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Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

(June 9, 2006) 8442

School Board Proceedings

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING

BOARD OF EDUCATION, INDEPENDENT

SCHOOL DISTRICT No. 347

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Willmar, Minnesota -- May 8, 2006

The regular meeting of the Board of Education of Independent School District No. 347 of Willmar, Minnesota, was called to order on Monday, May 8, 2006, at 4:30 p.m., at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, Rehearsal Hall, Chair, Dion Warne, presiding.

Members Present: Dion Warne, Wayne Lenzmeier, Brad Schmidt, Eric Roberts, Mike Carlson, Sandi Unger and Shawn Mueske

Members Absent: None

Others Present: Kathy Leedom, Superintendent; Bob Haines, Director of Business and Finance; Bill Busta, Director of Human Resources; Rob Anderson, Senior High Principal; Neil Schendel, Senior High School Assistant Principal; Mark Miley, Senior High School Assistant Principal; Paul Schmitz, Activities Director; Mike Prunty, Junior High School Principal; Patti Dols, Roosevelt School Principal; Scott Hisken, Kennedy School Principal; Beckie Simenson, Jefferson/Lincoln Schools Principal; Mike Mohs, Secondary Alternative Programs Director; Susan Smith, Special Education Coordinator; Annette Derouin, Food Service Director, Marilyn Bolin, Steps to a Healthier Willmar School District Coordinator; Tori Leitch, Parent & Community Member; Lisa Wendt, Loan Officer for Bremer Bank; Justin Kidrowski, President Willmar FFA at Willmar Senior High School; David Damhof, Agriculture Instructor at Willmar Senior High School; Rita VanderMolen, Program Coordinator at Lakeview School; Ginger Baune, Special Needs Paraprofessional at Willmar Junior High School; Joyce Paulson, Special Needs Paraprofessional at Bridgeway Learning Center; Heather Lorensen, Student at Willmar Senior High School; Sonja Jens, Agriculture Instructor at Willmar Senior High School; Brian Bollig, Asst City Engineer from the City of Willmar

The Board began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Motion by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Wayne Lenzmeier, to approve the Minutes of the April 24, 2006 Regular Meeting. Motion carried.

Motion by Brad Schmidt, seconded by Sandi Unger, to approve the Agenda. Motion carried.

Motion by Mike Carlson, seconded by Wayne Lenzmeier, to approve the Consent Agenda. Motion Carried.

Bills:

Approve payment of bills, Bremer Bank, Check Numbers 51431 - 51894, Totaling $1,333,894.60

Appointments:

Linda Bahe, Dean of Students, Jefferson & Lincoln Schools, effective beginning with the 2006-07 school year.

Resignations:

Julie Dilley, Food Service Assistant, Willmar Senior High, effective May 11, 2006.

Pat Jacobson, Food Service Assistant, Jefferson School, effective April 28, 2006.

Retirements:

Donna Lehman, Food Service Assistant, Willmar Senior High, effective June 3, 2006.

Request for Leave of Absence:

Linda Bahe, Instructor, Willmar Public Schools, is requesting to rescind the 2006-2007 year of a previously approved leave.

Mindi Fagerlie, Mathematics Instructor, Willmar Senior High, effective approximately August 29 thru November 6, 2006.

STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE FOR SECONDARY ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS - Mike Mohs, Presenting. Mike reviewed each of the alternative programs (Area Learning Center, Bridgeway Learning Center, Behavior Assessment Center, Career Assessment Center, Lakeview School, Prairie Lakes School, and Greater Minnesota Shelter Care) and discussed the major initiatives in place this year and progress made on those initiatives to support the Board's goals that make up the strategic plan for the District. Discussion and questions took place and the Board thanked Mike for his presentation.

