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HLWW School District 2687 Board Minutes


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 October 15, 2001. After the Pledge of Allegiance, roll was taken with members present: James Fowler, Randy Heuer, Kirk Jensen, Richard Lammers, James Raymond, Leo Weber, Ken Zimmerman. Charles Weber arrived at 8:10; Eugene Lorentz was absent. Also present were Superintendent Riley Hoheisel, Principals Mike Day and Julie Millerbernd; and Board Secretary Marilyn Greeley.

Vice-Chair Heuer opened the floor to consider approving the agenda of the October 15, 2001 school board meeting. Lammers moved to approve the agenda; Raymond seconded; passed unanimously.

Raymond moved to approve the minutes of the September 17, 2001 Regular School Board meeting; Fowler seconded; passed unanimously.

Lammers moved to approve the October bills; Fowler seconded; passed unanimously.

Zimmermann moved to approve the October Treasurer's report; Raymond seconded; passed unanimously.

Hoheisel reviewed October enrollment.

Principal Julie Millerbernd reported:

· Parent-teacher conferences are on 10/11 and 10/16. They're taking place early this year so parents and teachers can set student goals together. Prior to the conferences, goal-related information was sent to parents for their consideration and to help them prepare for discussion with the teacher. Teachers and participants will be asked for their reaction to these conferences to determine if they should be held again next year.

· A book fair is held during conferences, which is usually a successful and positive fund-raiser for the school.

· The "Book It" program, which is a reading incentive for students, will run from October to March.

· She publicly thanked fire fighters from Howard Lake and Winsted for working with elementary students during Fire Prevention week; students learned much and enjoyed seeing the fire fighters and trucks.

· On 10/12, students participated in a "Pledge Across America" which was a synchronized recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by students across the country.

· In answer to President Bush's recommendation that children donate $1.00 each to kids of Afghanistan, a letter will be sent to parents inviting them to help their students participate.

· In the Elementaries, the 10/24 Early Release will be devoted to grade level meetings, graduation standards curriculum and work sampling.

Mike Day reported:

· Thanked Ms. Davidson and the Student Council for coordinating Homecoming events and parade.

· Honors Breakfasts were held in September for junior and senior high students. He thanked Mr. Klingelhofer and NHS students for sponsoring and hosting the events.

· The HLWW-DC Fall Musical will be "Guys & Dolls," with performances scheduled for mid-November.

· The After Prom Garage Sale fundraiser will be 10/19-20. Contact Harriet Confeld with questions or to donate items.

· Speaker Bob Lenz talked to high school students on 10/8 on "V.C.R." -"Values, Courage, Respect." The students seemed to enjoy his talk and also the band that performed. Mr. Lenz' talk was humorous and also touching. Day thanked Mr. Darrell Smith for recommending this speaker.

· Students are now required to pass the graduation standard for a class in order to pass that class. Previously it had not always been understood that the grad standard was required in addition to any credits and passing grade for a class. This firm requirement holds students accountable for completing all their grad standards. To graduate, students must complete all the required grad standards as well as required credits.

· For early release on 10/24, the High School will work on the TSIS system, which provides for online grade reporting and attendance. Teachers who are networked can report their grades and attendance online. Currently 3 teachers are piloting the system; additional staff will be trained in the coming months.

· Volleyball and Football have enjoyed excellent seasons. Attendance at games has been good, and student support for their teams and behavior at games has been excellent.

· The Senior High Choir and Band Concert will be 10/16; this will be the first time that admittance will be charged ($3.00).

· The annual Veterans Program will be on 11/7 in the gym. The Winsted Legion is providing for the program.

· 11/2 is the end of first quarter.

· He commended the Drama Club for selling "United We Stand" t-shirts and donating the profits to the Washington DC Red Cross.

· The FFA Corn Drive will be 10/22; profits go to Camp Courage.

· He read an announcement that the CMC Conference Player of the week for 10/1-10/6 is Tom Bobrowske, HLWW senior football team member.

· He read a note from the coaching staff of Eden Valley-Watkins School, who thanked the HLWW volleyball coaches and players for inviting them to stay for the food served by SLAM at Parents Night.

There were no requests from the Public.

(Item 1) Hoheisel updated the board on buildings and grounds projects. He stated that the buildings, in general, look clean and bright.

