On the agenda for the Lanesboro School Board meeting on June 21 were several items regarding the creation of an Alternative Learning Center at the Lanesboro school. The center would be operated by the Hiawatha Valley Education District, of which Lanesboro is already a member. Currently, the only other Alternative Learning Center in the Hiawatha Valley Education District, or HVED, is located in Kellogg, which means that all schools in the district have to send their students there, with some traveling farther than optimal distances. If that center were to close for any reason, there would not be an alternative learning program or ALP available at all for the students in HVED and certain targeted services within each district would also no longer be an option.
The Lanesboro ALP would include an in-building Autism Spectrum Disorder program. “We happen to have the need coming up to have an ASD type of program,” Superintendent Matt Schultz pointed out. He was able to work with HVED to coordinate an ASD program that would work in Lanesboro.
“We happen to have the ability to offer some time from our full-time employees to offer the time to staff that (the proposed ALP),” Schultz said. He recommended that the board approve an agreement to sell 0.17 FTE of social studies time, 0.17 FTE of math time, and 0.15 FTE of administrative time to HVED for the operation of the ALP and the ASD program. The teachers’ and administrators’ contracts would remain with the Lanesboro district during that agreement.
In addition to selling time to HVED for the Alternative Learning Program, Schultz also presented a proposed agreement to allow the program to use facility space at Lanesboro up to one classroom size in square footage in which to operate the ASD program.
“What I like the most about it is that it benefits the kids,” Board member Dave Lawstuen said about the proposed ALP. The rest of the board concurred with Lawstuen and the agreements with HVED for the Alternative Learning Program were approved.
Lanesboro Public Library intern Katie Patyk was present at the meeting. She is working with the teen programming at the library this summer and is looking for ways to get teens interested and involved in the library. She asked the board to consider working with the library towards that goal. She also asked if a link to the library could be added to the community page on the school’s website. The board was amenable to collaborating with the library.
The board reviewed and approved the 2018-2019 budget. “Our proposed budget will be our adjusted budget as of today, which puts us at about $148,000 expenditures over revenue,” Schultz said. “I’m expecting though that over the next three weeks, we’ll generate more special education revenue that we haven’t received yet.”
The board approved the hiring of Kyle Blahnik for .5 FTE social studies and .5 FTE physical education. Kaci Goldsmith was hired for a part-time position in the child care center.
A resignation from child care center worker Amelia Cronk was approved. The board also approved the retirements of Kim Charlebois, Sheila Vogen, and Linda Hennessey.
The Facility Committee met with the architecture firm HSR on June 18 to go over the proposed project plans. During the meeting, they worked on narrowing the scope of the project to the higher priority items. Among the projects that are on the top of the list are renovating the main entrance to be more secure, adding a tiered presentation hall, commons area, cafeteria, and second gym, mechanical system upgrades, new lighting fixtures, safety and security upgrades, increased classroom security, classroom renovations, new lockers, etc. The committee has been able to keep everything within the originally estimated costs. “We’re in the process now of prioritizing what’s most important for our students and what really needs to be done,” board and committee member Steve Snyder said. Another community meeting will be held once the committee has made its final recommendation to the board.
Dorsey and Whitney, LLP was approved for the district’s bond counsel.
The elementary and high school student student handbooks were reviewed and approved.
“We’ve been very pleased, and the results show it,” Snyder commented about Superintendent Schultz’s work at the school and his recent employee review. “We recommend to the board that we offer a three-year contract to Mr. Schultz.” The board thanked Schultz for his work and approved his contract for three years.
The next Lanesboro school board meeting will be held on July 19 at 7 p.m.