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HLWW School District 2687 Board Minutes

Monday, September 17, 2001 8:00 P.M.


The Regular School Board Meeting of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted ISD #2687 was called to order at 8:00 p.m. on September 17, 2001. After the Pledge of Allegiance, roll was taken with members present: James Fowler, Randy Heuer, Eugene Lorentz, James Raymond, Charles Weber, Leo Weber, Ken Zimmerman. Kirk Jensen arrived at 8:05; Richard Lammers was absent. Also present were Superintendent Riley Hoheisel, Principals Mike Day, Julie Millerbernd and Dean Wessman; and Board Secretary Vivian Mahlstedt.

In honor of those who tragically lost their lives on September 11, 2001, Vice-Chair Heuer requested that a moment of silence be observed by all in attendance.

After a moment of silence, Vice-Chair Heuer opened the floor to consider approving the agenda of the September 17, 2001 school board meeting. C. Weber moved to approve the agenda; Zimmermann seconded; passed unanimously.

Raymond moved to approve the minutes of the August 20, 2001 Regular School Board meeting; L. Weber seconded; passed unanimously.

Raymond moved to approve the September bills; Zimmermann seconded; passed unanimously.

Fowler moved to approve the September Treasurer's report; C. Weber seconded; passed unanimously.

Hoheisel reviewed September enrollment figures with the board, which show an increase of 21 students over September of last year. He also said that actual enrollment matches closely with budgeted enrollment, and that that elementary numbers have decreased slightly, which is consistent with state demographics.

Principal Mike Day reported:

· On 9/25, 3 Crown College students will observe classes of Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Metcalf and Mr. Bush.

· Thanked staff and students for getting the school year off to a very positive start.

· There is a shortage of lockers this year but students are doubling-up to make room for all.

· Moments of silence were observed and discussions took place in many classes last week in recognition of the tragedy of 9/11. He said the staff handled the situation in caring ways, responding as needed by students.

· Counselor Ms. Borner is working to ensure that seniors are on track to complete grad standards and credits.

· Homecoming is this week, starting tonight with coronation and bonfire; parade at 2:30 Friday. Due to the highway 12 detour, the parade will travel a different route this year, avoiding the detour street.

· The Waverly and Howard Lake Lions are sponsoring STAR students and handbooks.

· Bus safety programs will be conducted during homerooms the first week of October.

· Honors Breakfasts will be 9/26 (junior high) and 9/27 (senior high).

· Wright County Community Services is hosting an open house at the courthouse at 11:00 a.m. on 9/25. School representatives are invited because we occasionally have community service workers for building projects.

Principal Millerbernd reported:

· 8/29 was Open House at Winsted and Howard Lake Elementaries.

· Thanked PTA for serving juice and cookies at Open House.

· Thanked Lisa and Steve Ebert for donating a Mac computer and test disks to the Winsted second grade class to augment the Accelerated Reader program.

· On 9/11, Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers held parent meetings at school to discuss expectations and concerns, in an effort to enhance parent involvement.

· A new program, "Early Success," will be implemented for readers who need a little extra help; staff will be trained soon.

· School pictures will be 9/26 and 10/2.

· Thanked teachers for their special attention to students last week, helping them cope with the tragedy of 9/11.

Principal Dean Wessman reported:

· About 85% of parents attended Open House on 8/29.

· Four 6th graders are attending "Language Arts Live" at the high school daily, taught by Mr. Metcalf.

· Humphrey staff is working on a school-wide enrichment model.

· Late start activities on 9/19 will include math curriculum study, special education meeting, and 5- year curriculum planning.

· The graduating class of 2002 will be the first class that must graduate from HLWW under the Profile of Learning. Students will graduate only if they have successfully completed 17 standards. Twelve seniors are currently in danger of not graduating due to missing standards.

Fowler asked how many of the 12 seniors in danger of not graduating are making an effort to complete the required standards. Wessman said he is concerned that these students don't take seriously the fact that the standards are required to graduate. He also said that summer school was held to help them complete standards and that a high school staff member is available daily to assist them in completing standards. Zimmermann asked if their parents knew the situation; Wessman said that last spring the counselor called each home to let them know.

C. Weber asked if evacuation drills are held at the time of monthly city siren tests (first Wednesday of the month). Millerbernd said that Winsted practices evacuation drills, but Howard Lake doesn't hear the siren.

There were no requests from the public.

