The Chatfield School Board approved the 2013 tax levy during its Dec. 17 meeting, certifying a total of $2,197,736.85.

Superintendent Ed Harris presented the annual truth in taxation hearing information, outlining what the 2012 expenditures and revenues were in comparison to the 2013 expenditures and revenues.

The 2012 revenues were $9,480,126, and the 2013 revenues are set at $9,945,219, for an increase of 4.9 percent. The expenditures in 2012 were $9,540,379, and the 2013 expenditures are forecast to be $9,970,398, an increase of 4.51 percent.

The district's main source of revenue is state aid, relying on the state for 85.8 percent of its budget, 10 percent from local taxes, and the remaining from other taxes. State funding of school districts will increase from 64.3 percent to 82.5 percent, meaning that money owed the district as a result of a state spending shift will be paid back more quickly, but that doesn't mean that the district has more to spend.

Chatfield Elementary Principal Craig Ihrke reported on the Action 100 program, citing, "Over 90 percent of the students are on track with their reading practice, and another 3 percent are trying to catch up after being behind for a while."

Ihrke also noted the school would be hosting a "reading blitz" day and are working to move students from reading to writing about what they've read.

"We've made almost a full year's worth of growth and progress just in the three months we've been reading through Action 100, and we're excited about how the kids are responding and reading," he added.

Teacher on special assignment, Elissa Johnsrud, observed that the district is working to integrate Action 100 tenets from sixth grade into seventh through 12th grade social studies and expressed her appreciation to the staff for their cooperation in doing so.

Irhke also credited the teachers for taking on discrepancies in reading abilities and having the dedication to their students to tackle literacy challenges. He added that staff from 10 area schools visited Chatfield Elementary to see Action 100 principles in action.

With the wind howling outside the school's doors, the principal reminded parents to be sure that their children are properly dressed for winter weather, and if they cannot afford winter clothing, to please contact the school, as "there are a lot of generous people in the community."

Chatfield High School Principal Randy Paulson reiterated Ihrke's reminder, particularly regarding students who ride buses to sporting events and wear just their basketball shorts and a t-shirt. "If your kids don't want to wear a hat, they can put it in their pockets, but if the bus breaks down along the way to or from a game, we'd like to know that students have warm clothes to wear," he added.

Paulson's report included commendations for the staff math data team for collecting information on students' math achievements, for the Knowledge Bowl team's accomplishments and the FFA poultry team's win at regional competition, taking them to state.

Greg LaPlante, Jerry Chase and F. Mike Tuohy were sworn in to continue their terms as board members, and Harris welcomed them back to the board, thanking the community members for allowing the team to work together for another four years.

He went on to note that the district has reviewed its building and staff security measures, as have many schools across the nation, following the most recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and advised parents and teachers to listen to students' concerns about their in-school safety.

Student Senate representative Karen Gomez updated the board on upcoming activities, particularly the Snow Ball dance. She stated that though the Student Senate and the Student Service Club have agreed to collaborate on the dance's preparations, a date has yet to be set.

The January school board meeting date has been changed from Jan. 21 to Jan. 22 due to the observance of Martin Luther King Jr., Day.