Fillmore Central School Board wraps up the school year

Bretta Grabau

The Fillmore Central School Board met on Tuesday, May 28, to wrap up the 2018-2019 school year. With that came a large number of changes in personnel.

There were several resignations submitted, which were approved. They were from Jeffrey Dick as a high school teacher, Karn Friedges as an elementary teacher, Shelly Wahl as a paraprofessional, Lori Weiss as a daycare 4/5 teacher and Michael Casey as a custodian.

Some hires included Tonya Keim as the long-term substitute for Kenzie Fruechte, Jason Buvala as Spanish teacher for the next year in place of Brandi Mayer who will be deployed and Erin O’Brien as a social studies teacher at the high school. Coaches were also hired including Brady O’Connor as head boys basketball coach, Elisha Himli for dance and Sarah O’Connell as a second seventh grade volleyball coach. The numbers for seventh grade volleyball are so high Dean of Students Chris Mensink is lining up additional games for them to split into two teams.

Several special education service contracts were approved as well. Erickson Hearing Services received the contract for an audiologist at $85.17 per hour. Southern Minnesota Education Consortium will provide a deaf/hard of hearing teacher consultant for $90 per hour for a minimum of 44 hours plus mileage. The consortium will also provide an emotional behavior disorder teacher for $65 per hour for a minimum of 10 hours plus mileage, a vision teacher/consultant for $90 per hour for a minimum of 64 hours plus mileage and school psychologist services for $90 per hour for a minimum of 154 hours plus mileage. The vision and psychological needs of the school have both decreased, so the school anticipates a decrease of $4,480 for vision expenses and $10,780 for the psychologist. Additionally, Hiawatha Valley Education District will provide consultation for physically impaired and traumatic brain injury cases for $46.78 per hour for 50 hours, 10% administrative fee, plus mileage. Finally, Mary Kaulto will serve as an orientation and mobility teacher for $75 per hour for a minimum of two hours at a time with $25 per hour drive time billed in 15-minute increments plus mileage.

Andy Todd’s part-time contract was adjusted to full-time, effective with the start of the next school year.

Contract extensions were granted for one year for Superintendent Richard Keith and two years for Michelle Breitsprecher.

The board also set wages for community education employees and van drivers. For year one, van drivers will receive $12 per hour, year two $12.50, year five $13.50, year 10 $14.75 and substitutes $11.75.

Summer staff was approved as well. Summer rec staff includes Lauren Mensink, Haven O’Connor, Mason Berg, Kjerstiana Corson, Zach Haugerud, Madison Krage, Molly McKernan, Hadrian Williams and Logan Corson. SAC staff are Janeen Wingert, Jess Marzolf, Amanda Heibel, Kathy Stafki, Kelsey Berg, Emma Breitsprecher and Cassidy Hanson.


Principal Heath Olstad gave his report to the board. Concerts were given throughout May with the kids doing an excellent job. The spring musical was presented to the public on May 3 and 4. Senior awards night was May 15 with $57,000 given out. Baccalaureate was on May 19 and graduation was on May 26 with all seniors in the graduation ceremony. Olstad shared, of the 38 seniors, 28 plan to continue their education, one will be joining the military and nine will work. He also stated the local banks are continuing the mini-grant program for the 2019-2020 school year.

Olstad also shared the dairy judging team took second at state. They are invited to the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pa., Sept. 14 to 17. FFA advisor Megan Brown has been looking into fundraising to cover the expenses for it.

Mensink shared D.A.R.E. graduation was hosted on May 15 at Kingsland. Haley O’Connell was the essay winner from Fillmore Central. Field trips were very successful this year, as was the fourth grade “Wax Museum” presentations held on May 10.

The Special Athletic Competition was held on May 17 in Winona. Fillmore Central sent 10 students, according to Director of Special Education Micki Breitsprecher.

Twelve families from Fillmore Central were randomly selected by the Minnesota Department of Education to partake in a parent survey this spring. The survey gives parents in Minnesota an opportunity to provide feedback in areas related to their level of involvement in their child’s IEP process and whether they felt supported by teachers and administrators.

Five students were selected by the MDE for Fillmore Central to report back data regarding student’s educational and vocational experiences since exiting high school. This is a requirement from office of special education programs. The survey is to be collected and shared with MDE no later than Aug. 17.

The 2019-2020 school year will be Fillmore Central’s review year for program monitoring with the MDE. The process begins in August with due process training. Throughout the year surveys will be collected, staff will be interviewed, policies and procedures are reviewed, student files are reviewed and an MDE compliance and assistance monitor will come on site for a site review. If concerns arise, corrective action plans are written.

Fillmore Central will start the five-year partnership with the MDE and Minnesota Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities in 2019-2020. The first day of training with the implementation team was scheduled for May 29.

Extended School Year will be Aug. 5, 6, 8, 9 and 12-16 from 8 to 11:20 a.m. The Special Education Advisory Committee Eat, Greet and Play will be held Aug. 19 at the elementary school from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Other business

The board approved three interstate enrollment requests from Decorah, participation in student assurance services program for school-age children at no cost to the district, the Head Start lease with no change in rates, Minnesota State High School League membership, sports sharing agreements with Lanesboro and Mabel-Canton and budget adjustments for fiscal year 2019.

The district and elementary office copy machine leases expire in July. The board approved a quote from EO Johnson for a four-year lease for two machines.

A memorandum of understanding with Luther College for education department students to participate in field experience at Fillmore Central was approved.

Harmony Transit was the only vendor to supply a quote for a new transportation contract. The agreement struck with the company was for a 4% increase to the contract for each year of two years with the option to renew for an additional two years. This was accepted.

Finally, the school is required to raise the rates a minimum amount for breakfast and lunch until the school reaches the non-reimbursed meal cost. Based on the formula, Keith recommended a 5-cent increase in all categories and no change to milk, milk break or healthy snack cart prices. The board agreed.