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LANCASTER SCHOOL BOARD PROCEEDINGS

LANCASTER SCHOOL BOARD PROCEEDINGS

The Lancaster School Board met in regular session on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. in the Supt. Office. The following members were present: James Diamond, Lacey Lupien, Matt Nordin, Justin Peterson, Jim Scalese, and Brittany Swenson. Also present were Superintendent Nicole Thompson, Dean of Students/Activities Director Mark Bernstrom, Teacher Rep. Michael Peterson, Kittson County Enterprise reporter Anna Jauhola, and Mendy Coffield.
Chairperson Diamond called the meeting to order and took roll call.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Swenson the agenda was approved as presented.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Peterson, the consent agenda was approved as presented. Items included:
*The minutes of the October 17, 2023, regular meeting was approved.
*Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) in the amount of $143,995.73.
*Payroll EFTs in the amount of $155,121.16.
*Credit Card EFTs in the amount of $11,735.90.
*Monthly bills for the regular and the activity account in the amount of $65,974.90. Check numbers 42744-42793.
*The Budget Comparison and Treasurer’s reports were reviewed.
Brady Martz Auditor, Tracee Bruggeman, joined via telephone and gave a brief overview of the 22/23 Budget Report.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, accepts the 22/23 final Audit Report as presented by Tracee Bruggeman, Brady Martz.
Supt. Thompson discussed the READ Act which is moving away from sight words and back to phonics, and the different requirements. Lancaster School currently uses FastBridge as the screening tool, and this happens to be one on the State list. The professional development path will be the CAREIALL system, which will require 45 hours of training. In January, more details on the required curriculum will be shared with districts. Curriculum guidance will be available in January. Supt. Thompson will continue to monitor the timelines and hopes to secure a grant to assist with the READ Act.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Nordin, and carried: WHEREAS, Minnesota Statute 123B.02, Subd. 6 provides: “The board may receive, for the benefit of the district, bequests, donations, or gifts for any proper purpose and apply the same to the purpose designated. In that behalf, the board may act as trustee of any trust created for the benefit of the district, or for the benefit of the district, or for the benefit of pupils thereof, including trusts created to provide pupils of the district with advanced education after completion of high school, in the advancement of education.”; and WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes 465.03 provides: “Any city, county, school district or town may accept a grant or devise of real or personal property to maintain such property for the benefit of its citizens in accordance with the terms prescribed by the donor. Nothing herein shall authorize such acceptance or use for religious or sectarian purposes. Every such acceptance shall be by resolution of the governing body adopted by a two-thirds majority of its members, expressing such terms in full.”; and
WHEREAS, every such acceptance shall be by resolution of the governing body adopted by a two-thirds majority of its members, expressing such terms in full;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the School Board of Lancaster Public School, ISD 356, gratefully accepts the following donations as identified below:
Donor Item Designated Purpose (if any)
United Valley Bank Healthy snacks Preschool through 6th grade classrooms
The vote on adoption of the Resolution was as follows:
Aye: James Diamond, Lacey Lupien, Matt Nordin, Justin Peterson, Jim Scalese, and Brittany Swenson.
Nay: None.
Absent: None.
Whereupon, said Resolution was declared duly adopted.
On a motion by Lupien, second by Peterson and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, hires Cheyanne Scalese as Junior High Boys’ Basketball Coach effective immediately. Abstained: Scalese
On a motion by Peterson, second by Swenson and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the adjustment for FMLA for Vada Gatheridge to begin November 27, 2023.
On a motion by Swenson, second by Scalese and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, hires Caylie Nicholson, as Long-Term Substitute for Vada Gatheridge, for the remainder of 2023.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the sick leave donations for Tracy Klegstad, as presented.
On a motion by Diamond, second by Peterson and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the sick leave donations for Vada Gatheridge, as presented.
On a motion by Scalese, second by Lupien and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, acknowledges that all Bus and Type III Drivers have completed their annual training requirements for the 23/24 school year.
Supt. Thompson shared a proposal from Brady Martz to assist with payroll services. The estimate was higher than expected and will not work at this time.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Scalese, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the Final Reading of Policy #504 Student Dress and Appearance, as presented by Supt. Thompson.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the Annual Review of Policies: #506 Student Discipline, #722 Public Data and Data Subject Request, and #806 Crisis Management Policy, as presented by Supt. Thompson.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, Approves the Single Reading of Policies: #413 Harassment and Violence, #416 Drug, Alcohol and Cannabis, and #606.5 Library Materials, as presented by Supt. Thompson.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Nordin, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, acknowledges the First Reading of the Wellness Policy #533, Triennial Assessment, Food Service Standards of Conduct, Food Service Procurement Procedures for Milk, Bread and Food, as presented by Wellness Coordinator Coffield.
