Willmar School Board Proceedings

admin(Feb. 23, 2007) 8975 School Board Proceedings MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING BOARD OF EDUCATION, INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 347 Willmar, Minnesota -- January 22, 2007 The regular meeting of the Board of Education of Independent School Distr...

admin(Feb. 23, 2007) 8975

School Board Proceedings





Willmar, Minnesota -- January 22, 2007

The regular meeting of the Board of Education of Independent School District No. 347 of Willmar, Minnesota, was called to order on Monday, January 22, 2007, at 5:00 p.m., at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, Chair Mike Carlson, presiding.

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

Members Absent: None

Others Present: Kathy Leedom, Superintendent; Bob Haines, Director of Business and Finance; Bill Busta, Director of Human Resources; Charlie Kyte, Executive Director of MASA; Brad Lundell, Executive Director of Schools for Equity in Education; Steve Brisendine, Community Education and Recreation Director; Dan Holtz, District Accountant

The Board began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Motion by Wayne Lenzmeier, seconded by Dion Warne, to approve the Minutes of the January 8, 2007, Regular Meeting. Motion carried.

Motion by Dion Warne, seconded by Sandi Unger, to approve the Agenda.


Motion carried.

Motion by Dion Warne, seconded by Shawn Mueske, to approve the Consent Agenda.

Motion carried.

Appointments: None


* Linda Petersen, Special Needs Paraprofessional, Roosevelt School, effective February 23, 2007. Retiring after 6 years with Willmar Public Schools.

Leave of Absence:

* Jenna Hanson, Elementary Instructor, Roosevelt School, effective approximately from April 9 through June 5, 2007.



* Approve the payment of bills and wires, Bremer Bank, check numbers 54620, 54725, and 55050 through 56141, totaling $5,702,020.13 for the months of November and December, 2006.




The following is a list of the individuals, groups, and businesses who have contributed to the Junior High Solar Panels Project as of January 4, 2007: AARP ($200), Willmar Public School Foundation ($5000), Bremer Bank ($500), Duininck Bros ($1437-one panel), Elizabeth and Leonard Lackore ($1300), Mary Stetzel ($25), Katie Hoversten ($30), Carol Schmiesing ($30), Karen & Greg Hilding ($250), Steven & Becky Martinka ($50), Bob & Dona Haines ($50), Garfield & Stacy Herfindahl ($20), Austen Hilding ($28.33), John & Donna Haines ($25), and the Youth as Resources Grant ($1000)


Kathy Leedom introduced Dr. Charlie Kyte, Executive Director of MASA. Dr. Kyte is a former Superintendent for the Northfield Public Schools and the Eden Valley-Watkins Public Schools. Dr. Kyte stated that during the year that a Superintendent is serving the MASA as its President, he makes a visit to that President's School District. He said that MASA appreciated the District's cooperation in allowing Kathy to serve in her leadership role with MASA this year. Dr. Kyte presented Kathy with the MASA President's ring that is made possible by the Josten's Corporation. In addition, Dr. Kyte presented a check to the School Board in the amount of $1,000 from MASA that he asked be used for a student scholarship for a deserving student in the Class of 2007. Board Chair Mike Carlson thanked Dr. Kyte for the scholarship donation and also thanked Kathy for efforts on behalf of public education. Kathy Leedom thanked the Board and the Administrative Leadership Team for all their help and support making her efforts with MASA possible.


PS MINNESOTA OVERVIEW - Kathy Leedom introduced Brad Lundell, Executive Director of Schools for Equity in Education (SEE). SEE joined a number of educational organizations to form a group called PS Minnesota. The purpose of the PS Minnesota Project has been to provide resources to enable a thorough study of educational funding in the state of Minnesota. Brad provided background on school funding research both nationally and in Minnesota. He said that the PS Minnesota initiative is trying to complete that process to enact a standards-based education funding formula that will meet the needs for all Minnesota students. SEE and many other educational organizations believe that the findings of this funding study should be used to design an education funding service linked to learning that provides all students the opportunity to achieve the high standards and expectations necessary for students to successfully pursue their educational and economic futures. Brad and the School Board along with Kathy Leedom had an extensive discussion regarding legislation and funding issues. Kathy thanked Brad Lundell for his presentation.

STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE FROM COMMUNITY EDUCATION AND RECREATION - Steve Brisendine, Community Education and Recreation Director, presented a Strategic Plan Update for Community Education and Recreation. He reviewed each of the Board's goals. Goal #1 is to provide a world class education; Goal #2 is to improve the lives of students; Goal #3 is to ensure achievement for all students; Goal #4 is to continue responsible fiscal stewardship; and Goal #5 is to enhance school and community relationships. He reviewed various objectives and strategies that support each of these goals taking place through staff at the Washington Learning Center. He noted who would be responsible for the objectives and strategies and also reviewed measurable indicators. A copy of this report is available from the District Office. There was discussion and questions following his presentation. The Board thanked him and his staff for their efforts on the strategic plan update.

