School board reverses student’s expulsion

New teachers attending a workshop Monday at Park Rapids Area Schools are, front row from left, Tarja Nelsen, Theresa Molenaar, Synneve Moe, Kaitlyn Charlson, Becca Grant, Christine Sauer, Lydia Hildebrandt, Ellie Riihiluoma, Jaime Morse, Rachel Bedel, Meghan Eidsmoe, Paula Pearson; back row, Nancy Brekke, Kaitlyn Murphy, Allie Steffen, Nikki Eischens, Josi Tappe, Katelyn Seehafer, Shalom Grandy, Josh Meader, Kevin Murphy, Jesse Bucholz, Stephen Funk; not pictured, Kristi Goochey and Jamie Simon.

The Park Rapids School Board voted Monday to reinstate a student who was expelled at the board’s May 6 meeting.

Following a 35-minute closed session with High School Principal Jeff Johnson, board chair Sherry Safratowich said Johnson “recommends the reinstatement of this student with certain conditions that he will lay out with the student.”

Board member Stephanie Carlson moved to carry out Johnson’s recommendation. The motion passed by a unanimous roll-call vote.

Scoreboard lease-purchase

The school board approved a lease-purchase agreement for the new varsity football scoreboard from Daktronics, which Activities Director Jeremy Nordick said he expects to be delivered Aug. 29 in time for the first game on Aug. 30.

The agreement is to finance the scoreboard and accessories with TCF National Bank for $133,990. It is repayable in four annual payments of $26,016 each, plus an advance payment of $42,500.


Staff reports

Superintendent Lance Bagstad discussed staff training that started this week and that will kick off for all teachers Monday, Aug. 26. He noted that a ribbon cutting for the new fitness park on Helten Ave. is planned for 1:30 p.m. that day.

Reporting on behalf of Community Education Director Jill Dickinson, Bagstad announced that CHI St. Joseph’s Health and Community Ed are partnering to merge the Eighth Hour program and Club 309 into a single, after-school program for grades 5-8.

“This will strengthen both programs, and will offer active, on-the-go activities for middle school students,” said Bagstad. “A monthly flyer with the daily activities will be available at the middle school office. Parents can register their child for any or all of the activities that he or she is interested in.”

The program will be available from 3 to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, Bagstad said.

Facilities Director Alan Vanderstad reported the work is progressing on bringing Johnson’s vision of turning the high school media center into “two more useful spaces.”

Later, Johnson explained that a smaller, “teaching-learning-work area” is being split off from the larger portion of the library, where larger groups can meet and work together. This is to allow students to work in a quieter environment, while still supervised through a glass partition. He said this will make the space “more flexible in usage.”

In consent items and general business, the school board:

  • Hired Mikayla Magnuson, middle school paraprofessional; Zabdi Tovar Serrano, high school ELL paraprofessional; Andrea Thelin, 0.7-time ADSIS math interventionist at Century Middle School; Megan Helms, head boys swimming coach; Sam Coborn, assistant hockey coach; and Rachael Anderson, full-time Achievement and Integration paraprofessional for school years 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.

  • Approved two additional sections of sixth-hour pay. Johnson said this would provide one new section each of health and industrial arts woods.

  • Purchased service agreements with PAWN Special Education.

  • Approved payments presented for August, totaling $1,201,776.

  • Approved the resignation of Leandra Craigmile as prom adviser.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3 at the Frank White Education Center.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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