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Menahga School Board cuts budget by $238,700

The Menahga School Board voted unanimously Monday to accept Superintendent Jerry Nesland's budget reduction recommendations.

The district will save $238,700 by reducing programs and shifting staff responsibilities.

The budget containment plan includes assigning high school principal duties to the dean of students, eliminating a 0.5 high school teacher position and eliminating all high school study hall hours, which cuts one paraprofessional position.

High school English teacher MaryAnna Foss will retire at the end of the school year. Her position will be filled by Emily Peterson, which increases Peterson's position from half to full-time.

In other business, the board:

-Approved releasing students at 12:15 p.m. on the last day of school, which will be May 29.

Elementary principal Joleen DeLaHunt said because of the ventilation project the building will go under this summer, staff will need the extra time to pack up.

-Heard DeLaHunt report there will be a new step toward combining pre-K programs next year.

Early Childhood Family Education, Early Childhood Special Education and HeadStart will all be combined.

The parent component of the program will also be different. Children in the Early Childhood Special Education will attend school three days a week instead of four. The fourth day will allow teachers time for monthly home visits.

-Heard Klamm's update on online registration. Students can now register through the Family Access program, but staff will have final approval of the schedules.

-Approved workers compensation insurance with Riverport Insurance Co. at approximately $27,000.

-Assigned new board member Raymond Aho as the MSBA Legislative liaison. He will also replace former member Diana Pihlaja on the finance and district-wide safety committees.

-Approved modifying the 2009-10 school calendar by designating Sept. 1-2 as the staff development days. n Approved an E2T2 Enhancing Education Through Technology grant application for $150,000.