DISTRICT WELLNESS POLICY - #725 - Kathy Leedom introduced Annette Derouin, Director of Food and Nutrition Services; Marilyn Bolin, School District Coordinator for Steps to a Healthier Willmar, and Tori Leitch, Community Volunteer and Parent. They presented an overview of the First Reading of the proposed District Wellness Policy. The federal government is requiring that school districts across the country implement wellness policies that assure a school environment that promotes and protects students' health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Annette Derouin coordinated a policy development group including stakeholders both from the district and community. The committee worked very hard to put together a policy to be in place by the end of June. Kathy noted that the Willmar Public Schools has been a leader in both the state and across the nation in developing our policy from what we have heard from outside, objective viewers. Annette, Marilyn, and Tori reviewed the District Wellness Committee membership and briefly walked through the purpose for the wellness policy as well as a summary of what is involved in it.

Motion by Eric Roberts, seconded by Mike Carlson to approve the District Wellness Policy - #725, first reading. The motion carried.

STORM WATER RETENTION STUDY NEAR KENNEDY SCHOOL - Kathy Leedom introduced Brian Bollig, City of Willmar Engineering Department. She said the area around Kennedy experienced issues regarding excessive rain and storm water in the fall of 2005. Brian explained that the entire neighborhood around Kennedy School has had issues with flooding that resulted in property damage in recent years due to severe rains. He described the affected areas and the drainage that is already in place and then talked about the reasons why these areas are having severe localized flooding. The areas are primarily in the central part of Willmar, in particular near the corner of 10th Street and Kandiyohi Avenue. The City of Willmar is looking at potential remedies to the situation and they are proposing that they begin the process of analyzing potential solutions by working with engineers and other experts in this area. One of the possible solutions is a storm water retention area on the southwest edge of the Kennedy School playground area. Brian described this and took a number of questions, including questions about safety. In general, the Board endorsed the review and analysis of the study that the City of Willmar is planning to conduct and will be interested in hearing more details about it once the City has more specific options to recommend. Board members expressed concerns about child safety as it pertains to a water retention area and also spoke about retaining as much useable physical education space in the grassy area of Kennedy School.

BUDGET REDUCTIONS FOR 2006-2007 - Kathy Leedom introduced the budget reductions for 2006-07 agenda item. She talked through some of the specific reductions that had drawn large numbers of questions. On the Special Education paraprofessionals reductions where it is proposed that district's 7 hour positions would be reduced to 6 hour positions, she spoke about how the district is consulting with Willmar Bus about route changes that are needed especially at the Senior High so that the special education students do not arrive so early in the day. She also reviewed the paraprofessional team approach that has been used successfully at the Roosevelt Elementary site. Kathy then talked through the Agriculture Department reduction which would be to reduce one of three teaching positions. It would primarily affect the small animal care class and most other classes would be offered through Ag and Industrial Tech. The extended contract days to be reduced from 66 to 54 days would result in a 6 day reduction for each of the two remaining Agriculture teachers. She also provided comparisons to other districts and how many additional extended contract days they have in their Ag Departments. She also discussed the proposed administrative restructuring and budget reductions that the Board requested. This restructuring would be to eliminate the Senior High Activities Director position and make the current Activities Director an Assistant Principal at the Senior High and restructure the duties of the two assistant principals and the principal to cover all administrative duties at the Senior High including the Activities Director duties. Restructuring of the Activities Department support staff to cover all essential tasks would also be necessary. The district would then transfer one assistant principal from the Senior High to the Junior High as was in place in 2000. The Dean of Students position at the Junior High would be eliminated. The Dean of Students would resume the role of a Social Studies teacher, resulting in the reduction of one Social Studies teaching position. The net savings of all these items would be $21,000 per year. Kathy said that approximately $250,000 of the proposed $853,000 in budget reductions is due to declining enrollment. She also reminded everyone that there is a cumulative effect of budget reductions made now that are sustained over the years ahead.

Presentations and comments followed from Rob Anderson about reductions at the Senior High School and the potential impact on student scheduling; Lisa Wendt, a loan office at Bremer Bank in support of the Ag Department; Justin Kidrowski, a student at Willmar Senior High School and President of the FFA, in support of the Ag Department; Heather Lorensen, a student at Willmar Senior High School, in support of the Ag Department; Dave Damhof, Ag Instructor at Willmar Senior High School, who spoke in support of maintaining the current staffing level in the Ag Department; and Sonja Jens, Ag Instructor at Willmar Senior High School. There was also additional public input from Joyce Paulson and Ginger Baune, Special Education Paraprofessionals in support of Special Education Paraprofessionals. Rita VanderMolen, Program Coordinator at Lakeview Schools, also spoke in support of Special Education Paraprofessionals.

