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Northome School Board approves truancy policy; sets pay levy

The Northome-Indus School Board met for its regular meeting Oct. 12 to hear requests for class trips, set pay levy and to authorize payment of the general obligation school building bond.

The meeting began with the approval of the agenda as presented, the minutes, as presented, of the regular meeting of Sept. 14 with the correction that Bob Stueven's day was increased to 6.75 hours and the approval of the district payment of: $2,201,899.38 for accounts payable invoices and $12,121.68 for extra payroll, as presented, for the month of September.

The board gave its approval to the following recognition of accomplishments:

Northome academic and exemplary students of the month: senior high academic: Rachel Chaffin and junior high academic: Shadow Lievsay. Senior high exemplary: Matt Steffen and junior high exemplary: Casey Gross

The baord then voted to:

• Accept the donation(s) of $1,500 from Deerwood Bank to the Northome Scholarship Fund

• Approve the date of Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. for the district's Truth in Taxation meeting

• Approve the Assurance of Compliance with state and federal law prohibiting discrimination

• Approve the hiring of Colleen Lievsay as Pupil Support Assistant at the Northome School and

• Approve the hiring of Jody Wagner as a long term substitute in the Northome Preschool Program

The request from Mr. Strandberg for approval and financial support for a choir trip for Indus students to go to Duluth May 11-13 was brought before the board. The estimated cost to the district would be $455. This request was approved as was the 2010-2012 Classified Staff Agreement.

The school board then voted to approve the recommendation by Dr. Jerry Struss to set the pay 2012 levy at the maximum, which is $529,846.63 which is approximately $68,000 less than the final pay 2011 levy.

There was a discussion in regard to the request presented by Ms. Bessler for the Spanish trip for the summer of 2012. The cost to the district would be approximately $1,600. Supt. Struss is going to gather information in regard to comparative expenses between this trip and the proposed Indus trip.

The Koochiching County Truancy Policy presented by Principal Bryan Brown was then brought before the board. Brown explained the process used to develop the policy. It was then approved.

A motion was made and then approved to support the resolution awarding the sale, determining the form and details, authorizing the execution, delivery and registration and providing, for the payment of a $215,000 taxable general obligation school building bond.

Approval was given for the following Academic Clubs -- Speech Club and Accelerated Reading at Indus; First Robotics, Brain Bee, Elementary Math Club and Science Club at Northome.

Ms. Hervey asked if some of the Academic Clubs at Northome could be accomplished via ITV for Indus. Brown is going to query if there is any interest in these clubs with the Indus students.

There was discussion and update on the school board goals and committees.

Northome met with staff members and is in the process of forming committees to address the three goals.

Indus reported that the Indus website update was discussed. The teachers will forward pictures and information to Ms. Tillman.

Tillman was hoping someone from Northome could show her how to update the website calendar. Supt. Struss advised he would arrange that.

There had been conversation about communication between teachers and students and in regard to computer problem resolution.

One of the teachers expressed appreciation for a past Power Point presentation in regard to district financial information and would like to see the presentation again. Struss said he planned to make this presentation in the near future.

A motion was made and approved to accept O-N Activities request of $.065 per mile increase for the next two school years. That would put his reimbursement rate per mile at $2.285 for the 2012-13 school year and $2.35 for 2013-14 school year.

There was a short discussion regarding the ongoing licensed staff negotiations.

Dr. Struss was directed to gather quotes on acquiring a 4 wheel drive vehicle for Northome.

Three new committees have been formed at Northome. It is the goal to have representation from the board, staff, community and student body on each committee. The three committees are:

1. Communication

2. Technology

3. Long Range Planning

Indus will form these same committees also. Hervey was asked if she would do this. Struss will put out information in both school papers.

Gary Dougherty expressed frustration as to the length of time it took to find out there is something wrong with the computers. Struss explained that the following Friday, a representation from Paul Bunyan would be at the Indus School to see if he can determine exactly what is causing the network to limit available bandwidth.

Northome Principal Paul van der Hagen updated the board on the following:

• The football team wore pink socks for the fight against cancer.

• Parent's night was the previous night, with a great turnout.

• Because of state and federal grant money, a dental representative was teaching dental hygiene.

• Both vam der Hagen and Brown attended a law seminar the previous day. Among the items covered at the seminar was teacher evaluation approaching in 2014-2015.

• Northome had a data meeting this date, with the third, fourth and fifth grade teachers looking at student data.

• van der Hagen is trying to create a data warehouse.

• Midquarters will be mailed soon.

Among information presented by Brown was the following:

• This week is Homecoming. The volleyball game is cancelled.

• Volleyball is coming to an end.

• Seventh graders are selling lots of magazines.

• The new ball fields are in.

• The elementary teachers like the new math series.

• Reading 180 is up and going.

Among items presented by Dr. Struss during his superintendent's report were the following:

• There has been a student gain since September.

• AYP scores came out. There have been a lot of concerns with the AYP calculation system.

• There are licensed negotiations tomorrow in Big Falls.

Struss is looking at possible changes in non-resident student policy.

After the audit, he is planning on doing a budget presentation to staff, possibly toward the end of November.

Maria Lewis and Sofia Oleson advised the Board of planned future National Honor Society events. Among the activities planned are the following:

• Breakfast at Birchdale

• Candy in the teacher's lounge

• Gourds and sticker activities

• Care packages for overseas service personnel

• Helping children write letters to Santa Claus

• Spelling Bee

• Pen pals for third and fourth grade students

• Honors Sunday

• Food Shelf

• Posters

• Goodie trays for new teachers

The next regular monthly board meeting will be held Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in the ITV rooms at both the Indus and Northome Schools.