School board decides PSEO grades will stay

After a closed session Monday night, the Park Rapids School Board denied a parent's request related to grades earned while attending college classes under the post-secondary enrollment option (PSEO) program.

After a closed session Monday night, the Park Rapids School Board denied a parent's request related to grades earned while attending college classes under the post-secondary enrollment option (PSEO) program.

April 16 Rob Tiffany asked for his son's grade point average to be frozen as it stood at the end of his junior year.

His son attended Bemidji State University and took a heavy caseload with the understanding his college grades would not alter the grade point average he had accumulated his first three years in high school.

Tiffany based his request on state law governing the PSEO option, specifically a provision that requires counseling and equal treatment.

Administrators said juniors, including Tiffany's son were counseled and past practice has been to calculate the students' college grades into their final grade point average for graduation.


Superintendent Glenn Chiodo also pointed out the board's decision would affect more than "just one situation."

The inference was that because of Tiffany's son's high grade point average at the end of his junior year, if the request was honored, other students' ranking would be affected by the decision.

The school board tabled Tiffany's request until this week and closed the meeting to discuss the matter, citing student data privacy.

After the board reconvened, Gary Gauldin moved to deny the request and continue the practice of including students' PSEO grades in their high school career grade point averages.

The motion passed unanimously without further discussion.

In other action Monday night, the school board:

n Approved a request from the Wind Generated Energy Committee to pour the concrete base as soon as possible.

The school and committee recently received a $20,000 Minnesota Power Community Wind Project grant toward the $60,000 to $70,000 project.


"If we don't get additional funding, we'll have a big chunk of concrete in the yard," commented Gauldin, who also serves on the committee.

The "chunk" required is three 8- by 8-foot areas for the legs on the tower. The foundation requires about 18 yards of concrete since there will be "stems" under the top slabs.

Committee chairman Shawn Anderson said it will take 30 to 60 days for the concrete to cure.

Since the committee plans to have the turbine in operation this fall, the slab needs time to cure.

In addition, Gauldin and Anderson said, installing the slab may generate further community interest.

According to Anderson, the committee has learned an existing pump house at Century School is adequate to house the auxiliary equipment, saving the anticipated cost of building a shed.

The committee also has recently learned it will receive funding from Itasca-Mantrap's Operation Round-up and some larger grants are coming up.

Finally, committee members Del Holz and Don Moos emphasized that while the turbine won't save the school a lot of money in power costs, it will create many educational opportunities for students and the community.


In addition, Anderson said, the turbine will provide "real data on what is in our community. If I wanted to put one in, I will know how long the payback would be."

n Approved increasing food service prices 10 cents per meal when school starts next fall.

School lunch will cost $1.65 for elementary students, $1.75 for middle school students and $1.95 for high school students.

Food service supervisor said reasons include increased fuel costs charged by all vendors, petroleum costs which raise the price of some supplies, the wellness policy which adds to food costs as well as labor and other general expenses.

The wellness policy was mandated under the federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.

n Approved the elimination of four paraprofessional positions due to lack of funding in the Title I program.

Administrators said the Park Rapids Schools lost $100,000 in federal funding for Title I.

"Almost every title program you look at is going down. This is not unique to Park Rapids either," commented Area High School principal Al Judson.


n Approved the 2007-08 school calendar with classes for students starting Sept. 4 and ending May 29.

n Ratified the 2007-09 contract with Education Minnesota-Park Rapids.

n Approved the following replacement hires for 2007-08: Jamie Berndt, elementary special education teacher; Rita Kleven, pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 speech teacher; and Greg Kuehn and Patrick Deegan, high school special education teachers.

n Approved the following new teachers for 2007-08: Jennifer Michaelson, kindergarten; Cathy Meyer, fifth grade; Jason Mielke, sixth grade; Jeremy Anderson, fifth grade; Susan Sandbo, high school media director; and Jared Larson, middle school-senior high band instructor. Mielke also was approved as head girls basketball coach.

n Hired Terry Buell as a bus driver, effective May 1.

n Approved hiring Jane Robinson, special education teacher, and James Lalley, Middle School choir instructor, both as long-term substitutes for 2007-08 only.

n Approved tenure for J.T. Luther and Anne Toy.

n Approved the resignation of Sherrie Eischens, high school health paraprofessional, effective May 18.


n Approved a $1,500 3M Ingenuity Grant.

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