The regular School Board meeting for Independent School District #317 was held April 9, 2007 at 5:30 PM in the North School Library. Chairperson Anne Gardner called the meeting to order and led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Members in attendance included: Anne Gardner, Nancy Adams-Hulbert, Victor Williams, Lee Pederson, Todd Youngberg, and Victoria Jerry.
Administrators present included: Supt. Matt Grose, Brent Colligan, Assistant High School Principal, Darren Sheldon, Elementary Principal and Russ Bouchie, Building and Grounds Supervisor. Newspaper reporter Mike O'Claire was in attendance along with Paulette Ojanen, recorder.
Motion to approve agenda with two additions: Item 6i: Appoint MSHSL (MN State High School League) Board Representative, and Item 6j: Mower Purchase was made by N. Adams-Hulbert, seconded by V. Jerry. Motion carried unanimously. (MCU hereafter).
Supt. Grose informed the board about the Destination Imagination's recent outstanding performance at the regional competition where they received first place among forty-six teams and were also given the DaVinci Award for exceptional creativity and spirit of adventurous risk. They were the only team to receive this award. On April 21, 2007 they will compete at the state level with 200 other teams in Chaska, MN. The top two teams in each division will then compete at the University of Tennessee in May. The team members are Mary Dowling, Bethany Pederson, Ariel Helling, Matt Wright, Kyle Box, David Shaw and Frank Hellmann. Their coach is Dennis Peterson. Congratulations and best of luck in your upcoming competitions!
Supt. Grose wished to recognize senior Jordan Kaczor, son of Jerry Kaczor and Jody Anderson as a finalist for the Region 7A Triple A Award. (Academics, Arts, Athletics). Congratulations and thanks Jordan for your fine representation of Deer River High School and the whole community.
The DRHS Art Students also deserve recognition on their fine showing at the Region 7 MSHSL's Arts Festival, which was held at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, MN. Students Kyle Box, Lisa Tupper, Steven Schaaf, Bethany Pederson and Mary Dowling all received awards for their art work. Congratulations to all.
National Honor Society students Ramona Hemphill, Geoffrey Daigle, Laura Anthony, Lacey Davidson, Dannyl Huju, Dale Etter and Jordan Kaczor presented information to the board regarding the possibility of having the opportunity for students to letter in academics. They feel this academic letter would be based on a student's GPA, attendance, conduct, etc. to be determined by a committee of teachers, administrators and parents who would look at applications submitted by senior high students (grades 9-12) and be awarded to the students who meet the criteria to receive an academic letter. It was the consensus of the group that not all students are involved with athletics or music and this would give more students an opportunity to letter. After much discussion on this issue, V. Williams made a motion to move ahead with the implementation of an Academic Letter for students with the stipulation that criteria and a suitable application be pre-approved by the Superintendent before submitting to a committee for review. Second by T. Youngberg. MCU.
On a similar issue, the students wanted to also mention the possibility of high school students receiving a Club/Organization letter. Examples: FCCLA, National Honor Society, LINK, etc. These would be separate from the academic letter and the criteria would be set by the organization's advisor with assistance from the activities director, assistant principal and Superintendent. An instrument would need to be devised to give specific criteria a student would have to achieve in order to receive the letter. A motion was made by V. Williams to pursue a formal process and develop the criteria on how students can achieve what it would take to receive a letter with the stipulation that such instrument be pre-approved by the superintendent before submitting to the advisor and/or committee for review. Second by N. Adams-Hulbert. MCU.
Motion to approve the minutes from the March 5, 2007 board meeting was made by N. Adams-Hulbert, seconded by V. Jerry. MCU.
V. Williams made the motion, seconded by L. Pederson to approve the Accounts Payable/Payroll for March 2007 in the amount of $1,151,320.26. MCU.
Motion to approve items on the consent agenda as listed below made by V. Jerry, seconded by V. Williams. MCU.
1. Approve Substitute Contract for Rachel Arlt
2. Approve Surrogate Parent Request
Policy Changes were discussed. This being the first reading, no action taken at this time.
The True North AmeriCorps Program was explained by Supt. Grose. DRHS applied for and was awarded one 1700 hour position for a person who would be available to students for tutoring, mentoring and after school programs. The cost is $3400 to the district with the remainder covered by the award. Person for the position will be obtained through the school district. Motion to accept the position (via the AmeriCorps Program) made by V. Jerry, seconded by T. Youngberg. MCU.
Supt. Grose then explained Project Lead the Way which is a pre-engineering program that could be implemented into our district's curriculum. A Blandin grant has been applied for to cover the funding needed in the technology department. Training for teachers and counselors would be included. The district would be responsible for annually purchasing the right to use the designated software needed for the program. The ultimate goal of the program would be for students to graduate with credits which are transferable to other post-secondary schools in the science/engineering area. It's a very hands-on program and Itasca Community College would also be involved. The potential for students to get more interested in the science/engineering field would be an asset to our curriculum. A motion to accept the Project Lead the Way Resolution as presented for the 2007-2008 school year was made by T. Youngberg, seconded by L. Pederson. All 6 members were in favor of the motion. 0 nays to the motion. Motion carried.
Motion to appoint V. Williams as the MSHSL Board Representative was made by N. Adams-Hulbert, seconded by V. Jerry. MCU.
R. Bouchie presented information to the board regarding the purchase of a new mower. He explained the need for a newer/larger machine to fulfill the needs of grounds-keeping in the district. Our current mower is old and in need of repairs. A wider cutting deck would be helpful in cutting down in hours of mowing time, therefore giving the custodial department more man hours in other areas. After discussion it was decided to table this item at this time. More information will be gathered in regards to capital funding for a new mower and the immediate need for one at this time.
