The Nevis School Board approved a revised budget of $8,227,647 for the current fiscal year at Monday night’s meeting, a decrease of $39,458 from the original budget of $8,267,105.
“We lost over 20 students during the course of the year through students moving away or being home schooled, but we’ve received over $280,000 in COVID-related revenue and that helped hold the bottom line for us,” said Superintendent Gregg Parks. “COVID has also had an impact on salaries in the district, especially with not having activity buses running or buses on Fridays and having some coaches not able to have a full season. So the salary budget was $159,293 less than we initially anticipated.”
The district also saw cost increases of $119,885. “That was primarily due to corona-related expenses for us such as masks, indoor air quality, plexiglass and cleaning supplies,” Parks said. “And until the last couple of weeks it hadn’t been terribly cold, so that saved us money on fuel.”
New social studies standards feedback
The board heard reports on the state social studies standards by Char Christenson and John Lindow, including concerns that the new standards had some holes in areas such as references to historical events, like the World Wars and the Holocaust, and went too far in interpreting history with a more liberal and less patriotic agenda.
Board members listened to the report but did not take a stance on the information.
Parks shared that the Minnesota Commissioner of Education had acknowledged that a lot of people were concerned about the process and was planning on slowing down the approval timeline to ensure all voices were being heard.
Amy Schroeder is retiring after having spent 43 years with the Nevis School district, 12 as a student and 31 as a teacher.
“That’s just an amazing accomplishment,” Parks said. “Amy has done a fantastic job of impacting our students and community throughout her years as a teacher here. Teachers today are likely to change jobs multiple times throughout their careers. Amy's longevity will leave a legacy within our community. There are countless numbers of kids who learned to keyboard, studied business administration, accounting and career explorations in her classes.”
“She has been a pillar for the school,” board member Justin Isaacson said. “I remember she was the one-act play supervisor when I was in one-act plays, and we had a lot of fun doing those. She’s very compassionate and always there for the kids. She will be missed.”
In other business, the board:
Received the American Indian Education parental advisory committee resolution agreeing with the educational offerings extended to American Indian students.
Agreed with the Minnesota State High School League changing its constitution to have representation from superintendents to help in making decisions about school models and events. Parks will vote in favor of that.
Received information about the four levels of special education. Nevis has 19.2 percent special education students compared with a state average of 16 percent.
Heard that $18,000 has been obtained for a trailer for the Nevis and Cass Lake robotics teams to store playing field materials.
Approved the 2021-22 school calendar, with the first day of school Sept. 7, Christmas break Dec. 23-31 and graduation at 10:30 a.m. on May 28, 2022.
Heard all of the school’s vehicles passed their inspections.
The next school board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, March 22 in the school media center and on Zoom.