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Paynesville Press - July 16, 2003

District #741 School Board

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, July 8.

•The board was informed by elementary principal Todd Burlingame that a multiage classroom will not be ready for the 2003-04 school year. Instead, district staff has set a schedule to implement multiage classroom(s) in 2004-05.

From September to December, the task force - administration, teachers, board members, and parents - will select grades, identify teacher(s), and start work on a two-year curriculum. In January or February, a parent meeting will be held. In March and April, students will be selected, supplies will be ordered, and the curriculum will continue to be developed.

The curriculum will be finalized in the summer before implementation in 2004-05.

Without the multiage classroom, elementary staffing for 2003-04 has been set with three sections of kindergarten (22 students per class), four sections of first grade (18 students per class), four sections of second grade (19 students per class), three sections of third grade (26 students per class), three sections of fourth grade (21 students per class), and three sections of fifth grade (24 students per class).

•The board approved a policy for meal charging procedures. The policy calls for families to be notified when their meal account is less than $10. Parents of students in grades K-5 will be notified by an ink stamp on the hand. Students in grades 6-12 will be notified either verbally, by ink stamp, or in writing.

The policy allows one meal to be charged when an account is negative or insufficient to pay for a meal. After that, students will be given milk and sandwiches if their account is negative.

Several board members were concerned by this part of the policy. Board member Deb Glenz said she got several calls about this last year and said she thought it was silly to dump the student's tray and waste the food anyway.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell said the district had started these procedures because it used to have so many delinquent accounts. "As you know, we need people to pay for their food," he said. There is not an easy way to check if a student has a delinquent account before they get their meal, and students get plenty of notice and must shoulder some of the responsibility for their meal account, he added.

•The board approved reducing the number of working days for the Title I instructional assistants from 172 days to 168 days for the 2003-04 school year. The change was made due to cuts in the district's Title I budget by the federal government. The district also will not replace retiring instructional assistant Carol Fenske to balance its Title I budget for 2003-04.

Hopefully, said Caldwell, snow days and fields trips (with parental volunteers) will minimize the loss of assistants for four school days.

•The board approved the 2002-03 Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Perfor-mance, which will be published in the district's fall newsletter.

•The board approved contracts with James Decker and Tech Check for computer/technology support services for the 2003-04 school year. The contract for Decker (two eight-hour days per week) is for $35,200, up from $32,000. The contract with Tech Check ($4,000) is for additional support with the district's Apple computers. Both contracts are within the district's budget for technical assistance for 2003-04.

•The board approved membership in the Minnesota School Board Association and membership in the Minnesota School Board Association Policy Service Program for the 2003-04 school year. The total cost to the district is $3,065.

•The board approved membership in the Minnesota State High School League for the 2003-04 school year.

•The board approved participation in state and federal lunch programs for the 2003-04 school year.

•The board designated its primary bank depositories for the 2003-04 school year: payroll account at the Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union; general account at the Community First National Bank; activities account at Farmers & Merchants State Bank. The board also designated the following supplemental depositories: Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus; PMA Financial Network Inc.; various banks and savings and loans with federal insurance as security; and financial management firms that provide evidence of appropriate security.

•The board authorized the superintendent or his designee to purchase and sell investments as needed in the 2003-04 school year, and the board authorized the bookkeeper/ accountant, the payroll clerk, the district office secretary, and the superintendent to use the check writer and to sign petty cash checks during the 2003-04 school year.

•The board approved membership in the Schools for Equity in Education for the 2003-04 school year at a cost of $1,553.

•The board authorized the superintendent to obtain bids for dairy products and bakery products for the 2003-04 school year.

•The board approved membership in the Central Minnesota Education Research and Development Council for the 2003-04 school year.

•The board approved continuing an agreement with St. Cloud State University for the student teaching program for the 2003-04 school year. •The board set its schedule for regular meetings for the 2003-04 school year for 8 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in the media center at the elementary school. The meet and confer committee will meet at 7 p.m. before the regular board meetings in September, November, January, March, and May to develop the school calendar for 2004-05.

•The board approved continuing with the same stipends for board members for the 2003-04 school year. Board members get paid $40 for one regular meeting per month, but the board still meets twice per month. Board members also get paid $40 for special board meetings and committee meetings.

For a full day on school business (over five hours), board members receive $80; for a half day (less than five hours) they receive $40. They also get paid mileage for meetings outside of the school district.

•The board also approved yearly stipends of $125 for the board chairman and clerk and a stipend of $25 for the treasurer.

•The board designated the Paynesville Press as its official newspaper for the 2003-04 school year.

•The board approved a resignation request from Kim Thompson, an ECFE and Learning Readiness teacher.

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