Chatfield’s school board met Aug. 18 to gear up for the new school year, dealing with changes in the Legislature regarding how the board is allowed to handle some of its per-pupil referendum authority. 

Superintendent Ed Harris gave a short explanation on what will be changing, and that it will have “marginal impact on taxpayers,” but that it will provide an additional $78.90 per adjusted pupil unit in operating funds.  He invited anyone interested in learning the details to contact him. 

Harris went on to commend the teachers, principals and custodial staff for their hard work in preparing for the coming school year, adding that he’s anticipating seeing the results of groundwork laid for professional learning communities (PLC), or groups of teachers who are working on an educational goal together, to begin producing their own results. 

“There’s high-impact staff development planning…as we go along, it’s (showing itself) in some pretty remarkable ways,” he stated, adding that the teacher evaluation process that’s been in development since requirements changed in 2012 are “in draft form,” and that the district has tried to “connect the PLCs and teacher evaluations so that there’s a dependency on each other.” 

He then thanked board members Kathy Schellhammer and Tom Sturgis for their years of service to the district, as they will not be returning after their terms expire at the end of the school year. Schellhammer has been a school board member for the past 17 years.  He also thanked Matt McMahon for “putting your name back in the hat.”        

Chatfield Elementary School Principal Craig Ihrke gave his report after Harris, relating that there was “not a lot to report,” but that kindergarten roundup was held Aug. 11 and turnout was good. 

Chatfield High School Principal Randy Paulson spoke about fall sports being already in action, and he shared that ninth grade orientation is set for this Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. at the high school. 

The board approved the first reading of the student transportation safety policy, the extracurricular transportation policy, video recording of school buses, video surveillance other than on buses, disposition of obsolete equipment and material, waste reduction and recycling, and use of school district facilities and equipment policies, and the second reading of the credit for learning, online learning options, development and maintenance and student transportation safety policies.  The board voted in favor of the student and staff handbooks, then set the truth in taxation hearing for Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. in the high school media center.     

The consent agenda included accepting the resignations of early childhood family education (ECFE) teacher Angie Grant, elementary paraprofessional Nancy Rowland, eighth grade softball coach Carmen Berge, elementary paraprofessional Kim Mueller, seventh grade girls’ basketball coach Jennifer O’Connor, and elementary nurse Paula Jobes, and the posting of all positions. 

The board approved hiring high school paraprofessional Regan Little, as well as accepted the July 21 regular school board minutes.

The next meeting of Chatfield’s school board is set for Monday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Chatfield High School media center.