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Paynesville Press - March 16, 2005

School board approves credit transfer guidelines

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, March 8. *The board approved a guideline for the Admission of Transfer Students and Acceptance of Credits.

The new guideline is meant to welcome students to the school district and allows students to graduate by transferring credits, both from accredited schools and from nonaccredited schools (most home schools) where appropriately documented.

The board, which had discussed the proposed policy at two previous board meetings, approved it as a guideline to give administrators more leeway in its application.

And the board changed the requirement for rank in class. After considerable discussion on this point again, the board approved giving a rank in class to any student who earns 75 percent of their credits for graduation from an accredited institution. The proposed wording had required students to attend an accredited school full-time for four years to be ranked in the class. All students, whether ranked in their class or not, receive a grade point average (GPA) from PAHS.

*The board approved allowing the fitness center to renovate a storage room at Paynesville Area High School for a cardio studio.

Community Education director Matt Dickhausen explained to the board that the increase in members and usership at the fitness center required more space for cardiac equipment. Usage is up 29 percent so far in 2005 from 2004, he said.

With no room for additional cardiac equipment in the fitness center, and no room for any additional equipment, Dickhausen proposed taking a storeroom - down the hall from the fitness center and the west side of the high school - and converting it to a room for cardiac exercise. The renovation - painting, adding windows, and installing three TVs with headphones for patrons - would cost $13,450, to be paid by Community Education.

The new 40' by 18' room will nearly triple the room for cardiac equipment. Some pieces of cardiac equipment will be kept in the fitness center, said Dickhausen, and the purchase of additional treadmills, etc., will need to be budgeted.

Work will begin on the cardio studio immediately, said Dickhausen. *The board approved retirement requests from elementary teacher Nancy Alstead (34 years, all in the same classroom) and from elementary secretary Sheryl Schmiginsky (30 years, including 22 years at her present position).

This brings the number of retirements from the school district to seven at the end of this school year. *The board heard another proposal for a facility audit, this time from Johnson Controls. So far, three companies have proposed reviewing the district's buildings to find efficiency and energy savings.

*The board heard reasons to have a Spanish trip over the 2005 Christmas break and in January 2006 from juniors Ashley Frank and Kelly Herzberg, including lower cost, the possibility of attending school in Spain, and fairness, since the German trip is done during the school year, not the summer. A formal proposal has not been brought to the board yet, but chairman Allen Schmidt told the students that their points would be considered when the board makes a decision.

*The board acknowledged receiving notice to negotiate new contracts from Food Service Local 284 and from Custodians Local 284.

*The board approved continuing its membership in the Southwest/ West Central Service Cooperative for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years, with dues of $586 each year.

*The board approved a child care leave for middle school special education teacher Alycia Long for the remainder of the 2004-05 school year and extended the long-term substitute contract for Bob Bowden until mid-April. The district plans to use short-term subs for Long from mid-April to the end of the school year.

*The board extended the long-term substitute assignment for Connie Ludwig until the end of the school year.

*The board approved an assignment as an instructional aide for Romi Hentges for three hours per day in special education and approved the reduction of aide time for Mary Heinen, Jeanne Olmscheid, and Bernie Roeser (one hour per day each).

*The board approved an assignment for Beverly Jones as a childcare supervisor for the fitness center (12 hours per week).

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