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Bemidji School Board action

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Among notable action taken at the Bemidji School Board meeting Monday:

Organization of the board

Board members nominated board member Ann Long Voelkner to be chairperson, board member Carol L. Johnson to be vice chairperson, board member Gene Dillon to be clerk and Chris Leinen, director of business services, to be treasurer for the 2008 calendar year.

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ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Member compensation

The board considered setting the board member compensation for the 2008 calendar year at $450 per month, which is the same compensation as last year.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Chairperson compensation

The board considered setting the board chairperson compensation at $600 for the 2008 calendar year, which is the same compensation as last year. The chairperson receives this one-time compensation in addition to the monthly compensation for board members.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Regular monthly meetings

The board considered setting the time and date of regular monthly board meetings for the 2008 calendar year as 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Bemidji High School Media Center.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve. Special meetings will be held as needed.

Enabling Act

The board considered establishing the Enabling Act for the guidance of the superintendent.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Depository resolution

The board considered adopting a depository resolution.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Resignations

The board considered the noncertified staff resignation of custodian Robert Nordstrom and JROTC instructor Gary Esala.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Annual audits

The board considered the audits for the 2006-07 fiscal year.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Legal advertising quotation

The board considered awarding a quotation for legal advertisements for 2008 to the Pioneer in the amount of $4.70 per Standard Advertising Unit for the first insertion and $4.23 per Standard Advertising Unit for subsequent insertions.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Bus bids

The board considered accepting bids for two conventional buses from North Central Bus for $151,715 and three transit buses from Superior Transit for $249,063 for a total of $400,778.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Commissioner approval

Chris Leinen, director of business services, reviewed a letter from Minnesota Education Commissioner Alice Seagren approving the school district's maintenance facility construction project. The building, which will be built on the Bemidji High School campus, will be 12,000 square feet with a construction budget of $953,750. The timeline includes breaking ground in April and moving into the facility in August.

ACTION: No action was taken.

Request for extended leave

The board considered a request for a five-year extended leave of absence from Mary Murphy, an elementary education teacher.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Employee agreements

The board considered employment agreements between the school district and the Minnesota School Employees Association for bus drivers, custodians and maintenance personnel for the period of July 2007 through June 2009.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Terms and conditions

The board considered the terms and conditions of employment for nonlicensed confidential administrative support employees, nonlicensed staff, nonlicensed bus technicians/diesel mechanics, school district office administrators and the support services group for the period of July 2007 through June 2009.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Free, reduced-priced lunch

Kathy Palm, director of curriculum and administrative services, said the percentage of students in the school district who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch increased from 46.7 percent in the 2006-07 school year to 48 percent in the 2007-08 school year. The school district has four Title I elementary schools due to their free and reduced-priced lunch percentages: Central (75 percent), J.W. Smith (71.7 percent), Solway (62.3 percent) and Lincoln (54.4 percent). Because Northern Elementary School (39.3 percent), Horace May Elementary School (41.4 percent) and Bemidji Middle School (47.7 percent) have lower free and reduced-price lunch rates than the school district overall, they do not qualify for Title I services.

ACTION: No action was taken.

School improvement planning

Kathy Palm, director of curriculum and administrative services, reviewed the timeline for the school district's 2007-08 school improvement planning.

ACTION: No action was taken.

Request to accept grant

The board considered a request to accept a $3,079 grant from the Minnesota State High School League Foundation. The grant would cover activity fees for secondary students receiving free and reduced-price lunch and encourage more students to participate in activities.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Grant application

The board considered a request to submit an application for a grant for up to $100,000 from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to provide a counselor at Bemidji High School to strengthen advising and counseling for students transitioning into ninth grade. The school district would be responsible for matching at least 50 percent of the grant award, including in-kind matches such as office space, a computer and secretarial support.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Designating representative

The board considered designating Kathy Palm, director of curriculum and administrative services, as the local education agency representative for Title I.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Bullying prohibition policy

The board considered the first reading of a revised version of the bullying prohibition policy.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve. A second reading and vote is set for Feb. 25.

Designating representative

The board considered designating Bob Vaadeland, assistant superintendent/director of special education, as the local education agency representative for federal programs.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

American Indian education

The board considered the adoption of the American Indian Education Transmittal of Resolution and Parent Committee Roster.

ACTION: The board voted unanimously to approve.

Facilities Planning Committee

Superintendent Jim Hess suggested the board create a Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee.

ACTION: The board agreed by consensus to pursue the formation of the committee.

Present: Chairperson Ann Long Voelkner, Gene Dillon, Carol L. Johnson, Steven H. Johnson and John Pugleasa. Absent: Bill Faver.

For more information on board actions, call the superintendent's office at 333-3100, ext.101.

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