Extensive discussion followed including questions among Board members and questions for administrators and staff who were present. Wayne Lenzmeier stated that he advocated cutting between $550,000 and $600,000 to avoid more severe cuts. Brad Schmidt said he is looking at the reductions more from the long term and taking a conservative approach. Sandi Unger remarked that she is the only Board member who was on the Board back when the District went into Statutory Operating Debt and she said making reductions is difficult but not as difficult as it was trying to climb out of debt.

Chair, Dion Warne, asked each Board member to list the reductions that they did not support or that they wanted more information on. Motion by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Mike Carlson to eliminate the elementary teacher reduction (reduction #1) from the proposed budget reductions. Motion carried.

Motion by Wayne Lenzmeier, seconded by Mike Carlson to approve budget reductions Numbers 2 thru 46.

An amendment by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Wayne Lenzmeier to remove the Math teacher reduction (reduction #9) at the Senior High School from the proposed budget reductions. Motion carried.

An amendment by Mike Carlson, seconded by Shawn Mueske to eliminate the parking fee increase from $50 to $75 from the proposed budget reduction. Motion failed.

Motion by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Mike Carlson to adjust the reduction #14 raising parking fees from $50 to $75 to adjust the increase to $60 instead of $75 for a total revenue increase of $5,700. Motion carried.

An amendment by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Wayne Lenzmeier, to eliminate the Ag Program reduction from the proposed budget reductions. Motion failed.

Motion by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Sandi Unger to maintain the 6 days of extended contract days proposed reduction to the two long term Ag teachers. Motion carried. Motion by Shawn Mueske to eliminate the reduction #19 to raise the Speech fees from $40 to $80, there was no second. Motion by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Wayne Lenzmeier to eliminate reduction #40 which was to reduce the 7 hour Special Education Paraprofessionals to 6 hour positions. Motion failed. Extensive discussion continued. Original motion by Wayne Lenzmeier, seconded by Mike Carlson to approve reductions numbers 2 thru 46 as amended a number of times for a total reduction of $770,965.31 to the 2007 budget. Motion carried.

Brad Schmidt and Eric Roberts left the meeting.

RESOLUTIONS PLACING TENURED STAFF ON UNREQUESTED LEAVE - As Necessary

Member Mike Carlson introduced the following Resolution and moved its adoption:

RESOLUTION PROPOSING TO PLACE

SUE SUNDE (.60)

ON UNREQUESTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE

BE IT RESOLVED, by the School Board of Independent School District No. 347 as follows:

1. That it is proposed that Sue Sunde, a FACS Teacher of said school district, be placed on unrequested leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits, effective at the end of the 2005-2006 school year on June 30, 2006, pursuant to M.S. 122.40, subdivision 11, and the 2005-2007 Master Agreement:

2. That written notice be sent to said teacher regarding the proposed placement on unrequested leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits as provided by law and said notice shall include a date for hearing if requested and be either personally served on the teacher or sent to the teacher by restricted delivery mail.

3. That each and all of the foregoing grounds of said notice are within the grounds for unrequested leave placement as set forth in Minnesota Statute 122.40, Subdivision 11, and are hereby adopted as fully as though separately set forth and resolved herein.

4. Written notice of the proposed layoff shall be either served on the Association with return receipt requested or be sent to the Association by restricted delivery mail as per Master Agreement.

The motion for the adoption of the foregoing resolution was duly seconded by Sandi Unger and upon vote being taken thereon, the following voted in favor thereof:

Dion Warne, Wayne Lenzmeier, Mike Carlson, Sandi Unger and Shawn Mueske

And the following voted against the same: None

And the following were absent: Brad Schmidt and Eric Roberts

WHEREUPON, said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.