On a motion by Scalese, second by Peterson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the Custodian Designations, Officer and Advisor List for the Student Activity Funds for the 23/24 school year.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Lupien, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the Student Activity Fundraising requests for the 23/24 school year, submitted to date.
On a motion by Scalese, second by Nordin, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the Student Activity Fund balances as of October 31, 2023.
On a motion by Scalese, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the 23/24 Field Trip Log, submitted to date, as presented.
Supt. Thompson shared an estimate for replacement of the current main boiler from Johnson Controls in the amount of $317,000 +/- 10%. Mike Peterson was present and has been working with the boiler for a number of years. While Peterson agreed the current boiler shouldn’t stop working tomorrow, the longer we wait to replace it, the more costly it will be. This estimate for the turnkey project is just for the boiler replacement, not the piping, etc. Supt. Thompson noted that we will begin to look for grants and funding sources. If we choose to move forward, this project would not be able to start until at least 2025.
Dean of Students / Activities Director Bernstrom presented his report:
a. School Happenings Update: AI Training, MLK Day, Veterans’ Day program, Winter Concert – December 7th Team-Up Seminar for seven students, Hoops for Heart, Unified Sports, One Act Play, FCCLA, and Knowledge Bowl activities were all reviewed.
b. Bernstrom continues to work on the Synergy; Anne Dalbey has been assisting and doing an amazing job of teaching and mentoring.
c. Attendance letters and Tardy monitoring continues.
d. he Bullying Policy has been revisited with grades 7-12; SSW Molly also visited with these classes. A letter was emailed to all families as well.
e. The KCC Cooperative meeting had to be rescheduled to Wednesday, November 29th.
f. The Winter Sports season is upon us with practices this week and games beginning this Friday.
Superintendent Thompson presented her report:
a.  It is official. The LEFSA (Lancaster Endowment Fund School Association) has officially been recognized by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
b.  The Community Ed Report for 22/23 was reviewed; attendance numbers are up.
c.  The Homeschool Report for 23/24 was presented; currently thirteen families homeschool a total of 33 students in the district.
d.  The Census Report was shared for Birth through 4 year olds in the Lancaster district.
e.  The NWSC Adult Basic Education Consortium Agreement was reviewed.
On a motion by Diamond, second by Peterson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the NWSC Adult Basic Education Consortium Agreement for 23/24 as presented.
f.  The COMPAS Memorandum of Agreement was presented. COMPAS will bring in a Teaching Artist for grades 7-12 in March of 2024. Thompson has secured a grant for this.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Scalese, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, COMPAS Memorandum of Understanding for 23/24 as presented.
g.  Region 1 Joint Powers Board Election information was shared for any members who wished to join.
h.  NWSC Election Ballots were distributed, completed and collected.
i.  The next meeting is Wednesday, December 20th at 7:00pm. This will be the annual truth in taxation and final budget meeting.
Diamond adjourned the meeting at 7:59 p.m.
James Diamond, Chairperson Lacey Lupien, Clerk
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LANCASTER SCHOOL BOARD PROCEEDINGS

The Lancaster School Board met in regular session on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. in the Supt. Office. The following members were present: James Diamond, Lacey Lupien, Matt Nordin, Justin Peterson, Jim Scalese, and Brittany Swenson. Also present were Superintendent Nicole Thompson, Dean of Students/Activities Director Mark Bernstrom, Teacher Rep. Laura Reese, Kittson County Enterprise reporter Anna Jauhola, and Mendy Coffield.
Chairperson Diamond called the meeting to order and took roll call.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Scalese the agenda was approved as presented.
Visitor Comments were received via a letter from Caylie Nicholson regarding substitute and paraprofessional pay. A letter of support was also received from Tiffany Sjostrand on Nicholson’s behalf. Board Chair Diamond stated that the long-term substitute pay issue is part of the Teacher Master Agreement. This is currently being negotiated with the Negotiations Team/Personnel Committee and once the contract is settled, Nicholson’s letter will be addressed.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Scalese, the consent agenda was approved as presented. Items included:
*The minutes of the November 28, 2023, regular meeting was approved.
*Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) in the amount of $101,915.93.
*Payroll EFTs in the amount of $129,247.72.
*Credit Card EFTs in the amount of $8,402.21.
*Monthly bills for the regular and the activity account in the amount of $67,457.99.
Check numbers 42794-42835.
*The Budget Comparison and Treasurer’s reports were reviewed.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the Truth In Taxation information as presented by Supt. Thompson.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, certifies the taxes payable in 2024 as follows:
Taxes Payable
General $ 857,844.93
Community Service $ 10,940.92
Total $ 868,768.85
The new Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) goes into effect January 1, 2024. Each position has been evaluated and the only new ESST leave that needs to be extended will be to substitutes. The required ESST notice was distributed in December to all employees, posted in the lounge, and also is available online.
