Board adopts revised 2011-12 school budget

/ 24 April 2012 / jennifer

Spring Grove Herald, April 24, 2012 –

Over $40,000 in the red unless grant monies come through

The ISD #297 Board of Education voted to accept a budget revision for the 2011-12 school year at its April 16 meeting.

The adopted budget had estimated revenues of $3,475,423 and expenditures of $3,476,657 (a shortfall of $1,234). The revised figures are $3,580,996 in revenues and $3,623,885 for expenditures ($42,889 in the red).

Grant funding that helps to pay for two positions was left off the revised estimate until confirmed, but will probably come through, District Accountant Tanya Elton noted.

“I feel confident about getting that funding,” she stated. That would add approximately $60,000 to the revenue side of the equation.

Construction quotes needed

Directors approved two construction summer projects at the school, authorizing quotes for both.

The first will be to lower a ceiling in one classroom and provide new lighting in four classrooms, replacing old fixtures with energy efficient lighting.

Although competitive quotes are not yet in, maintenance staff estimated the project could cost approximately $3,500 per room, Superintendent Rachel Udstuen said.

The second project that got a green light was repairing the roof over the girls locker room, which is estimated to cost approximately $12,500.

Unrequested leave approved

The board voted to place biology instructor Nolie Kapplinger on unrequested leave of absence for one-block class.

The reason is that the district will only need one section of 10th grade biology next year. The reduction will cut .166 FTE from Kapplinger’s current contract of .833 FTE.

Policy reflects legislative change

Directors also approved a first reading of Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) Model Policy revisions, which reflects changes enacted during the 2011 legislative session.

Udstuen explained the situation following the meeting, stating, “Technically, because these policy revisions are based on legislative changes – we are already bound by them. The MSBA/MASA recommended policies are just catching up the wording on our district policies.

“Our district policies will go into effect after our second reading at the May school board meeting.”

None of the changes will affect the district in a significant manner, she reported.

As to the current legislative session, Udstuen said several proposals could affect the district, including a repeal of the school start date (allowing school to begin before Labor Day weekend and including a five-day break over the holidays), changes to teacher tenure and school referendums.

“A lot will happen in the next month,” she said.

Udstuen to attend conference

The board gave Udstuen permission to attend a conference in Arlington, Va. on May 4-6.

“It will feature one great speaker after another,” she said. The neuroscience-based program is entitled “The Web-Connected Generation: How Technology Transforms Their Brains, Teaching and Attention.”

The total cost to the district, including travel and lodging should be between $1,200 and $1,400, Udstuen said.

Class scheduling underway

Tackling scheduling for next year, board members discussed advanced placement (AP) math courses in depth. These classes give high school students a leg up on some potentially tough material and provide college credit.

The challenge is that there are currently only three students signed up for calculus, Udstuen said.

Directors decided to bring the topic back for more discussion next month, but noted that having a non-conventional calculus course (such as online, flipped or ITV) might be one way to offer that material.

Other AP math classes that could be offered are college statistics or college algebra.