HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Feb. 20, 2006

DC board reduces 4.5 teacher positions

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

At the Feb. 13 meeting the board took preliminary action for the $400,000 plus budget reductions.

The board approved reduction of 2.5 elementary teaching positions equaling $125,000 and two middle school teaching positions equaling $125,000.

The board decided to defer the rest of the reductions for future meetings to get more information.

“The other reductions don’t have the impact like the teaching positions do,” according to Board Chairman Kevin Dahlman.

The district has determined long-range facility improvements in order to plan and budget accordingly up to the 2010-11 fiscal year.

New roofs have been a topic of discussion and the board has decided to get bids on roofs for the middle school and part of the Cokato Elementary.

After the bids are taken, the board will decide if it’s within its budget to replace both roofs.

Money for the roofs will come from the $106,000 left over from the bond.

The rest of the money will be used to purchase 44 PC computers for staff at Cokato Elementary which will replace their current Macintoshes.

There is a need to upgrade the current well at the high school because it is maximizing its capacity, according to Superintendent Don Hainlen.

The well has been used since 1972 and needs a new holding tank and motor with the new additions.

The county will be adding a turning lane and bypass by the north entrance and the district must pay a $30,000 portion.

The board approved other long- range facility improvements, including buck shot oil resurfacing to extend the life of the parking lot.

This summer the district will improve the southeast corner parking lot near the ball fields.

Replacement of media center chairs and tables and a PA system in the pool were approved and set for this summer.

The board has decided to replace three oil tanks at the Dassel and Cokato elementary schools because of damage and leakage.

The board wants this completed before the superfund runs out next year. The money will be provided by health and safety and capital funds.

The board agreed on the principals’ settlement after a thorough evaluation of the district’s fund balance.

Last week’s meeting also featured a leadership activity that put board members, administrators, and attendees to the test.

Middle School Principal Jeff Powers was in charge of the activity, which was based on a business book by Jim Collins titled, Good to Great.

Powers took three key principles from the book which focused on a successful organization and had the participants apply them to the school system.

The first principle was core ideology: instill core values and core purpose as principles to guide decisions and to inspire people throughout the organization for a long period of time.

The answers to this included: character pillars, schools mission statement and ability to provide lifetime learners.

The second principle: All good companies begin process by confronting brutal facts of current reality.

Such confronting facts for the school included funding, failed levy, and confidence to make hard decisions for the district.

The third principle: sustained great results depend upon building a culture full of self-disciplined people who take disciplined action, fanatically consistent with the organization’s mission.

Ways to sustain great results included, the art of compromise, listening to the whole, and being a part of the solution and not the problem.

The next board meeting is Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.


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