(Item 2) Hoheisel reported on his visit to the University of Minnesota on 10/12, where he obtained commitment from the executive director of the Agricultural Academy, Brian Ingvalson, to develop an Internet connection and a two-way interactive television connection between HLWW and the Academy. Hoheisel said he also contacted Dr. Hunter of the U's Ag Science Department; he has been asked to speak with Hunter's superior and is taking advantage of additional opportunities to explain the vision and goals for this project. He said that if feedback is positive, he will begin work on the USDA grant which is due by 3/1/02. He met last week with Colette Thorson, who has committed to fulfilling the role of teacher support for Mr. Weninger in the second semester, and working on grant applications and other projects funded by current grant monies. He is now preparing for the legislative bonding meeting, and will meet with the grant writer from Lanesboro on 10/16. He reported generally positive progress. On a related note, he said that probably there will be no Ag student teacher available this year from the U of M, because no eligible students are geographically convenient to HLWW.

(Item 3) Fowler reported on the 10/8 meeting with Lester Prairie representatives regarding possible cooperation or consolidation. He said discussion centered around curriculum and what a combined district could possibly offer to students, and whether a wider variety of options could enhance student opportunities. He reported that Dean Wessman and Lester Prairie's student dean Miller developed curriculum comparisons between neighboring districts. Fowler said they were particularly interested in Delano's curriculum since, if HLWW and Lester Prairie combined, the district would be similar in size to Delano; also that Delano performs well (test results) so they felt that was a good comparison. He said that they came away from the meeting excited about the possibilities of offering students a wider variety and enhanced opportunities, that a combined district could definitely offer more things than either HLWW or Lester Prairie can currently offer due to smaller sizes.

He went on to say that they then looked at how feasible combining the districts would be financially, such as what the budget would look like, number of teachers and staff, busing requirements, etc. The two superintendents are working on those numbers now, he said, which will be reviewed in early November. Hoheisel noted that with the current Minnesota employee strike, he and Lester Prairie Superintendent Redfield have not been able to obtain the needed information quite yet, but they plan to meet with state department representatives on a number of questions regarding formula impact, etc. He referred to costs in various districts of Wright County which were reported recently in the Wright County Journal Press, stating that he's using that data to prepare further information for meeting with the CFL (State Department of Children, Families and Learning).

Heuer encouraged board members to fully review the curriculum comparison information because it is an "eye opener" regarding the extensive curriculum larger districts are able to offer their students. In addition, he said, we should use this as encouragement to look at possibly adding more programs to our current curriculum.

Lammers asked how many more meetings will be required before Lester Prairie decides what to do. Fowler explained that Lester Prairie is simultaneously working with 2 school districts, Glencoe-Silver Lake and HLWW, as well as with the city of Lester Prairie on some type of facility sharing. He said they're reviewing many of the same issues with each committee, although the GSL plan would be a cooperative/pairing agreement vs. consolidation. Fowler expressed again positive reaction to the curriculum offerings possible as a combined district, and how much more could be done for community students.

Zimmermann asked if the board had previously set a deadline on the Lester Prairie decision. Heuer responded that, while the board had discussed setting a "drop dead" date, they haven't set it yet but have made it clear to Lester Prairie that we're on a short timeline. He went on to say that Lester Prairie is on a different timeline and that we want to continue to be fair with them, but still forthcoming about our very tight timeline. Zimmermann asked if the committee members had made it clear that this is the last time HLWW will ask them to consider joining us. Heuer responded that he believes they understand that.

C. Weber referred again to the curriculum comparisons, saying that seeing the increased programs at larger districts gives students another reason to open enroll out of our district. Lammers said he didn't want to discuss this issue for another year while Lester Prairie decides their action. Heuer said he didn't think that would happen; also that everyone on the board is vividly aware that we need a new building. He said he recognized that one of the things that has delayed HLWW's progress is involving Lester Prairie to see if they want to join us or not. He said that if the results of the next meeting with Lester Prairie show that long-term financial implications are fairly positive, that the decision will be made at that time. He cautioned that it's still one meeting at a time, but that as long as the meetings are positive, we are willing to continue. Lammers said he wants to see a timeline that the district will stick with.

