By Kristen Miller
The Dassel Cokato School Board approved changes to the Community Education joint powers agreement at its Aug. 28 meeting. The document will then move on to the two cities for their approval.
One of the biggest changes, according to Community Education Director Perry Thinesen, is in the explanation of how much money each group contributes.
The agreement used to read that the school district would contribute 50 percent, with the two cities contributing 50 percent between them based upon population.
Now, the district pays $20,000 for Community Education, and the two towns together pay $22,000 with Cokato paying $14,630 and Dassel paying $7,370 respectively, according to Thinesen.
Last fall, both cities agreed to increase their amounts by 2 to 3 percent, or about $2,000 total, Thinesen said.
Another change more clearly defines the membership of the Community Education Advisory Council, with only one member in each group instead of two.
“It’s mostly cleaning up some things that represent what the practice currently is,” he said, explaining there is only a need for one representative on the council as opposed to two.
It was previously written that the appointment and/or dismissal of the Community Education director would need the consent from all three entities whereas now, consent is only needed by the school board.
For the final change, the joint powers agreement is subject for review every five years.
The board also approved the following items:
• the appointments of Lynette Hanson, Ron McGraw, Erin Keith, and Kelly Babekuhl for the curriculum advisory committee.
• the transportation roster of drivers for 2008-09 school year with Superintendent Jeff Powers explaining to the board that drivers are required to have background checks and the districts requirements are more strict than the state guidelines.
• the low-bid purchase for materials for the vocational house from Ideal Lumber in Litchfield, with an $853 difference between bids. Other bidders were Pro-Build of Cokato, and Simonson Lumber of Hutchinson.
Board member Cary Linder inquired about the bidding process, asking if accepting the low bid was necessary, and if purchasing local could surpass that.
District Business Manager Tina Palmer explained bids were required and unless the bids were close, the district must accept the lowest bid whether local or not, unless there were reasonable and appropriate reasons not to accept it, per state statute.
• the 2008-09 roster for coaches and advisors. Thinesen commented that most of the coaching positions were filled, which is “a good feeling,” he said.
• personnel items, including lane changes for Jean Abrahamson, Julie Ardoff, Beth Carlson, Brian Franklin, Kristin Glur, JoAnna Hall, Carla Halvorson, Luke Karlgaard, Janie Kielty, Becky Litzau, Carlynn Lundeen, Carissa Chap, Elizabeth Niemela, Melissa Opsahl, Jean Searles, Lori Sorensen Hanson, Amy Terning, Matt Whittaker, and Mick Yanke; the resignations of Jennifer Dotseth as high school Focus paraeducator, Emily Hammar as special needs Type III van driver, Jennifer Kruzel as middle school special needs paraeducator, Kristina Wittenberg as middle school special needs paraeducator, Elizabeth Vejrosta as Dassel kitchen assistant, Peter Travis as assistant girls’ swim coach; the employments of Aimee Gabrielson as a preschool teacher for the play and learn preschool, Jessie Dutra as a long-term substitute for Jeff Barth at Cokato Elementary as a kitchen assistant, Cheri Marelic as high school special needs paraeducator, Cathy Zobel as middle school special needs paraeducator, Stacy Lindell as middle school special needs paraeducator, Amanda Sundblad as high school Focus paraeducator, Judy Jacques as Cokato Elementary kitchen assistant, Sandra Wosmek as high school cook/baker, and Jennifer Tormanen as middle school paraeducator; increase in assignment of kitchen assistants at Cokato and Dassel elementary schools from two to three hours a day, and the increase in cook manager at Cokato Elementary and middle school from 5.75 hours to six hours per day; and the request for approval of an unpaid medical leave of absence for Jeff Barth, Cokato Elementary kitchen assistant from Sept. 2 through Dec. 31.