Bemidji school board to discuss next steps after referendum fails
After Tuesday’s special canvassing meeting to certify the results from the Nov. 2 referendum special election, the Bemidji Area Schools Board of Education will reconvene for a regular session at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15, in the district office board room.
BEMIDJI -- After Tuesday’s special canvassing meeting to certify the results from the Nov. 2 referendum special election , the Bemidji Area Schools Board of Education will reconvene for a regular session at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15, in the district office board room.
After the operating referendum failed to pass last week, with 3,749 “no” votes and 3,432 “yes” votes from Bemidji residents, Superintendent Tim Lutz will provide a referendum update to gauge the district's next steps in the face of major budget shortfalls.
Following a COVID update for the district, the board will spend a good chunk of time reading through revised policies and administrative guidelines that will be updated to comply with legislative changes and the Minnesota School Boards Association Model Policy.
Policies to be reviewed include Harassment and Violence, Internet Acceptable Use and Safety, Equal Educational Opportunity, Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records, Public and Private Personnel Data, and the School Weapons Policy.
District Business Director Krisi Fenner will propose a resolution to establish combined polling places for multiple precincts and designate hours during which the polling places will remain open for voting for school district elections not held on the day of a statewide election.
New legislation adopted in 2017 requires school districts to establish these combined polling places each year by Dec. 31. These are designated for the following calendar year unless a change is made in case of an emergency or if a polling place becomes unavailable.
Curriculum Director Colleen Cardenuto will review grant applications with the board including a $4,500 request to Beltrami Electric Cooperative Operation Round Up to support Bemidji Career Academies’ partnership with the Boy Scouts Exploring program.
This provides opportunities for students in grades 8-12 to perform on-site, hands-on activities with community professionals. Costing $45 a student per year, the grant would pay for 100 student yearly memberships.
A $375 proposal, also to Beltrami Electric, would cover costs for two Headwaters Science Center demonstrations in May 2022 for K-3 students.
An $800 proposal to Beltrami County Service Collaborative would be used for the “Be Present” attendance incentive program for the current school year.
The board will also vote to accept a $15,000 donation from Sanford Health to the district’s Angel Fund, which supports unpaid student meal debt. They will also accept a drum kit donation to the Bemidji High School Band by Jim Hess valued at $700.
The public can attend the meeting in person or watch the meeting on the Bemidji Area Schools YouTube channel .