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Delano School Board reviews its proposed levy

September 29, 2008

Levy most likely will increase 2.93 percent over last year

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Delano, MN – Members of the Delano School Board reviewed its proposed levy at its meeting last Monday, with a likely increase of 2.93 percent above last year’s.

A proposed levy amount of $1,148,367.98 was looked at, which is the amount it takes at this time to raise the $426.86 per pupil unit needed for the operating levy. The district’s proposed total levy is $5,289,703.98.

Delano Schools Superintendent Dr. John Sweet said that amount needed to raise the $426.86 per student could change yet slightly, which is why the board is holding off certifying the proposed levy until Oct. 1. He said this number could either be a little more or little less than anticipated.

Another thing to note with the levy is that voters gave approval for an additional $285 per pupil unit in November 2007, but the school board is not levying those funds because they were dedicated toward the operation of a new grades 4-6 building, which has not been approved by district voters.

The final levy certification will take place after the Truth and Taxation meeting in December. While the board approved the proposed levy Monday night, a special board meeting has been set for Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. at the Delano High School conference room if the numbers change.

“If we need to make a change, we can,” Sweet said. “If things don’t change, we may not have that meeting.”

Odds and ends

In other business, the board:

• reviewed the State of the School address Sweet presented at a recent Delano Area Chamber of Commerce meeting (see last week’s Delano Herald Journal).

• approved a number of personnel changes, including the resignations of technology specialist Brianna Buck, eighth grade basketball coach Jim Van Cura, seventh grade girls basketball coach Darrin Magnuson, and middle school math league coach Julie Longstreet, and also the termination of high school/middle school custodian John Frilstad.

The board also approved the hiring of paraprofessional Amy Dahle, replacing Lynn Phillips, who resigned; elementary school special education paraprofessional Nicole Holzer; youth development coordinator Carly Boll, replacing Nathan Kennedy, who resigned; high school/middle school food service worker Jinger Meyer, replacing Sandy Hamin who transferred to another position; and high school/middle school food service worker Komlan Edeh, replacing Kristie Kittok, who resigned.

Also approved was a number of lane changes, mostly for teachers who have continued their own education.

School Board Member Tim Douglas complimented those staff members who are furthering their education, noting it “provides excellent opportunities for our students.”

• approved a request from the volleyball team for an overnight trip for a volleyball tournament in Apple Valley.

• tabled the approval of its QComp plan for 2008-09 until more work on the plan is complete.

• adopted a resolution calling for the school district’s general election, and also noted the two candidates that have filed to be on the school board, Sam Nelson and Amy Johnson, were in attendance at the meeting.

Four seats are up for election this fall, with Nelson and Johnson filing, as well as incumbents Peter Brasket and Sarah Gallagher re-filing. The other two board members whose terms are up this year, Lorrie Mulholland and Kevin Max, did not file for positions on the board.

Mulholland was absent from the meeting last Monday.

• reviewed and approved its annual report on curriculum, instruction, and student achievement.

• conducted its first reading of revisions to 10 school district policies, with most of the changes being minor text changes recommended to districts by the Minnesota School Boards Association.

• heard from resident Harlan Lewis about possible student representation to the Delano School Board.

Board Member Becky Schaust said the concept has been tried in the past, but said it’s difficult because of student schedules.

Lewis also noted the recent release of information that all students complete a year of algebra by the end of eighth grade. This year’s sixth grade class will be the first class needing this requirement.

• approved the creation of a liasion group from the school district to meet with the City of Delano as needed with the hopes of improving communication between the two government bodies.

• heard of overcrowding issues from all three principals, who noted issues especially with gym space, music classes, and lunch.

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