Anonymous donations totaling $50,000 will be used to upgrade technology at Nevis School.

“Before Christmas, we had heard from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation that an anonymous donor indicated they wanted to help us out with technology needs at our school,” Superintendent Parks told the board at Monday’s meeting. “This week we received two checks, one for $20,000 and one for $30,000, to help us with purchasing ChromeBooks in the high school and Smartboard technology, both anonymous. That’s just an amazing way to help us out here. Whoever they are, we thank them from the bottom of our hearts and will send a more formal thank you through the foundation when we purchase the items.”

In addition, the board accepted $9,159 in donations from Dec. 13 through Jan. 22. Among them were a total of $4,725 in transportation grants submitted by transportation supervisor Dan Stacey to help provide safety equipment for buses and a total of $2,400 for the robotics team.

The largest donations received were a $3,500 transportation grant from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, a $2,000 grant for robotics from the Hackensack Lions Club, $1,000 for boy’s basketball from the Nevis Basketball Association, an $884 athletic grant from the Minnesota State High School League Foundation and a $500 transportation grant from Citizens National Bank.

“We’re very fortunate to have individuals willing to donate to our school system,” Parks said. “Dan has been very active going out and seeking donations so kudos to him. All of the transportation grants are the result of his hard work.”

Fitness center and student athletes

Board member Justin Isaacson said his daughter asked him to bring up the possibility of greater access to the school’s fitness center by student athletes. He said students who want to put in extra effort training often cannot because the times conflict with sports practices.

Parks said the center is open from 3:30-5 p.m. with supervision, but due to liability issues, students under 18 can only use it at other times if an adult is present. He said the fitness center is a “break-even proposition” right now. “For us to have supervisors in there from 5-10 p.m. would not be financially responsible for us.”

He said coaches have the option to open the fitness center to work with their athletes, perhaps alternating with after-school practice times.

2020-21 calendar approved

Nevis School’s 2021 calendar was approved Monday, as presented. The calendar includes 171 student contact days and 9 teacher inservice days, for a total of 180 days. School begins Sept. 8. Nov. 9 is off for deer hunting. Christmas break is Dec. 24-Jan. 1, and graduation is at 10:30 a.m. May 29, 2021.

The calendar includes up to five electronic learning days that may be implemented due to weather-related conditions. Rather than losing scheduled school days, students and staff work on assignments online from home.

Board changes and designations

Andy Lindow is the new chairperson and Ed Becker is the vice chairperson. Gary Stennes will serve as clerk and Larry Smith as treasurer.

School board meetings will be at 7 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month in the school media center with the exception of May and December.

Compensation for board members was raised by two percent. Mileage will be at the federal reimbursement rate when using a private vehicle when a school vehicle is not available.

District depositories for the district are Citizens National Bank, Northwoods Bank and the Minnesota Liquid Asset Fund. Northwoods Press was selected as the official newspaper, and Rupp, Anderson, Squires and Waldspurger P.A. as the district’s legal counsel. New school board committee assignments were approved as is required annually.

The next regular school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24 in the school media center.