C. Weber said that, since only 30-40% of residents get the local paper, the board should consider publishing an all-resident brochure regarding long range plans, letting people know the history of the current discussion, steps that have been taken since the original task force started, and what decisions need to be made in the future. He suggested doing this type of communication soon. Heuer asked if his suggestion was a motion; in response, C. Weber moved to form a committee to work on publishing more information and getting it out to all residents. Heuer asked if this would be a new committee or a standing committee (probably the current task force committee). C. Weber said it could be the current committee. Zimmermann seconded; passed unanimously. Raymond said the committee needs to look at the logistics of a newsletter or other publication, as well as the costs. Fowler asked if the committee should report back to the board regarding costs they determine, or would they take action. It was agreed that the committee recommendation would be presented to the Board before action is taken.

(Item 4) Hoheisel explained that a result of recent Paraprofessional negotiations was to investigate comparable worth between matrix levels as they have been applied at different buildings, particularly Special Ed (working with students who have an Individualized Education Program - IEP). He said another question concerned the Media position at Humphrey. As a result of the comparable worth study, he recommended that the Media position be paid at the current banding/grading of B-2-2. Raymond moved to approve the recommendation by Superintendent Hoheisel; Zimmermann seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 5) Lammers moved to approve the Assurance of Compliance with State/Federal Law Prohibiting Discrimination; C. Weber seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 6) L. Weber moved to adopt a Resolution to Appoint Election Judges as follows: Precinct 1 - Adrian Duske, Kathleen Sexton, Irene Woitalla; Precinct 2 - Margaret Barth, Patricia Diers, LeAnn Horsch; Precinct 3 - Imelda Marshall, Karen Schoen, Rosemary Stifter. Lammers seconded the motion; passed with voice vote of 8 in favor: Fowler, Jensen, Heuer, Lammers, Raymond, C. Weber, L. Weber, Zimmermann, and none against. Lorentz was absent.

(Item 7) Lammers moved to approve the letter of resignation from Bus Driver Deb Hanson; C. Weber seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 8) Lammers moved to approve employment recommendations on Marilyn Greeley as Superintendent's Secretary, and Carolyn Stoll as morning School Age Care (SAC) supervisor; Fowler seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 9) Heuer read the following recognition:

The School Board recognizes HLWW students and teachers, and advisor Ms. Kalvig for their outstanding results in the Minnesota Elementary Music Educators composition contest. This contest does not distinguish by school size, so our students competed with those from much larger schools. HLWW students won more awards than any other district in the state. Congratulations to all the students and teachers who participated, and especially to the following for their exceptional achievement: Adam Klinkner, Mrs. Borrell's and Mrs. Lutter's 2nd grades, Hunter Day, Katelyn Klinkner, Mrs. Halverson's 4th grade, Mr. Napper's 4th grade, Mrs. Mensing's 3rd grade; Mrs. Napper's 3rd grade; Bria Day, Courtney Heuer, Clark Ostvig, Crystal Jones. Bria Day was named Overall Winner of grades 6-8, and judged to have the most potential of contest entrants.

Raymond moved to approve the recognitions as read; C. Weber seconded; passed unanimously.

(Item 10) Superintendent Hoheisel reported:

· He recommended a special board meeting at 9:00 p.m. to canvass votes after the school board election on Tuesday, November 6 at the HLWW High School. C. Weber moved to hold the special board meeting on November 6, 2001; Zimmermann seconded; passed unanimously.

· The audit report will be heard at the November board meeting.

· Hoheisel, Zimmermann and L. Weber attended the Minnesota School Board Association Legislative meeting in Monticello last month, at which Minnesota tax reform was reviewed.

· The Fine Arts department is working on a brochure to be sent to residents later this year.

· He reported recent questions regarding allowing bus drivers to have their own children on the bus during a route (children who are not attending school). After checking with the district's insurance carrier and the MSBA, it has been determined that the district's insurance policy language prohibits having such children on board. He went on to say that occasionally, in an emergency or when the driver can't arrange for other childcare, we have allowed in the past and will continue to allow children to ride with their parent/guardian; but it will not be allowed on a routine/daily basis. He said the district is currently working with drivers to resolve any questions.

(Item 11) Committee Reports:

· Lammers said that Wright Technical Center - ITV information should be available soon, and that negotiations are taking place with the WTC Teachers Association.

· Heuer reported that both teacher and paraprofessional negotiations meetings continue to take place and that they're making progress. The next teacher negotiations meeting is set for 10/22.

Raymond moved to adjourn the meeting; C. Weber seconded; adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Richard Lammers, Clerk

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