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Paynesville Press - May 3, 2006

School board sees financial program demonstration

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, April 25.

•The board heard a presentation about the district office's new financial software from superintendent Todd Burlingame and consultant Howard Carlson. The program shows a five-year financial history of the district and uses the current year budget to predict for five years in the future.

Based on these future projections, Burlingame told the board that he was rethinking administration's recommendation to hire a 0.829 FTE math teacher in the middle school and high school for 2006-07. With this additional teacher, the district would increase its budget by $42,000 in 2006-07. Without it, the district's budget would increase only by $9,000, which still would be the first time in five years that the district has proposed a budget increase, rather than spending cuts.

With some rescheduling and extra sixth class assignments for teachers, secondary principal Lorie Floura said she could make the proposed high school and middle school schedules work without the new math teacher. This schedule includes the new requirement that juniors and seniors can have only one study hall.

Proposed class sizes at the elementary school for 2006-07 are: three sections of 20 in kindergarten; two sections of 22 in kindergarten/ first grade multiage; three sections of 23 in first grade; three sections of 25 or 26 in second grade (including one looping classroom; three sections of 23 or 24 in third grade (including one looping classroom); three sections of 25 in fourth grade; and three sections of 27 in fifth grade, said Burlingame.

The board still has not made any decisions about this budget increase proposal from administration and did not discuss the proposal last week. Board member Bonnie Strobbe did ask for class size numbers in the core subjects - math, English, science, and social science - at the middle and high school.

•The board heard about a new Community Education program from director Matt Dickhausen. Community Education plans to offer school-age childcare next fall, with the afternoon session for sure and the morning session depending on participation. The charge for each session would be $4 per day (plus a $25 per session sign-up fee). The after-school childcare would last until 6 p.m., and the morning childcare would start at 6 a.m.

•The board heard from sophomore Katrina Daby, representing the cheerleaders, about an idea to have fall and winter cheerleaders. Administration has talked about this in order to comply with Title IX.

Daby told the board that they asked varsity volleyball coach Dawn Knoll about cheering for games and she was not interested. Cheering for basketball games as well as wrestling in the winter would not be possible, said Daby, because the cheerleaders must learn 50-70 wrestling cheers and attend all 22 wrestling meets, including day-long tournaments. If basketball cheerleaders are needed, she said, they should have a separate squad.

Both football and wrestling cheerleaders raise funds for their programs (after being cut from the school budget). Whether this would eliminate any possible Title IX violation is still not known for sure, though the district is researching. Title IX is the federal law requiring equal opportunities and facilities for boys' and girls' athletics.

•The board approved an updated version of the school policy on the search of student lockers, desks, personal possessions, and actual student persons.

•The board approved an updated version of the school policy for student discipline.

•The board approved a new school policy about prohibiting bullying. This policy requires teachers, administrators, other employees, and volunteers not to condone or tolerate bullying and specifies procedures for reporting bullying and addressing it.

This policy, like the other policies, were model policies by the Minnesota School Board Association that were adapted for Paynesville by a board committee. The district is trying to update all its school policies, starting with mandatory policies.

Copies of each of these policies are available at the respective school offices. Eventually, they will be made available online, too, at

•The board approved a five-year capital expenditure plan. In 2005-06, the plan calls for spending $240,000, with the largest expenditure being boiler repair at the middle/high school of $85,000. In 2006-07, the plan calls for spending $164,000, including $22,000 for a new van, $15,000 for playground improvements, and $15,000 for a copier.

The district expects to have $91,100 in its capital fund balance at the end of 2005-06 and $94,500 at the end of 2006-07, but only $57,200 after 2007-08, as that year calls for $264,000 in projects including $80,000 to redo the track and $61,000 for roofing.

•The board accepted a quote from Yarmon Ford, Inc., for a new van for $21,232. The district originally budgeted $30,000 for this van. It plans to keep its current van as a back-up.

•The board approved tenure for elementary media specialist Chad Campbell and high school health and physical education teacher Keri Hatlevig, who both are completing their third year with the district.

•The board approved a resignation request from middle school communications teacher Cheryl Wyatt, who worked half-time for the district this year.

•The board approved the following teacher career increments: Joyce Anderson, 20 years; Cheryl Bungum, 20 years; Wally Erickson, 35 years; Gary Haglund, 25 years; Jane Hjelle, 25 years; Colleen Pelton, 30 years; Chris Quale, 20 years; Brad Skoglund, 20 years; and Connie Wimmer, 20 years.

•The board approved issuing diplomas to the member of the Class of 2006 who successfully complete all graduation requirements.

•The board met in closed session for 45 minutes to discuss a personnel matter.

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