On a motion by Lupien, second by Nordin, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the sick leave donations for Tracy Klegstad, Lisa Lamberson, and Vada Gatheridge as presented.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Peterson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, adopts the final budget for the 23/24 school year as follows:
Expenditures Revenues
01-General $ 4,029,032 $ 4,093,283
02-Food Service $ 285,383 $ 285,383
04-Community Education $ 114,515 $ 114,515
Total 01,02,04 Fund Budget: $ 4,428,930 $ 4,493,181
Funds 01-04 Surplus: $64,251

Student Activity Fund $ 70,930 $ 91,825
Overall Total: $ 4,499,860 $ 4,585,006
Overall Net: $ 85,146
On a motion by Peterson, second by Scalese, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the use of the current signature plate until the new Officer’s signatures are ready for use.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, designates The Kittson County Courthouse as the combined polling place for 2024.
On a motion by Diamond, second by Peterson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, calls for bids to replace the main electric boiler located in the original building. Anticipated installation: TBD.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Scalese, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves amending the Lancaster School District #356 Seniority List for the current year to remove Tier I Teachers as they are not eligible for a continuing contract, or to be placed on the Seniority List.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Scalese,
WHEREAS, the financial condition of the school district dictates that the school board must reduce expenditures immediately, and
WHEREAS, there has been a reduction in student enrollment, and,
WHEREAS, this reduction in expenditure and decrease in student enrollment must include discontinuance of positions and discontinuance or curtailment of programs, and
WHEREAS, a determination must be made as to which teachers’ contracts must be terminated and not renewed and which teachers may be placed on unrequested leave without pay or fringe benefits in effecting discontinuance of positions,
Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, as follows:
That the School board hereby directs the Superintendent of Schools and administration to consider the discontinuance of programs or positions, to effectuate economies in the school district and reduce expenditures, and, as a result of a reduction in enrollment, make recommendations to the school board for the discontinuance of programs, curtailment of programs, and discontinuance of positions or curtailment of positions.
The following voted in favor of: James Diamond, Lacey Lupien, Matt Nordin, Justin Peterson, Jim Scalese, and Brittany Swenson
The following voted against the same: None.
Whereupon said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Scalese, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, accepts the resignation of Catie Jerome as KCC Varsity Girls’ Track Coach effective immediately.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the final reading of Wellness Policy #533, Triennial Assessment, Food Service Standards of Conduct, Food Service Procurement Procedures for Milk, Bread and Food, as presented by Wellness Coordinator Coffield.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Lupien, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the single reading of Policies: #507 Corporal Punishment and Prone Restraint, #515 Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records Form, and #620 Credit for Learning, as presented by Supt. Thompson.
Dean of Students / AD Bernstrom presented his report:
a.  Bernstrom commended the staff on how everyone works together and helps out where needed.
b.  The Winter Concert went very well. Great job to everyone for their work!
c.  The Robotics Team consists of two team members this year. They are doing well.
d.  Senior High Knowledge Bowl has been practicing a few times a week and will start their Meets in January.
e.  The Battle of the Classes will be held this Friday for high school. The kahoot/classroom portion will take place before lunch with the activities then happening 6th-8th hour.
f.  The Colonial Speaker presentation for grades 4-6 went very well and was very interactive.
g.  FCCLA & the Rome Trip members have had two Family Movie Nights in December. Popcorn, bake sales, gift wrapping, hot chocolate and meal all took place besides the movie.
h.  Hoops for Heart went great for grades 2-6 last week.
i. Winter Sports are well underway.
j.  Elementary Basketball has added additional practice days each week.
k.  Basketballs gave been cleaned up and organized for all sports.
Superintendent Thompson presented her report:
a.  We will continue to advertise for Paraprofessionals. We could use two full-time people. We currently have regular subs and some college students in the building assisting us.
b. Laura McNeill has received approval to teach College in the High School for College Algebra. She will start this spring with her Pre-Calc class.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves Laura McNeill as a UMN Crookston College in the High School (CIHS) Instructor.
c.  The World’s Best Work Force Report was presented for approval.
On a motion by Scalese, second by Nordin, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the World’s Best Workforce as presented by Supt. Thompson.
d.  A memorandum from Southwest Minnesota State College was presented for approval. If any SWSC students want to student teach at Lancaster School, they will now be able to.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Swenson, and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the Southwest Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Memorandum of Agreement as presented.
e.  MREA voting information was given to Diamond to complete online.
f.  Ballots for the Region 1 Joint Powers Election were distributed.
g.  The MSBA Convention is January 11th-12th. The group will depart around 11am on the 10th.
h.  The next meeting is scheduled for January 17th at 7:00pm.
Diamond adjourned the meeting at 7:54 p.m.
James Diamond, Chairperson Lacey Lupien, Clerk
(January 3, 2024)
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