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Paynesville Press - Sept. 22, 2004

School board approves lease agreement for proposed aquatic park

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14. •The board approved a land lease agreement with the city for the purpose of constructing an aquatic park on the school grounds. The agreement is similar to one previously approved by the board before the first aquatic park vote in April.

In return for leasing the athletic field, the city will level and seed a similar area for athletics in the current ag plot and will cover a quarter of maintenance costs for the high school parking lot and two access roads. The term of the lease is 40 years, with the city responsible for restoring the athletic field to its original condition if the aquatic park is later abandoned or relocated.

Voters in the city and township will decide on the $990,000 aquatic park proposal at the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The school's only contribution to the project is the land lease. If the votes fail in November, the land lease agreement automatically terminates.

•The board discussed school policy for homecoming again with administration. High school principal John Janotta asked for school board authority to punish students for vandalism. The board and administration also discussed planned activities, with the goal of channeling student energy in positive ways, and they discussed rewarding the entire student body if there are no incidents of vandalism during homecoming week.

The board directed Janotta to draft a letter about the school's policy and behavior expectations. The letter will be reviewed by the board and then sent to parents and possibly published.

•The board was informed by elementary principal Deb Gillman that they are using a new policy for parents who pick up their kids inside the school. All pick-ups are now done in the elementary gym, as having parents wait outside the doors of individual classrooms was deemed a distraction. Parents who pick up their students outside are unaffected. The new rule only affects parents who pick up their children inside the school building.

•The board approved allowing buses to not use their eight-way lights and stop signs at four bus stops. These stops, as recommended by Paynesville Motor and Transfer, the district's transportation contractor, are places where students do not cross the street and where the bus can pull to the side of the road. The four locations are: Delwin Liebrenz on Highway 55, Grace United Methodist Church on Highway 23, Ron Mergen on Highway 23, and Allison Janssen on Highway 55.

•The board approved adjusting its 2004-05 transportation contract with Paynesville Motor and Transfer, adding Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) transportation, which is a reimbursable expense, and adding a three percent increase (or $14,597) based on the June 2004 Consumer Price Index, as called for by the contract.

•The board approved to provide after-school transportation to the Punkin Patch Daycare for $25 per month, the same agreement as last year.

•The board approved a transportation agreement with Shelly Gunderson for the first quarter of the 2004-05 school year.

•The board approved adjusting the contract for ESL teacher Sarah Kruger from 0.314 FTE to 0.429 FTE. The district has $14,000 for its English as a Second Language program this year, and the increase is covered by that amount.

•The board approved hiring workers for the fitness center for the 2004-05 school year (September 2004 to May 2005): Tricia Buggs (20 hours per week); Becky Titrud (19 hours per week); Sue Teicher (eight hours per week); Danielle Dickhausen (six hours per week); Jim Pastor (substitute); and Reed Quarfot (substitute).

•The board approved hiring board member Lowell Haagenson as a substitute teacher under the limit for pay for board members.

•The board approved an assignment for instructional assistant Diane Gilk for six preschool screenings during the 2004-05 school year.

•The board approved extending a long-term custodial substitute contract for Michael Schwandt until the end of September.

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