By Lorae Vardas
The Pierz School Board met in regular session on Wednesday evening to make annual designations and appointments for the upcoming fiscal year. The board meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at either Healy High School or Pioneer Elementary. Unless otherwise posted, all meetings are open to the public.
No changes were made in compensation for the six-member board of directors. Members are paid a stipend of $60 per meeting with special and negotiation sessions paid on a prorated basis according to length at $60, $40 and $30. All-day meetings are compensated at $100.
After some discussion regarding in-district board-appointed meetings and those lasting less than one-half hour, the consensus was to leave them at zero compensation. The majority felt some duties are expected as an elected official. Mileage reimbursement when private vehicles are used for school business was left at 35 cents per mile.
Committee assignments were made as follows: Chair Mike Wilson, hearing official to review free/reduced meals and representative on the North Central Service Cooperative; Dean Virnig, North Central Service Cooperative and Minnesota State High School League; Ann Hennen, Mid-State Education District; Patty Stangl, Curriculum; Colleen Seelen, Community Education Advisory and Legislative Liaison for the MSBA; and Jim Kapsner, Staff Development and Peer Review.
In related organizational items, Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Pierz, MSDLAF and MSDMAX were named official depositories for fiscal year 2005-2006. The superintendent and business manager were authorized to invest funds not immediately needed and have the investments approved at the next board meeting. The Morrison County Record remains the official newspaper for legal notices and other district information.
Membership in the Minnesota School Boards Association was renewed at $3,237, up $100 from last year. The contract with Central Minnesota Educational Research and Development Council Media Library Service (CMERDC) was approved at an estimated cost of $5,150 based on pupil count.
In additional routine business in preparation for the new school year, the board:
• Set the state mandated Truth in Taxation public hearing for December 7 at 6 p.m. at the High School; A continuation hearing, if needed, and adoption of the property tax levy will be held on December 14 at 6 p.m.
• Authorized administration to advertise for dairy and pastry products for the food service program which will be presented for approval at the August board meeting.
• Increased school lunch prices (full pay) by five cents for the coming year. Cost of lunch for students in prekindergarten through grade six is $1.50; grades 7 through 12 pay $1.70; and adults are charged $2.65 per meal. Cost of breakfast is 75 cents, except for those qualifying for free and reduced breakfast and lunch. Extra milk remains at 35 cents.
• Allocated the estimated 2005-2006 general education revenue by educational site, as required by statute, and directed the business manager to submit the necessary data to the MN Department of Education.
• Accepted the Health and Safety Management Assistance Program contract as presented at a cost of $1,194.
• Approved the Pierz High School and Pioneer Elementary Parent-Student Handbooks with several minor revisions and updated information.
• Accepted resignations from Becky Mercy, high school choir teacher, and Tom Voigt, district transportation coordinator, and thanked them for their dedicated years of service.
• Employed Lance Brune as Ag teacher and Timothy Heerts as choir teacher, pending the usual criminal background checks. The transportation position has five applications to date and requires multi-tasking, including checking roads in winter for emergency cancellations.
• Approved lane changes for high school instructors Paul Gruber and David Rocheleau, and Elementary teacher Alice Nevins. They all hold master of arts degrees, with Gruber and Nevins earning 10 additional credits. Terri Krych’s job class was changed as secretary to the superintendent.
• Hired Lea Block, Steph Kirschbaum, Mary Ann Andrea, Marie Schaefer, Romelle Welle, Linda Waytashek, Deb Woitalla, Rhonda Ross, Jean Hayes, Jane Funk and Kim Tretter to conduct the school census at $1 per child counted.
• Reminds residents that the next draw meeting for the gym project will be held on August 10 at 8 a.m. in the High School Board Room. The board next meets in regular session on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.