On Thursday, Jan. 18, the Lanesboro School Board gathered to discuss organization for the upcoming calendar year.

Board Chair Dave Ruen was reelected to the chair position. Dave Lawstuen remains vice chair and Steve Snyder and Lolly Melander continue as clerk and treasurer, respectively.

This year, the board elected to increase the board members’ compensation for the year. The last time the amounts were increased was 2007 for the chairperson and 2005 for the remaining members. As such, the chairperson will be compensated $1,400 per year, the clerk and treasurer both will receive $1,200 per year, and directors will receive $1,000. The chief negotiator’s pay increased to $500 annually and other negotiators will be paid $400. The education district will be increased to $300.

The board set up regular meetings for the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the elementary library.

It also designated the Merchants Bank of Lanesboro as the official district depository.

As for legal counselors, the board approved Nethercut Schieber Attorneys, PLLP in Harmony for general business and Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger, PA in the Twin Cities as the school law advisors. The board authorized Superintendent Matt Schultz and Board Chair Dave Ruen to be the official contacts to these counsels.

The News Leader was accepted as the official newspaper.

The beginning of the year did see a change in board members with the resignation of Terri Scott as she moved out of the district. In her place, the board members appointed Steve Storhoff to fill out the remainder of her term. He will be seated at the February meeting.

With Scott’s vacancy, a committee seat is vacant and a couple of board representatives are open. Chris Troendle will serve on the policy committee for the present with another member joining in the future. She will also be on the advisory committee again. Steve Snyder and Dave Lawstuen remain on the finance, facilities and long-range planning committee and both will be on the personnel committee as needed. Lawstuen will continue as the Minnesota State High School League representative and Ruen will work in the education district. Representatives for the economic development and legislative liaison are both open for the present.

Reports

Board member Chris Troendle attended the Minnesota School Board Association conference a couple of weeks ago. She found it much more comfortable the second year in attendance. One of the sessions she attended emphasized the need for kids to know what they like and are good at, and to do that they need to try more things. A second session emphasized how it is important not to give up on kids. One interesting thing she learned was the state of Minnesota is very low on the number of counselors to students with 740 to 1. The national average is 450 to one, but the recommended is around 250 to one. She also learned about the difference of the school board educating the public versus advocating for a specific reason during a referendum or some such event and what the school can and cannot do to abide by school law.

Superintendent Matt Schultz informed the board Stacey Schultz found a toolbox education grant from Lowes for materials to build an outdoor classroom somewhere behind the school. Lowe’s will also send employees to help build the classroom.

ALICE training was done on Monday, Jan. 22, with nearly an hour of online training, two hours of classroom and an hour and half of active shooter training.

The school is in the second round of the grant for $10,000 from SMIF for the creative curriculum series with the goal of aligning the curriculum for all early childhood opportunities focusing specifically on social, emotional learning. Tim Penny, president of SMIF, will soon be touring the school during a site visit.

The peer coaching book group was completed. The next day for peer coaching will be done in March. Subs for both the elementary and high school have been hired for that day already.

The ninth-grade leadership group hosted a movie and game night on Saturday for Justin Bell and his family. Schultz praised them for their efforts.

Other business

The board approved the 2018-2019 school calendar with the students ending school on May 31 and graduation on June 2.

The board approved a Region V Joint Powers agreement which handles the financial computer services for accounting, payroll, etcetera, for the school. The last time it was approved was May 1, 1995. Schultz noted only a few minor changes have been made to the agreement since then.

The board approved a resolution directing the superintendent to make recommendations for adjustments in curriculum, programs and staff for the following school year.

There will be MSBA new school board officer training sessions with three different phases. Once Storhoff is seated, the MSBA will be contacting him with the information for the training sessions.