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Paynesville Press - September 17, 2003

District #741 School Board Meeting, Sept. 9

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

•The board approved a resolution for the 2003 school board elections. Filing as candidates were Lowell Haagenson, Gretchen O'Fallon, Bonnie Strobbe, and Paul Thielen.

Three four-year terms will be up for election on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Current members whose terms expire this year are Maurice Dosdall, Patrick Flanders, and O'Fallon, the only incumbent to re-file.

•The board tabled action on a new policy for handling complaints about district employees after receiving a letter from their attorney warning against several provisions in a draft policy.

This item has been on the board's agenda for several months. Concerns prompting the policy are that some complaints either have not gotten the attention they deserve, have not been documented, or have not been reported back to the complainant as needed.

•Board chairman Pat Flanders appointed a committee of board members Gretchen O'Fallon and Allen Schmidt, along with superintendent Howard Caldwell to negotiate with the pool committee to work out an agreement for school district property to be used for a community aquatic park.

Last month, the school board gave tentative approval for the athletic field between the high school student parking lot and the armory to be used for the pool project. Issues to address include the method of transfer, a shared maintenance agreement for the high school parking lot, and compensating the school district for building a new athletic field.

•The board approved adjusting the district's transportation contract to have noon bus transportation for the Early Childhood Special Educaton program. The rate - according to the new contract - is $1.20 per mile and $16 per hour.

The district had tried to transport all the students with school vans, administration reported to the board, but that required a 67-mile van route. On the first day, kids were arriving an hour late to school in the afternoon.

A bus will transport around 20 four- and five-year-olds in the program while the school district will continue to transport four three-year-olds via van, since they, by law, cannot ride a school bus.

•The board directed Caldwell to give a deadline to the manufacturer of the wood columns in the auditorium either to replace the columns or face legal action from the school district. The district has worked for two years to fix the columns, which cracked. The estimated cost of replacement is $30,000.

After meeting with the contractor, architect, and construction manager, Flanders recommended to the board that they pursue legal action if the problem is not remedied quickly.

•The board approved a resignation request from instructional assistant Carol Miller.

•The board approved hiring Sandy Spanier as an instructional assistant for the 2003-04 school year. •The board approved hiring Gerald Hunter as a van driver for special education for the 2003-04 school year.

•The board approved Schedule "C" assignments for the 2003-04 school year for Brenda Whitcomb as magazine sales advisor and for Chad Campbell as the elementary computer coordinator.

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