Chatfield's school board members reviewed the preliminary 2014-2015 budget during its June meeting last Monday evening.

Board Chair Jerry Chase reported the proposed general fund revenues are $8,140,494, and the expenditures, $8,266,996, lining up to a deficit spending of $126,502.

Superintendent Ed Harris stated, "If the projections I'm using now are fairly accurate, the deficit will be smaller. If everything holds...the budget will be within $40,000 of balancing."

The board approved the preliminary budget as presented.

The members were also updated about the foodservice fund, the community education fund, debt service fund and the scholarship trust fund.

Harris explained the district's budgets have remained pretty reliable and accurate since the school district passed a referendum.

"We've been able to put back programming and staff," he said, adding that in the coming years, the district hopes to balance its budget and "flatten out the revenue-expenditure relationship."

The district may have to make some changes to its operating expenditures by approximately $300,000 over the next two years to make that happen. "Nobody likes to cut budgets, but I think we're getting more efficient at things," Harris added.

He noted the district will soon have staff development opportunities during the school day and thanked both Chatfield High School Principal Randy Paulson and Chatfield Elementary Principal Craig Ihrke for assisting with the process of transforming an idea as to how to provide staff development into a real possibility.

Both principals and the superintendent cited the 2013-2014 school year had a "great finish," with as much instructional time used up to the end of the school year as staff could manage.

Paulson had commendations and congratulations for the 2014 graduates, athletes competing at state in track and field, the girls' relay team, the choir and band for their performances at graduation, the varsity baseball team for its third place win at state, the fans and coaches for their conduct at state tournaments, and for the eighth graders departing on their trip to Washington, D.C.

Paulson then outlined proposed changes to the high school schedule. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, a supervised study time (SST) would be held at the beginning of the school day so that half the staff can attend the staff development programming to which Harris referred to on Tuesday, and the other half can attend on Thursday, with the remaining half available to supervise students in their SSTs. The schedule might also include provisions for Monday, Wednesday and Friday elimination of SSTs for seventh and eighth graders in order to expand instructional time.

Activities director Dan Schindler updated the board on how "good it is to be a Gopher," relating that the coach evaluation process has been examined and put into place. He added changes are also underway to improve the process, such as an e-mailed parent and athlete survey that will have a points-based system to give Schindler a standardized method of measuring patrons' assessments of coaching staff.

The director informed the board that coaches will also e-mail parents to keep them apprised of happenings within their respective sports and send notes of positive recognition for students whose statistics may not be as notable as their other contributions to the team.

Other business

The board authorized the board treasurer to approve the end of year bills, designated The Chatfield News as the district's official newspaper, designated Root River State Bank and Minnesota Liquid Asset Funds as the official district depositories for the 2014-2015 school year and designated Ratwick, Rozak, Maloney and Bartel as the district's official 2014-2015 legal counsel.

The board also designated meeting day and time for the upcoming fiscal year. Regular board meetings will be held on the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Chatfield High School media center.

The board approved the service agreement for speech and language services with the Hiawatha Valley Education District.

The board accepted the resignation of RuthAnn Lund as ninth grade volleyball coach and her new role as varsity volleyball coach. The board then approved posting the ninth grade volleyball coach position.

The resignation of elementary teacher J.B. Mathison was also accepted and the board also approved posting that teaching position as well as that of a high school paraprofessional position.

Three seats on the school board are open during the 2014 election. The board passed a resolution accepting the filing of candidacy affidavits for July 29 through 5 p.m. Aug. 12. There is a filing fee of $2 for each candidate, who must be 21 years of age and a legal voting resident of the Chatfield school district. Filing can be done at Chatfield High School, 205 Union St., Chatfield. The term of each board member is four years.