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Paynesville Press - May 31, 2006

School board updates policies

By Addi Larson

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, May 23.

*The board met in the afternoon at the middle school in order to hear from the high school and middle school student advisory councils.

*The board approved an updated policy on crisis management, which outlines emergency procedures for staff in situations such as: crisis intervention; fires; bomb threats; natural disasters; utility emergencies; demonstrations; intruders; kidnappings; weapons; fights; and lockdowns. The policy notes the need for common sense in reaction to any emergency situation and includes a floor plan with room numbers, an updated phone list, and step-by-step procedures for each situation.

Superintendent Todd Burlingame said the policy is modeled after MSBA's policy and that the school is looking into producing a flip-chart reminder for staff members to have as a "quick reference."

*The board approved an updated policy on transmitted infections and diseases, which outlines measures in responding to health concerns for serious or infectious diseases such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Hepatitis B, and Tuberculosis.

*The board approved an updated policy on the protection and privacy of pupil records, which outlines the school's responsibility in regard to the collection, maintenance, and sharing of pupil records and the protection of the privacy rights of students.

*The board approved an updated policy on sex nondiscrimination, which outlines students' protection from discrimination on the basis of sex in order to provide equal educational opportunities for all students.

*The board heard a report from board member Deb Glenz on the wellness committee, which is working on a new wellness policy. The school's lunch program needs to add more fruits and vegetables to replace foods high in sugar. Both staff and students will need to adjust, according to Glenz.

The committee is also talking about having the vending machines in the school placed on timers. Students in the high school and middle school would be allowed to drink water in classrooms all day.

*The board approved a $5,000 lease agreement with Reach-Up Incorporated for the 2006-07 school year. Reach Up leases the district's building on Mill Street for its Head Start program. Rent was increased from $3,000 last year.

*The board approved participating with Minnesota Trust, where the district will attain a higher interest rate for some of its investments, said Burlingame.

*The board approved new rates at the fitness center, effective July 1, 2006. The new rates are: Single - $24 per month and $259 per year; couple - $34 per month and $367 per year; family - $39 per month and $421 per year; and student - $11 per month and $119 per year.

* The board approved new fitness center hours, effective July 1, 2006. The new year-round hours are: Mondays-Fridays, 5:30 a.m.-9 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; and 3 p.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdays 7 a.m.-12 noon; and Sundays 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

*The board approved an extended employment assignment for special education teachers Sarah Hadrath and Jane Hjelle to each serve a special needs student approximately 16 hours this summer.

*The board approved an addition of 30 minutes per day for Sandy Carstens, the Community Education administrative assistant, effective July 1, 2006.

*The board approved a pay six-percent increase for fitness center employees, effective July 1, and assigned the following hours for June to August: Sue Teicher, 20 hours per week; Mellody Weber, 20 hours per week; Teri Johnson, 15 hours per week; Sheryl Schmiginsky, 15 hours per week; Danielle Dickhausen, 13 hours per week; and Jim Paster (substitute).

*The board approved summer special education assignments for Jeanne Haag and Rita Garding to drive the van in June.

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