Heuer said that he wanted to let the public know the truth regarding figures quoted in a letter to the editor of the Herald/Journal. He said the superintendent's salary increase approved by the board for 2001-2002 was 5%, but that the letter writer quoted 10%, which is not correct.

(Item 1) Hoheisel reported on building project progress in all three buildings, including that there had been no leaks in the high school gym roof. He said a few other leaks have appeared in Howard Lake, which they plan to fix before winter; the Winsted and Waverly buildings are ok so far.

He reviewed all the other projects, including the green house which is expected to be ready in time for spring.

(Item 2) Hoheisel updated the board on the Ag Partnership, including the possibility of Colette Thorson as part-time Ag teacher support this year. He, Day and Wessman met last week with Dr. Cardwell from the University of Minnesota regarding staff training and partnering with the U on Eisenhower Grant monies. He thanked the principals for their continued work on this project.

(Item 3) Fowler reported on the first meeting held with Lester Prairie school board and community members on 9/12. He said the discussion was very general, and that they're developing objectives. He said that HLWW members emphasized that we have a tight time-frame, primarily due to consideration of financial impact; Lester Prairie said that their focus is on curriculum. Fowler said it was agreed that the next step is to review curriculum so each district can see what enhancements can be offered their students. Consolidation would result in about 120 students per grade level, Fowler said, and that Lester Prairie is also looking at other neighboring districts at the same time as HLWW. He said the next meeting is scheduled for 10/8.

(Item 4) Wessman reviewed the Systems Accountability Report with the board. He said that this annual report is required by the state and that it had been reviewed by the Minnesota Education Effectiveness Program (MEEP) committee and District Curriculum Advisory Committee (DCAC), with expected publish date of mid October. He highlighted several areas, including HLWW student results in test areas of the ACT, Iowa Tests, Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, and Basic Skills. He stated that our district's goal is to help our students continually improve scores, which is generally what is happening. He said that Writing has recently become a slight problem for us, which is why Lani Brown from the Delano district recently spoke with our teachers about how to help students improve in this area. Wessman said that the report is due to the state on 10/15, and that every district resident will receive one in the mail.

Heuer asked if there is any danger in "teaching to the tests." Wessman responded that there really is no cutting back in curriculum to make room for teaching standards, because the standards are generally integrated into subject material.

L. Weber moved to accept the Systems Accountability Report as presented by Wessman; Fowler seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 5) Hoheisel highlighted revisions and updates to the 2001-02 School District Goals. Raymond referred to Goal 1a, "Long Range Planning and Facilities Committee, Complete programming for new grades 9-12 High School by working with architect," stating that he feels the goal is a lofty one and that comments from the community don't support building a new school. He went on to say that the board has been told that Waverly apparently feels "left out," and that Howard Lake is not supporting a new school. He said we're asking the staff to dedicate a lot of time and effort to this goal when possibly there is no community support; and that he therefore is wondering if it should continue to be a District goal. He said he is also concerned about the lack of progress with Lester Prairie, is frustrated by the lack of community support, and is considering withdrawing support. Zimmermann pointed out that if Waverly feels left out, Winsted should feel worse because it appears they're the ones being "left out." L. Weber asked if the board members thought that the communities are saying that if a new school isn't built on their particular community property, that then a new school isn't needed. Raymond said yes, that is what he's hearing, and he asked if the board should spend any more time and money pursuing this goal now when the communities aren't supportive of it. L. Weber voiced concern that if the board withdrew support, it would be construed as meaning that the board doesn't think we need a new school, which would be untrue. He said he doesn't understand why people of the community don't realize that the district will end up with no students (due to open enrollment) if we don't agree on a building site. Fowler said it seems as though we have a constituency that is willing to accept mediocrity at the expense of students, and that mediocrity is being accepted in order to preserve community pride. He went on to say that he may not be as frustrated as Raymond, but he's getting there. C. Weber suggested going forward to drop dead date, and then decide at that time whether building a school should be a goal for the district. L. Weber expressed disappointment that people don't seem to see the need for a new facility.

Fowler stated that he hoped good things can result from the discussions with Lester Prairie, such as a refreshed focus on curriculum and what can be offered to students, and that possibly people could then set aside parochial feelings in favor of enhanced programs, opportunities and facilities for kids. Zimmermann said that if a new school isn't built now, the district will need to spend at least $6 million to improve the Howard Lake building, and that in a couple years we would still need a new high school - which by then would be more expensive with possibly no state aid available.

