Herald and Journal, March 23, 1998

Pilot breakfast program explored


Humphrey Elementary Principal Wessman told the HLWW School Board last Monday, that the Salvation Army approached him about starting a research project for a breakfast program at Humphrey Elementary School.

He said the organization will look for donors to provide milk, cold cereal, and orange juice for students who need breakfast.

At least 30 percent of the Humphrey students don't eat breakfast on a regular basis, he said.

Studies show there is a connection between behavior, readiness to learn, and whether or not a child has eaten breakfast.

Wessman said he got this information through an informal survey of students and teachers.

"How will you tell if it makes a difference?" asked board member Carol Fury.

Wessman said he would take another survey.

Fury said, "I think you need a more formal method for gathering information."

During a discussion after the meeting, board member Mary Pettit said it might fit in with the graduation standards requirements for some high school students.

Perhaps some of the students could observe or gather information to help out with the project, she said.

Wessman stressed there would be no cost to the school district for the pilot program, and the board approved contact with the Salvation Army to start the preliminary contact with donors.

Bus bids accepted

Bus Supervisor Dan Boeson recommended the purchase of a 77-passenger diesel school bus, which is a stock unit, from North Central Bus Company.

It is a 1999 Blue Bird, Model TC-2000, and the bus will cost $50,760.

It has about $2,500 in extras, over and above the specs, that the school doesn't have to pay for, said Boeson.

He also recommended the purchase of a 36-passenger bus for $36,854. The board approved both purchases.

Teacher contract

Teachers got a liability insurance change from $500,000 to $600,000. Comp time is raised to $20 per hour from $17 per hour.

Sub pay to faculty is $20 per period for the high school and $10 per 25 minute period for the elementary schools.

Contact days with students have been changed by the state, and the new legislation requires three additional instructional days, starting with the 1998-99 school session.

There will be a total of 8.94 percent increase in salary/benefits over the next two years.

Principal's report

Elementary Principal Julie Millerbernd reported that 48 parents turned out for kindergarten round-up, March 10.

"It was nice to see so many names from new families in the area," she said.

Even factoring in the students that might attend all the other schools, Millerbernd estimated a possible 75 kindergartners for fall classes.

This could mean the school would need a morning and afternoon session at each school.

With a packed house for the elementary program, she said it is easy to see why the auditorium is too small.

She said the elementary school is requesting $2,500 from the Wright Hennepin Round-up program.

It would be used for book purchases to compliment a computer learning program that is in place.

Computer grant

Wendy Duske and Gloria Wheeler said they applied to the State of Minnesota for a grant.

They requested three computers and a printer.

The computers would be used at the Howard Lake Youth Center, as an attempt to reach youth at a younger age and assist them with their academic needs, said Wheeler.

She was contacted March 6 to inform her that three IBM 486 computers were being awarded to HLWW.

The state doesn't have a printer at this time, but an attempt will be made to obtain one for the school, said Wheeler.

Cleaner/sweeper position

Maria Leifson has resigned as cleaner/sweeper, but the position will not be advertised for a while.

A student is temporarily filling in for four hours per day and is paid through Private Industry Council funding.

The funding is paid for 250 hours of work, and after that the position will be advertised.

Head softball coach

The school board voted to accept Dassel-Cokato teacher Cole Flick as head softball coach for the 1998 season.

Flick has been the ninth grade softball coach at D-C for two years, and his wife Naomi will take the assistant position.

She was assistant coach to Julie Zarembinski during the 1997 season.

Other business

- The long-range facilities task force is still being brought up to date by the professionals who did the studies for the district. They also toured several other high schools since the last board meeting.

- High School Principal Michael Day was approved as acting Superintendent, during the 15 day emergency leave granted to Superintendent Riley Hoheisel.

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