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Menahga school to review budget

Menahga School Board approved the proposed budget reductions, as presented by superintendent Jerry Nesland, at Monday night's meeting. "These are proposed," stressed Nesland "This is just the beginning of the journey." The reductions will be revi...

Menahga School Board approved the proposed budget reductions, as presented by superintendent Jerry Nesland, at Monday night's meeting.

"These are proposed," stressed Nesland "This is just the beginning of the journey."

The reductions will be reviewed again at next month's meeting where the board could make changes to the proposal.

The proposed program reductions total $340,186.

Nesland said he would be talking with staff to get their feedback on the proposals. It is expected that no action will be taken until May.

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"We are getting to know the options," said Nesland.

Next month's meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 23 to allow time to discuss the proposal.

In other business, the school board:

? n?Discussed the need for more staff development days as recommended by the Staff Development Committee.

The committee recommended one late start and six early outs for students throughout next year's student calendar.

The school is required to have 174 student teacher contact days.

"If we adopt this, we won't have 174 contact days," said board member Curt Hasbargen. "We need to follow the contract."

"I think the students still benefit from those staff development days," said board member Sheila Parvi.

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A full contact day is defined as being from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

"There has to be time for teachers to look at data," said elementary principal Joleen DeLaHunt.

The staff development calendar modifications will be discussed further at next month's regular board meeting.

"I would like a proposal from staff and to sit down with the bargaining committee that holds the contract," said Nesland.

n?Approved hiring Tom Watson of the Watson Consulting Group to assist with a multi-district management assistance study.

Working with Sebeka and Menahga, Watson will coordinate a study, which will show the opportunities and efficiencies between neighboring districts working together and combining programming.

The cost of the consultation is $3,000 per school district.

"It is to help facilitate," Nesland explained, "give both districts options based on the data."

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n Heard Parvi report the results of last months superintendent evaluation.

"Jerry Nesland had an outstanding performance evaluation as superintendent of Menahga School District," said Parvi.

n?Approved a two year Superintendent of Schools Contract with Jerald R. Nesland.

n?Approved a three-year contract with Enstrom Studios to handle all of the school's photography, including yearbook pictures and athletics.

n?Approved DeLaHunt as the local educational agency federal programs representative.

n?Approved two scholarships in the amount of $1,035 to be offered this spring to graduating seniors who are going on to secondary education.

n?Approved the request made by Charlie Dormanen and presented by Brian Johnson to allow sixth graders to participate in junior high sports.

According to Johnson, sixth graders' participation will be "on an as need basis."

This will not include football, sixth graders will not be allowed out of school early for games and they will be required to attend all practices.

Johnson said permission slips, for parents to sign, would be sent home with all the sixth graders wishing to participate in a sport.

n?Approved funding for Business Professional of America (BPA) students' travel within the state of Minnesota.

The BPA students, who qualified for the national competition in New York City in May, will raise money to cover the remaining expenses of the trip.

n?Listened to Dave Lindquist's review of the new security system that has been installed at the school.

This new system includes new security cameras, digital video recorders and a digital hard drive.

n?Heard a report from DeLaHunt. According to DeLaHunt, Menahga elementary was one of 10 schools chosen by Jennifer York-Barn of the University of Minnesota (U of M) to participate in a study.

"Menahga Elementary was selected because of the solid increase in student test scores as well as teacher observation data," explained DeLaHunt.

This project will study the long-term effects on student achievement after the school-wide reading reform Menahga Elementary School has gone through.

"I'm very proud of the things our teachers are doing," said DeLaHunt.

n?Approved a trail run in April and May to offer free student breakfasts for kindergarten through Grade 12, as recommended by Arlene Arvola, head cook at Menahga School.

If it is an advantage for students and a financial benefit to the district, it is expected to continue next year.

n?Approved the resignations of teacher Jill Laitinen, teacher Jill Gilbertson, teacher Betty St. Peter and bus driver Judy Maaninga.

n?Approved Kyle Dormanen as junior high baseball coach for the 2007 spring season.

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