FY 07 BUDGET - FIRST REVISION - Bob Haines presented the First Revision of the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget. Dan Holtz assisted in the presentation. The Finance Advisory Committee met on January 16, 2007 to review the budget in detail. The Finance Advisory Committee did not recommend any changes to the budget. Copies of the budget presentation document and the budget report are available on the District website or at the District Office. The General Fund is expected to break even this year, although the District is predicting that enrollment will decline by about 55 students. Going forward, enrollment is expected to level out in the next couple of years and then start to gradually increase. Bob and Dan reviewed the budget assumptions for the General Fund. They also reviewed budget variances between the proposed budget and the FY 2006 audited actuals and the original FY 2007 Budget. The budget proposal projects that the General Funds unreserved fund balance will decrease slightly from 13.76% to 13.24% after factoring in statutory reserves. Bob also reviewed the long-term financial projection using the District's Financial Planning Model. He covered a number of assumptions that are plugged into the model. The model projects the District remaining above the 6% fund balance through 2010, but showing a declining trend due to limited new revenues versus inflationary expenditure increases. Bob also reviewed a number of variances from the Financial Planning Model looking at different legislative percentage increases to the formula and also different payroll percentage increases. He shared budget projections for the Food Service Fund, Community Services Fund, and the Debt Service Fund. All three of these funds are expecting modest increases in fund balance by the end of the year. There was discussion and various questions during and following the presentation. Motion by Dion Warne, seconded by Eric Roberts, to approve the First Revision of the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget. Motion carried.

ACCEPTANCE OF AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATION PARENT COMMITTEE RESOLUTION - Kathy Leedom introduced the American Indian Education Parent Resolution for acceptance. The resolution adopted by the Parent Committee references acceptance of the curriculum and educational practices pertaining to American Indian education in the District. Kathy thanked Charly Leuze of the West Central Integration Collaborative for all of her efforts to organize the Parent Committee. She also acknowledged Michael Olson as the chair of the committee.

Motion by Brad Schmidt, seconded by Wayne Lenzmeier, to accept the American Indian Education Parent Committee Resolution. Motion carried.

SUMMARY OF SUPERINTENDENT'S EVALUATION CONDUCTED DURING CLOSED SESSION ON JANUARY 12, 2007 - Chair Mike Carlson discussed the results of the Superintendent's evaluation that was conducted during a closed session at a regular Board Meeting on January 12, 2007. Mike noted that the Board concluded that Kathy is meeting or exceeding expectations in her leadership of the District and in her efforts to support the carrying out of the District's Strategic Plan. Mike also reviewed several focus areas that the Board discussed with Kathy.

2007 BOARD COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS - Mike Carlson introduced the topic of the 2007 Board Committee Assignments. Motion by Shawn Mueske, seconded by Eric Roberts, to take this item off the table. This item was tabled on January 8, 2007 for more discussion and work on the committee assignments. Mike stated that based upon the dialogue among Board members and Board member preferences, the assignments presented at the meeting are set for the calendar year 2007. Motion by Wayne Lenzmeier, seconded by Brad Schmidt, with a notation to also include the Ridgewater College Advisory Committee as one of the Board committee assignments. Motion carried.

MONTHLY FINANCIAL REPORT - Bob Haines noted that the Monthly Financial Report for the month ending December 31, 2006 was emailed to the School Board, the Finance Advisory Committee, and Administrative Team on January 19, 2007. He asked if there were any questions on the report to let him know.



DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES REPORT - Bill Busta stated that an idea discussed during contract negotiations has begun to take shape. That idea was to form a Labor Management Committee with Special Needs Paraprofessionals/Sign Language Interpreters and WPS Administration. Looking at other districts' Labor/ Management Committees, those that are successful had established policies and procedures. Because of this it was decided to begin the process of forming a committee with the guidance of the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services. The BMS offers training to groups on how to operate a committee using a problem solving format. Arrangements were made and the first training session began on January 10, 2007. Attending the training were four members of the Special Needs Para/Sign Language Interpreters employee group along with a Union representative. They were joined by three members of the WPS Administrative Cabinet. Guided by Neil Bowerman from the BMS, the group put in place several documents that will guide the committee. Some of those documents include a mission statement, by-laws, norms of behavior and a letter of agreement. It was also determined that the group would meet every second Thursday during the school year. The committee's focus will be on non-contract issues.


* Brad Schmidt updated the Board on the recent Finance Advisory Committee at which there was a budget presentation and long discussion.

* Wayne Lenzmeier updated the Board on the recent SEE meeting that he and Kathy Leedom attended.


SUPERINTENDENT'S COMMENTS - Kathy Leedom stated that the District has been part of the Common Ground Education Initiative in the last several years. There is a meeting of that group on February 8, 2007 in the Twin Cities, and the District should have a representative attend. The general consensus from the Board was that the District should send a Board representative. Wayne Lenzmeier stated that he would attend that meeting. Kathy will communicate to the group of his attendance. Kathy talked about some excellent District Site Council exemplary staff development grants that were approved for Senior High Science as well as Kindergarten staff and associated Physical Education teachers. The Science goal is to develop new teaching methodologies for teaching science processes. The Kindergarten goal is called Boost Up Training. It relates to advancing Kindergarten skills through experiential learning. Kathy reminded everyone of the upcoming production to be held at WEAC entitled, The Minnesotan and the Mexican. This presentation is scheduled for February 9 & 10, 2007. It is made possible by grants secured by Janice Vazquez. Kathy handed out information on the Governor's new proposed budget.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF GIFTS - Chair Mike Carlson, acknowledged the gift donations for the Junior High Solar Panels Project.


OTHER - None

ADJOURN MEETING - There being no further business, motion by Wayne Lenzmeier, seconded by Shawn Mueske, to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried.

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