The YME School Board approved the 2013-2014 budget at Monday night’s school board meeting. Tim Opdahl, a member of the finance committee told the board that the committee recommended that no cuts be made. Instead he recommended that the board do what is known as investment (deficit) spend $160,000 in fiscal year 2013-2014. In fact, the finance committee recommended that a para-professional postion be added for the K-1 grade level, new teachers be added and the board fund a success coach.
The recommendations surfaced out of the decision of the board to retain a minimum balance of $1 million dollars in the General Fund and the increased education spending signed into law by Governor Dayton in May. The new legislation increases education spending by $485 million dollars including $134 million dollars to fund all-day kindergarten.
Even though most of the increases will be implemented in 2014-2015, the current General Fund Balance is projected to be $1,846,582 as of June 30, 2013 with the unreserved funds projected at $1,436,852. The board approved a motion to accept the 2013-2014 budget.
Roberta Bjerkeset, YME’s American Indian liaison, informed the School Board that a ‘Success for the Future’ grant has been awarded to YME. The grant was awarded by the Minnesota Department of Education. The purpose of the grant is to support American Indian education programs and improve outcomes for American Indian children and youth.
Bjerkeset told the board that plans are under way to implement the grant. This summer oral history of the members of the Upper Sioux Community will be recorded. In addition, this summer curriculum and programs that support American Indian education programs will be completed.
Curriculum is being written that will allow all 7th and 8th graders to learn more about Dakota history and culture. The learning component will take place as part of the exploration classes that the 7th and 8th graders take. The curriculum is being developed by members of the YME social studies department and members of the Upper Sioux Community. The plan is to include both social studies teachers and members of the Upper Sioux Community to work together to teach the exploration classes. Also being planned are transition programs to support Indian students from 5th grade to 6th grade and from 7th grade to 8th grade.
The grant will not cover the entire costs of implementing all the programs. “The Upper Sioux Community has agreed to cover costs associated with the programs being designed that the two year grant will not cover”, shared Bjerkeset.
YME High School principal Michael Meihak informed the board that the State Department of Education (MDE) is implementing a new system for measuring student achievement. In a handout provided by MDE, the old system of high stakes graduation tests in reading, math and writing will be phased out by 2016. The 2013-2014 and the 2014-2015 seniors will be required to pass the high stakes tests in order to graduate from a Minnesota high school. However, by the time this year’s sophomores are seniors in 2015-2016 assessments will include ACT scores, and scores on MDE provided assessments. Meihak gave an example that ASVAB scores may be used to meet graduation requirements.
Page 2 of 2 - The board approved the adoption of 600 series policies – educational policies – and removal of policy 619 – staff development of standards – and policy 619 – homebound education.
The board approved a motion to wave the $3.00 fee per payment through RevTrak, an online method to pay school fees including activity fees, high school fees and deposit funds, into a food service account. The online option is available at the YME website, www.isd2190. org under the Sting Store. RevTrak allows individuals to pay by credit. Until last night each time an individual paid a fee by credit card, a $3.00 fee was assessed by the district. The motion to wave the $3.00 fee took place immediately.
The board approved the American Indian Policies and Procedures.
The board approved the low bid from Dean’s Food of Sioux Falls for milk and milk products for FY 2013-2014.
The board approved the low bid from Pan O’ Gold of St. Cloud for bread and bread products for FY 2013-2014.
The board approved contracts for Juana Thilke as a fourth grade elementary teacher and Andrew Runck as an English and a second language teacher.
The board approved a contract for Randy Haakenson as a secondary social studies teacher and head girls basketball coach.
The board approved a contract for Cathy Michaelson as a Title I teacher.
The board approved a contract for Stacy Hinz as head girls volleyball coach.
The board approved a contract for Cheri Fjermestad as assistant girls tennis coach.
The board approved a contract for Jeff Iverson for One Act Play advisor.
The board approved the resignation of English Teacher Kirsti Anderson.
The board accepted the request for retirement from Sue Vetch as Spanish teacher. The board approved a motion to publically thank Sue Vetch for her service to the district. Vetch has taught Spanish for 23 years and chaperoned 17 student trips to Mexico and Europe.
The board closed the session at 9:15 to discuss negotiation strategies.
Upcoming events include a negotiation schedule on June 17 in the YME Board Room at 6:30 p.m.
The next school board meeting will be held July 8 in the YME Board Room at 7:00 p.m.