Yvonne Wilson from North School welcomed the Board in Ojibwe. She reported that Jump Rope for Heart was held on Feb. 9, 2007 and that over $500 was raised for heart research. Preschool had a field trip to the Bemidji Science Museum on Feb. 21, 2007 and Family Fun Night at the White Oak Inn pool on Feb.22, 2007. They had Carpentry Night on March 28, 2007 with many parents in attendance. The students had "Theme Week" in March where they had dress up days, Brownies & Books Day, and Popcorn & Poetry Day. Many parents attended and enjoyed the events. Students helped out the Empty Bowl Project on March 9, 2007 by making placemats out of their artwork. The bookfair was held March 19-22nd during Parent/Teacher conferences and $400 worth of books will be purchased for the school. Climb Theatre visited the 3-6 grades on March 29th. The Science Fair was held for grades K-6 also on March 29th. The 3-6 graders went to the play "A Midnight Cry" at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids on March 16th. Funding was provided by a grant and by the North PTO. The students also got to tour the jail, dispatch and the courtroom at the courthouse. The Carnival was held on March 18th. Approximately $4000 was raised. Also a pizza/cookie dough fundraiser was completed by the PTO which raised $2,200. These funds will be used for field trips and activities not covered by the school budget. Yvonne also brought to the attention of the school board that on August 21, 2007 it will be the 50th Anniversary of the North Elementary School. They are working on a committee to get started on a project for that event. Upcoming events: On May 24th will be an all school field trip to Duluth for a Vista Cruise and a trip to the aquarium. Donations have been made to cover the expenses for that trip.
D. Sheldon reported on King School. Reading week was held in March with much favorable feedback. Special thanks go to Nancy Swigert, Deanna Hron, Georgia Bjerk, Kathy LaFond, Yvonne Daigle, Mary Kalar, Janet Florine, Sean Martinson, Jennifer Stefan, Pamela Johnson for all their extra effort. Kindness Week was also held in March. Karen Melchior was in charge and the week ended with her handing out Kindness Awards. Reading and Math meetings are being held with teachers from grades 4-6 for reading and teachers from grades 5-8 for math. DARE graduation will be held on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 1:00 PM. The King Spring Carnival will be held on April 21, 2007 from 11-3 PM at King School. MCA testing is coming up on April 17-20 for grades 3-6 at North and King and the 6th grade reading test will be April 24-27, also at both schools. The combined 6th grade basketball team of King & North students Noah, Kaczor, Alan Huju, Henry Hellmann, Jace Swanson, Lance Latvala, Chase Keezer and Tristan Peck will play in a state tournament in July at St. Cloud. The team defeated, Fond du Lac, Virginia, Hermantown and Int'l Falls in order to advance to the state tournament. Congratulations!
Deanna Hron wished to thank everyone who participated in Reading Week. All the parents, staff, school board and administrators who came and read to the students really made it a special event for the students.
Supt. Grose reported on the high school activities. The music department gave a great showing at the Solo/Ensemble contest with 60 contestants receiving a superior rating. Kudos go out to Mrs. Burch and Mr. Thurm for their outstanding effort. Many congratulations to our Destination Imagination students, art students, music students and all of our athletes as well. MCA's are going to be held in April. "The Boardinghouse", a play put on by high school students directed by Mr. Thurm will be presented on April 13, 14 & 15th at the Deer River High School. He encouraged everyone to attend.
Bruce Petersen from Nor-Tran reported that March went well in the transportation area. Some drivers have been moved to different routes and a new bus has been purchased for extra-curricular runs. Nor-Tran has been diligent in keeping the administration informed of any transportation issues and the communication effort between the two is very much appreciated.
N. Adams-Hulbert reported about her recent Day at the Capitol, which was held in St. Paul for Counties, Cities and Schools to interact with their legislators regarding issues of concern to them. She encouraged other board members to participate in a Virtual Rally, which will be on April 18, 2007 and gives people an opportunity to voice their opinions regarding funding issues, etc. with their legislators.
T. Youngberg thanked the students who presented their ideas to the board regarding academic lettering. He also thanked the North School PTO, mentioned Jenny Lind, Deb Youngberg and Jody Anderson, for their continued hard work for the school.
L. Pederson mentioned the music contestants and the Destination Imagination Team and wished to congratulate them on their achievements recently. He also commented the conduct of all the students at these events was outstanding and thanked them for representing Deer River in such a positive way.
A. Gardner mentioned the Superintendent's evaluation and will go over results with a committee of board members and bring the results to the next meeting.
Supt. Grose mentioned that Itasca Area Schools Collaborative (IASC) will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 6:00 PM at Wendigo Golf Club. He encouraged all the board members to attend this meeting. Representatives from the Smithsonian Museum were at the high school traveling around the area with some of our Native American students taking pictures of our area and unique points of interest. The pictures will soon be on the website. He mentioned the Tribes II project (Teaching Relevant, Inquiry-Based Environmental Science) which is an opportunity for teachers to be involved in during the summer. Invest Early Update involved explaining to the board that the program will be moved to IASC. They would be the employer while Deer River remains the fiscal host. This move will protect Deer River from unemployment issues and liabilities, etc. Work is currently being done to transition the program to IASC.
Motion to adjourn made by V. Williams, seconded by T. Youngberg. MCU.
The next board meeting will be Monday, May 7, 2007 with an open forum at 5:00 PM and the regular meeting at 5:30 PM in the King School Library.
Anne Gardner, Chair Victor Williams, Clerk