Member Wayne Lenzmeier introduced the following Resolution and moved its adoption:

RESOLUTION PROPOSING TO PLACE

ANNETTE TIFFANY

ON UNREQUESTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE

BE IT RESOLVED, by the School Board of Independent School District No. 347 as follows:

1. That it is proposed that Annette Tiffany, a Social Worker of said school district, be placed on unrequested leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits, effective at the end of the 2005-2006 school year on June 30, 2006, pursuant to M.S. 122.40, subdivision 11, and the 2005-2007 Master Agreement:

2. That written notice be sent to said teacher regarding the proposed placement on unrequested leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits as provided by law and said notice shall include a date for hearing if requested and be either personally served on the teacher or sent to the teacher by restricted delivery mail.

3. That each and all of the foregoing grounds of said notice are within the grounds for unrequested leave placement as set forth in Minnesota Statute 122.40, Subdivision 11, and are hereby adopted as fully as though separately set forth and resolved herein.

4. Written notice of the proposed layoff shall be either served on the Association with return receipt requested or be sent to the Association by restricted delivery mail as per Master Agreement.

The motion for the adoption of the foregoing resolution was duly seconded by Mike Calrson and upon vote being taken thereon, the following voted in favor thereof:

Dion Warne, Wayne Lenzmeier, Mike Carlson, Sandi Unger and Shawn Mueske

And the following voted against the same: None

And the following were absent: Brad Schmidt and Eric Roberts

WHEREUPON, said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.

Member Shawn Mueske introduced the following Resolution and moved its adoption:

RESOLUTION PROPOSING TO PLACE

JEREMY THEIS

ON UNREQUESTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE

BE IT RESOLVED, by the School Board of Independent School District No. 347 as follows:

1. That it is proposed that Jeremy Theis, a teacher of said school district, be placed on unrequested leave of absence for two days and ½ hour for 184 days of his extended contract without pay or fringe benefits, effective at the end of the 2005-2006 school year on June 30, 2006, pursuant to M.S. 122.40, subdivision 11, and the 2005-2007 Master Agreement:

2. That written notice be sent to said teacher regarding the proposed placement on unrequested leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits as provided by law and said notice shall include a date for hearing if requested and be either personally served on the teacher or sent to the teacher by restricted delivery mail.

3. That each and all of the foregoing grounds of said notice are within the grounds for unrequested leave placement as set forth in Minnesota Statute 122.40, Subdivision 11, and are hereby adopted as fully as though separately set forth and resolved herein.

4. Written notice of the proposed layoff shall be either served on the Association with return receipt requested or be sent to the Association by restricted delivery mail as per Master Agreement.

The motion for the adoption of the foregoing resolution was duly seconded by Wayne Lenzmeier and upon vote being taken thereon, the following voted in favor thereof:

Dion Warne, Wayne Lenzmeier, Mike Carlson, Sandi Unger and Shawn Mueske

And the following voted against the same: None

And the following were absent: Brad Schmidt and Eric Roberts

WHEREUPON, said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.

SET DATE FOR DISTRICT RETIREMENT DINNER - May 31 or June 1 - Kathy Leedom asked the Board to set a date for the District Retirement Dinner and offered several suggested dates. Motion by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Wayne Lenzmeier to have the District Retirement Dinner on May 31, 2006. Motion carried.

APPROVE CONTRACT WITH PALMER BUS COMPANY - Kathy Leedom reported that the District had reached a contract agreement with Palmer Bus Company. This contract mirrors the contract put together earlier this spring with Willmar Bus Service with a 3% annual increase in the contract and an extension for two years. Motion by Sandi Unger, seconded by Shawn Mueske to approve the contract with Palmer Bus Company. Motion carried.

ADJUST 2005-2006 CALENDAR TO REFLECT DECEMBER 14, 2005 INCLEMENT

WEATHER DAY - Kathy Leedom introduced this request to adjust the 2005-2006 Calendar to reflect the December 14, 2005 inclement weather day. This adjustment is a formality the Board needs to approve, to keep District records and student attendance accounting accurate with the State of Minnesota to indicate that December 14, 2005 was an inclement weather day and school was not in session. Motion by Mike Carlson, seconded by Sandi Unger to adjust the 2005-2006 calendar to reflect that December 14, 2005 was an inclement weather day. Motion carried.

