By Anna Jauhola
The Lancaster School Board approved doubling the per diem set for seniors to use on their class trip. During the May 20 board meeting, held virtually over Zoom, Superintendent Shannon Hunstad said he met with senior parents on May 19 and discussed the class trip situation.
“The state has given us freedom in a couple of areas,” he said.
The class of 2020 had $14,000 to spend on their class trip, which was originally scheduled for Boston. Due to COVID-19, that trip was canceled. The class will likely split the money, take half and dole it out in even scholarships, and use the rest to take a different trip.
They have two options for a trip through North and South Dakota. Option 1 has them traveling to Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills to spend time there. Then heading back north through Medora and the Badlands before returning home. Option 2 provides the opportunity to start in the Black Hills of South Dakota, visit Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, drive back through Montana to head through Medora and the Badlands before coming home.
The trouble now is travelers can enter Montana, but are immediately put into a 14-day quarantine. If that is lifted before the seniors take their trip, they will go with option 2.
“The plan is to go between July 19 and Aug. 1,” Hunstad said. “We need to decide which six days of that they’d go.”
Adviser Cory Waling is keeping an eye on the Montana situation, which will play heavily into the decision.
The board took action on a separate item relating to the class trip regarding per diems.
“I talked to Tracey Bruggeman at Brady Martz about the per diem (for meals),” Hunstad said. “The trip is cut in half, so I asked if they could have more of a per diem to eat at a steak house instead of McDonalds?”
Bruggeman said it’s a great option and the board simply has to approve the amount of per diem. The original amount was $42 per student. The board approved $84 per student for this trip, which will also allow them to use that money to pay for any activities that might be available.
“I just figured it should be doubled because they lost half their trip,” Hunstad said.
In other business, the board:
• Approved an affidavit of official interest in claim for Board Member Jason Langerud, who purchased the local grocery store earlier this year. Langerud abstained from the vote.
• Approved a lane change for Nicole Thompson, special education teacher, who is taking on additional administrative duties as she works toward her principal’s certification and license. Board Member Matt Nordin abstained from the vote.
• Accepted the resignations of boys basketball coach Chad Kujava, boys JV basketball coach Steven Sjostrand, and concessions adviser Emily Webster.
• Approved the termination of Denise Strege’s paraprofessional contract as her position isn’t needed due to the lower number of preschool students.
• Approved hiring Strege as a co-assistant cook and office assistant at $14.51 per hour.
• Approved hiring Shannon Langerud as co-assistant cook at $13.46 per hour. Board Member Langerud abstained from the vote.
• Approved hiring Thompson and Mendy Coffield as junior class advisers at a salary of $587 each. Board member Lacey Lupien abstained from the vote.
The next regular board meeting is set for Wednesday, June 24 at 8 p.m.
By Anna Jauhola