed

Udstuen said the effects of the federal "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010" are beginning to make their way through the system.

"We're lucky in that we started pushing more fruits and vegetables last year, but we are going to see some more changes," she stated.

"We need to watch the number of calories we are providing, especially from carbs and meats. Those will be served more on the side. We have a great salad bar, but we still might have to make some changes moving forward."

Other news from the board

Folz reported that the Houston County Collaborative is working on a $25,000 grant that participating districts may benefit from. Details are sketchy at this point, but if the collaborative wins the funds, more information will be forthcoming.

An open enrollment request for second-grader Cole Gangle was approved. The Gangle family currently lives in the Mabel-Canton School District, but will be moving to the Spring Grove school district as of Nov. 1.