The Park Rapids School Board voted Monday to support two policy updates after discussing concerns voiced by board member Gary Gauldin.

Gauldin made the motion to approve the second reading of a policy about credit for learning that the school board tabled Oct. 21 to allow administrative staff to reevaluate it.

At the Oct. 21 meeting, Gauldin urged them to reconsider Minnesota School Board Association recommended policy language that allows transfer credits and college-in-the-high-school credits to affect students’ GPA and class rank.

“There are some things that I personally don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean I’m right and (High School Principal Jeff Johnson) is wrong,” said Gauldin. “Jeff did a lot of cleaning up with some iffy kinds of things that are black and white. So, I’d recommend approval.”

Gauldin’s motion carried unanimously.

Student activities policy

Board member Dennis Dodge moved to approve the first reading of a policy about student activities, with two attached procedures. One of the procedures outlines the philosophy, mission and goals of the schools’ athletic and fine arts programs; the other ensures that activities are scheduled to give students time to prepare for end-of-term exams.

Gauldin had asked to remove the policy from the consent agenda because of a concern with the first procedure, which listed “to succeed by winning at all levels” as a goal in high school sports.

Board members were satisfied that this applies to high school competition only, while the sentence goes on to say that junior high sports emphasize equal participation.

Gauldin maintained that including both objectives in the same line-item could lead to confusion.

Dodge’s motion passed, with Gauldin dissenting.

In consent items and general business, the school board:

  • Hired Katie Eischens as an assistant gymnastics coach and Rochelle Manners as a paraprofessional.

  • Approved volunteer Joe Morgan as a girls basketball coach.

  • Approved a 2018-20 contract with Indian Education Coordinator Danette Larson. Business Manager Kent Fritze explained that an additional year was negotiated onto an existing two-year contract.

  • Accepted the resignations of Garrett Kovach as junior high boys basketball coach and Brian Johnson as assistant varsity football coach.

  • Posted a new, full-time position as a social-emotional learning behavioral coordinator. Superintendent Lance Bagstad said this student support program is being developed with funding from a $31,000 Rural and Low-Income Schools grant.

  • Acknowledged donations totaling $1,083, including $572 through DonorsChoose for Megan Helms’ third-grade classroom.

The school board’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the Frank White Education Center. This is a special time, due to the Minnesota Rural Education Association conference on Nov. 17-18.