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Paynesville Press - December 14, 2005

School board reviews 2004-05 audit

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6. *The board received its 2005 audit report and heard a verbal report from Al Habben of Habben Hennen & Company. The audit showed the district running in the black again for the 2004-05 school year (July 2004 to June 2005). During that time, the district's general fund ran in the black to the tune of $283,000 (revenue of $8,753,500 and expenditurs of $8,470,500). This increases the general fund balance for the district to $845,000, the highest since 1998-99. Audit story

*The board approved a two-year contract with its food service employees. The agreement calls for a 4.77 percent increase the first year and 2.57 percent the second year, totaling 7.34 percent over two years. The district contribution to health insurance for each employee was also raised from $4,700 to $4,800 per year, as was done with all other employees this fall in negotiations. Mediation was needed to reach this contract agreement.

*The board approved a resignation request from payroll specialist LuAnn Loxtercamp, effective at the end of December. Loxtercamp, who is taking a job to train school district employees, has agreed to work the rest of the month to try and complete the year-end payroll, said superintendent Todd Burlingame, and will help train her replacement. The district is advertising for a replacement.

*The board approved adding 2.5 hours to paraprofessional Michele Moser's daily assignment. Moser will now work 6.5 hours per day, instead of four hours per day. The extra hours were needed to help a student in Early Childhood Special Education.

*The board heard a report about the fuel tank, removed last summer at Paynesville Area Elementary School. Because leakage was found, the site is being monitored, and the district's contractor is preparing a report about further recommendations. Building and grounds supervisor Donnie Mayer told the board that the amount of fuel that his staff have removed from the monitoring wells has gone down, from four gallons in August to one quart now, but their environmental consultant may want to do more monitoring.

*The board also heard from Mayer that the new boiler should be installed over the holiday break.

*The board reviewed district census data for ages 0-4 with elementary principal Deb Gillman. The district has tried to improve the accuracy of this census in recent years, said Gillman. Right now, they have identified 95 kids at age 4, meaning next year's kindergarten class could be strong again.

The total number of kids identified in the census has also shown gradual growth, said Gillman, from 291 in 2001-02 to 299 in 2002-03 to 302 in 2003-04 to 327 in 2004-05 and to 342 in 2005-06.

*The board heard a report from secondary school principal Lorie Floura about some concerns with the schedule. Specifically, she was concerned by the number of students who have two study halls and reported that they are researching possible remedies, including increasing the number of credits required for graduation or adopting a policy prohibiting two study halls.

*The board approved appointing Gretchen O'Fallon and Mary Burlingame as prom advisors for the 2005-06 school year.

*The board approved a new district policy for out-of-state travel by school board members. This policy basically requires that any out-of-state travel for board business with the intention of being reimbursed for costs should be pre-approved by the board. This mandatory policy needed to be adopted before Jan. 1, 2006.

*The board noted that its next meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 2 p.m. at the media center at PAMS in order to meet with the student advisory councils.

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