The Granite Falls Ministerium voiced concerns about teen reproductive health and wants to be included in addressing the issue. The concern and desire to help came in the form of a letter from the Ministerium to YME Superintendent Al Stoeckman. Stoeckman shared the letter with school board members at Monday night’s meeting.
The letter was a follow-up to a presentation at a PTO meeting held on December 3. During that meeting, Linda Norland, Deputy Administrator of Countryside Public Health, shared statistical data and personal experiences involving sexual activity of YME students grades 9 – 12. The statistical data showed that by Grade 12, 60 percent of the boys had intercourse and 73 percent of the girls had intercourse. She also shared that six YME girls had come into her office in one week last April for pregnancy tests. She explained that Countryside Public Heath is prepared to partner with YME, area churches, and community groups to provide evidence-based, age appropriate curriculum to help students in postponing sexual activity and when they decide to become sexually active, to consistently use protection. "I'll go anywhere, anytime," she offered. "I wanted you to know there is an issue. You tell me what you want to do about it."
In the letter Fr. Paul Timmerman, representing the Ministerium, wrote, “We were surprised by the results of the survey that were given to us about how many YME 9th - 12th grade students responded that they were sexually active. We want to help address this issue.”
He added, “We would like to be included in further discussions about this issue and the possibility of beginning a new curriculum concerning reproductive health.”
Members of the school board agreed that further discussions should be held. Board Chair Tim Velde recommended that YME host a public meeting on the issue and asked Stockman to schedule that meeting.
The January meeting is the organizational meeting selecting officers and members to serve on various committees. The officers are: Grant Velde – Board Chair; Steve Rupp – Vice Chair; Dawn Odegard – Clerk; Shelly Weir – Treasurer. Committee Representa-tives are as follows: Negotiations – Tim Opdahl, Jane Haggert, Grant Velde; Finance – Steve Rupp, Jane Haggert, Tim Opdahl; Policy – Dawn Odegard, Steve Zumhoff, Shelly Weir; Buildings and Grounds – Steve Rupp, Grant Velde, Steve Zumhoff; MVCC – Grant Velde, Dawn Odegard, Tim Opdahl; MRVED – Steve Zumhoff; MSHSL – Steve Rupp; MSBA – Jane Haggert, UMVRDC – Dawn Odegard; and Community Ed – Shelly Weir.
• The board approved adding the Law Firm of Rupp, Anderson, Squires and Waldspurger, P.A. as one of the official law firms handling the schools legal business.
• The board approved the bills for payment.
• The board approved a contract with Jen Sneller as Head Softball Coach.
Page 2 of 2 - • The board approved the resignation of Al Reszel as JH Volleyball Coach. Stoeckman indicated that Reszel had taken on an after school assignment that conflicted with volleyball.
• There will be no school for students on January 18 and the 21 due to teacher in-service. • The next board meeting is scheduled for February 11, at 5:30 p.m.