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS & FINANCE REPORT

Bob Haines mentioned that the next Finance Advisory Committee Meeting is May 15, 2006. The primary topic will be the first draft of the fiscal year 2007 budget. He said both the Buildings and Grounds Committee and the Banking Service Selection Committee had met recently. On the Schools for Energy Efficiency update, district-wide it showed a 9.2% energy cost avoidance in the third quarter of implementation. That is the quarter ending December, 2005 which translates into district-wide cost avoidance of $22,600 for that quarter, following up on $15,700 of cost avoidance in the prior quarter and $8,600 cost avoidance two quarters ago.

DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES REPORT

Bill Busta said that the District has reached a tentative agreement with the Library/General Paraprofessionals Group and they would be voting on that agreement shortly and hopefully be bringing a final contract recommendation to the Board at the May 22, 2005 meeting. The District is beginning negotiations with other non-affiliated employees and hopes to bring most of those contracts also to the Board meeting on May 22, 2005.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Dion Warne updated the Board on the recent Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting. The committee approved a capital budget for $837,000 for fiscal year 2007. Mike Carlson noted that there would be a fairly significant roof repair on the Washington gym roof this June.

Wayne Lenzmeier updated the Board on the Banking Selection Committee meeting earlier in the day on May 8, 2006. The Board reviewed analysis and information on the six banks that have submitted proposals and the Committee is planning on having presentations from all six local banks on Friday, May 12.

Shawn Mueske updated the Board on the recent Little Crow Tele-Media Network Committee meeting. He said there will be a slight decrease in the District's fee for that arrangement in 2007. He also said he is applying to be part of Little Crow Tele-Media Network Learning Communities.

Sandi Unger gave a brief update on the Willmar Public Schools Foundation Gala that was held on May 4, 2006. She said there were twice as many in attendance as had been expected. It was a great success and there were wonderful performances by the students. She thanked everyone for their support.

PUBLIC INPUT - Public Input was covered during budget reduction discussion.

SUPERINTENDENT'S COMMENTS - Kathy Leedom said the week of May 8-12 is National Teachers' Week, and she congratulated all the teachers and thanked them for their many efforts. Also, May 10, 2005 is National School Nurse's Day, and she thanked the school nurses for their many efforts. Kathy read a proclamation signifying the month of May as Mental Health Month. She also gave the Board a reminder of the District's Honors Banquet coming up on May 17, 2005 at 6:00 pm. Willmar graduate, Dr. Dan Tiede, will be the keynote speaker. Kathy said that several District employees were honored by the Kandiyohi County ARC Organization with awards. Honorees included: Nancy Ritz and Ann Hendershott. Also, the annual ARC Dance was held the night after Prom at the Willmar Senior High School. Kathy thanked the National Honor Society for hosting the ARC Dance and she also congratulated Willmar Business Professionals of America students who are going to a National BPA competition in Orlando, Florida. She thanked Co-Chairs, Sandi Unger and Mary Seifert, for their incredible effort on the successful Willmar Public Schools Foundation Gala. She also thanked the school teachers and students for the school art and the great performances at the Gala. Kathy thanked the Post-Prom organizers, as well as the many parents and businesses that support the annual Post-Prom Party.

OTHER

Wayne Lenzmeier made a motion, seconded by Shawn Mueske that the Board should soon have a Policy Governance Workshop. Motion carried. The suggestion was that Jan Roody from MSBA could come out and help the Board with this workshop. The details will be worked out later.

Kathy Leedom said that she would suggest that the Board have a further discussion about speech fees, marching band fees and FFA fees in the late summer or early fall.

Kathy also said that the MSBA post-legislative area meeting will be May 30, 2006 at the WEAC Rehearsal Hall. More details to come.

Motion by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Wayne Lenzmeier to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried.

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