Raymond said that the board discussion is a good process; also that he didn't want to be misunderstood, that he is very much in favor of building a new high school. He said that his point is to ask, should we dedicate time and money to the goal of building a new school when the board has received such adverse reactions and publicity.

C. Weber said he still wants to show the tax impact of building, and compared to other districts, for the many people who are concerned about the financial impact.

L. Weber said he feels strongly that the board needs to look at what can be offered students as a consolidated district.

Heuer said he would hate to think of having gone through so much already on this project, including the amount of time, having his job threatened, and being called names, to walk away from it now. He continued by saying that if he didn't believe wholeheartedly that this is the right project to spend his time on now, he wouldn't be here; also that he hopes people in the district agree with him that it's important that we keep improving our schools.

Raymond said that it sounds like the consensus is to leave the goal as it is. Zimmermann said we should remember that since Hoheisel came, the buildings look better than ever and the district is not in debt, which, before the consolidation with Winsted, was not the case. He said it makes him angry when he reads in the paper suggestions that we should add on to current buildings, when the reality is that in a couple years, it will take much more to build a new high school, and possibly then with no state aid.

Zimmermann moved to approve the school district goals as presented; Fowler seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 6) Hoheisel reviewed education-related legislation. He pointed out that a task force on education funding has been appointed by the state to investigate and evaluate education funding. He also commented about student discipline, academic evaluation, and employee unions, which are all areas that effect funding and spending.

(Item 7) Hoheisel recommended that the Board approve the proposed 2001 Payable 2002 Property Tax Levy. Raymond moved to approve it; Zimmermann seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 8) Raymond moved to accept the letter of resignation from superintendent's secretary Vivian Mahlstedt; C. Weber seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 9) C. Weber moved to approve employment recommendations for Sharon Dake (part time music instructor) and DuWayne Latzig (eight-hour Cleaner/Sweeper); Lorentz seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 10) Hoheisel said that, due to the high number of participants in junior high football and volleyball, Athletic Director Dale Decker recommended adding two coaches. Raymond moved to approve the two additions to the fall coaching staff - Jeff Swenson, 7th and 8th grade football, and Josh Klenken, 7th grade volleyball; Zimmermann seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 11) Hoheisel added a lane change request for Jane Bayerl to the prepared list, stated that all five teachers requesting lane changes had completed the necessary requirements, and recommended approving them. L. Weber moved to approve lane changes for Sandi Pomije (BA + 15 to BA + 30), Jodi Sanken (BA to BA + 15), Brian Barth (BA to BA + 15), Pat Wesoloh (BA to BA + 15), and Jane Bayerl (BA+30 to BA+45); Fowler seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 12) Heuer read the following recognitions:

The School Board recognizes HLWW Music Teacher Dawn Kalvig on being selected as the Minnesota Music Educator of the Year. This prestigious recognition is sponsored by the Minnesota Music Educators, and is awarded for meritorious service in music education. Ms. Kalvig was nominated by her colleagues and the Minnesota Music Educators Board. The official award ceremony will take place in February. Congratulations, Dawn.

The School Board recognizes HLWW student Alicia Anderson on being selected Miss Winsted at Winsted's annual celebration in August. As Queen, Alicia will represent her community at many city celebrations and events across the region in the coming year. Congratulations, Alicia.

L. Weber moved to approve the recognitions as read; Fowler seconded; passed unanimously.

Superintendent Hoheisel reported:

· For Varsity Gymnastics, HLWW will pair with Maple Lake this year. Junior high gymanstics will continue as an HLWW program.

· The school year got off to an excellent start.

· The yearly financial audit will be conducted next week.

· The Fine Arts department will produce a brochure to be mailed to district residents in the near future.

He also added that he attended the Schools for Equity in Education (SEE) meeting last Friday, and that their platform is all about adequacy, equity, sustainability and accountability. He said the next SEE meeting is a regional one at St Cloud on 10/4.

Committee reports:

· L. Weber commented on a recent article about how safety/evacuation training at Glencoe-Silver Lake Schools took on new meaning after the recent terrorist attack, suggesting that Hoheisel should review the article, which Hoheisel agreed to do.

· Heuer stated that paraprofessional negotiations will take place on Wednesday, 9/19 at 4:00.

· Hoheisel said that a Legislative meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, 9/18, in Monticello, and board members are invited to attend. Zimmermann and L. Weber will attend with Hoheisel.

· Raymond moved to adjourn the meeting; C. Weber seconded; passed unanimously and adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Richard Lammers, Clerk

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