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Paynesville Press - May 21, 2003

Youth advisory groups make requests at school board meeting

By Michael Jacobson

School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, May 13. The board met at 2 p.m. in the middle school library in order to meet with the student advisory councils.

•The board met with student youth advisory groups from the middle school and high school.

The middle school students expressed appreciation for the dogs that check the school for controlled substances on a routine basis, requested that the Munch Hut remain open to students for the entire duration of the lunch period, requested that pop and candy machines remain on during the school day, said the dress code is too restrictive on hot days (as the school is not air conditioned), and expressed concern that the accelerated reading was not being applied consistently by staff.

The high school students discussed restrictions on students' usage of the fitness facility, asked if it would be possible for the golf team and similar organizations to rent a van when the school's other vans are in use, rather than use a bus for a small number of students, and told the board that the exemplary attendance policy should allow students to miss a total of two days per year, rather than one day per semester. The board told the students that while their insurance will not allow the school to rent vans, parent volunteers could transport students if they provide proof of insurance and waive liability.

•The board approved the low bid from Indoor Air Technologies to clean the remaining 15 air handling ducts in the middle and high school.

Indoor Air Technologies' base bid ($9929) was half of the next lowest bid. In all the school district received seven bids. The very low bid prompted the board to approve cleaning all the remaining ducts, instead of just six as planned, if the company is able to do so.

The middle and high school has 19 air handling ducts, of which four were cleaned last August. The elementary school also has four such ducts. The money for the cleaning will come from the district's health and safety levy.

•The board approved calling for the sale of $2,210,000 in General Obligation Aid Anticipation Certificates of Indebtedness on Tuesday, June 24, at 8 p.m. The district sells these bonds each year to improve its cash flow and repays the bonds with future state aid.

•The board reviewed financial information provided by superintendent Howard Caldwell about the kindergarten program. The school district will continue to offer a free all-day, alternate-day kindergarten program in 2003-04 with additional programming through Community Education making it an all-day, everyday program.

The question is whether three or four sections will be needed in 2003-04. Caldwell told the board that the cost to the district of a three-section program is $9,300 while the cost of a four-section program (adding a teacher) is $49,300. Caldwell said an increase in fees would be needed to cover the increased cost of a four-section program.

•The board approved these summer assignments: Don Skrypek as van driver for ECSE, Mary Kottke and Jeanne Haag as van drivers for students attending a special education summer program in Sauk Centre, and Alycia Long as special education teacher (39 hours).

The board also rescinded a previous motion to have Karen Mumm-Thompson as the special education teacher this summer.

•The board approved a five-year capital expenditures plan for 2003-2008.

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