Highlights from 3/20/14 school board meeting

131 land chosen as site for new Seipelt Elementary
Common Core discussed at community meeting
Athletic Update

Extracurricular Update

  • Because of the hard winter, the district has has to spend more than budgeted for salt and utilities.  To balance the expense side of this year’s budget, science textbook expense has been moved to next year.  On the positive side of the budget, we are receiving an additional $300,000 for special needs preschool – the state is now funding a portion of this required program, which has previously been a 100% unfunded mandate. The $300k does not cover the entire cost but it helps.  We are also receiving $108,000 in Medicaid reimbursement.  An analysis of our new self-funded Workers’ Comp program shows we can expect at least $65,000 a year in savings, if the program continues as it has been.

 

  • The district approved the Program of Requirements (POR) for the new Boyd & Seipelt elementary schools. The POR outlines the types of rooms and sizes, as per state requirements.  Both buildings will have 3 classrooms for each grade level, kindergarten included.  A description of the buildings, as well as the analysis used to make the decision re: the new Seipelt location, is here: Seipelt Presentation and POR 32014

 

  • As part of the construction process, I and others (board members and administrators) have said the new buildings will not cost taxpayers any additional from local funds.  While we believed this to be true, it is not completely.  So far, the district has spent a little over $11,000 on the studies needed to evaluate the two pieces of land for Seipelt Elementary.  There will be some additional costs as well, to be covered out of the $50,000 the board transferred to the Building Fund from the General Fund last Thursday.  While the Seipelt site analysis also shows $5,000 that will be spent annually on lawn maintenance, this would be spent on the current Seipelt land as well – the net increase for the new building on the new land is $1,250/year.

 

  • The district held a community meeting on Milford Main at the beginning of March.  To read more about what happened at the meeting, click here.

 

  • Kindergarten times have been extended 10 minutes.  Morning classes will go 10 minutes later; afternoon classes will start 10 minutes earlier. While the primary rationale is to meet new requirements for the number of hours students are in school, the extra time will also help teachers with the added academic requirements in kindergarten.

 

  • The board approved adding back Friday, April 18 (Good Friday) as a school day for students.  This will make up the last day we need to cover due to calamity days.  While the state has added back up to four additional calamity days, districts must first use four of their “contingency days.”  Three of these can be Blizzard Bag days, but one must be a regular school day.  With adding this day, if there are any weather- or other emergency-related issues between now and the end of this year, we will not have to make up additional days (up to 4).  The administration and board feel it is better to have the make-up day in April while students are still engaged in the learning process, versus after the stated last day when they are mentally already on vacation.  Anyone who observes Good Friday as a religious holiday or who had previous plans will be excused that day.

 

  • Summer reading selections for the Junior High and High School have been announced.  To see the list, click here:  Summer Reading 2014

 

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