By Caleb Sebora
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie School Board approved a three-year contract with Principal Nathaniel Boyer during a special meeting May 13.
Under the contract, Boyer will receive $78,000 for the 2015-16 school year, $80,000 for the 2016-17 school year, and $82,000 for the 2017-18 school year.
In addition, Boyer will receive 25 vacation days under the new contract.
He will receive a 403(b) contribution match of $1,400 for 2015-16, $1,500 for 2016-17, and $1,600 for 2017-18.
During last Monday’s regular meeting, the board, after having to push the decision back a meeting due to scheduling conflicts for next year, decided on next year’s school calendar.
After much deliberation, the board has opted to start the 2015-2016 school year before Labor Day. The school year will start Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Normally, public school districts are not allowed to start the school year before Labor Day, due to state law. This year, however, the legislation will change to allow public school districts to start before Labor Day, since it falls on the latest date possible.
The board also decided, after dealing with many scheduling conflicts, that the 2016 graduation date will be Friday, May 27, 2016.
The reason for the conflicts was that Lester Prairie rents a stage from Watertown-Mayer School District to use at graduation. Watertown-Mayer’s scheduled graduation for next year is also May 27, 2016. The board looked at other options, such as moving graduation to Friday, May 20, 2016, but that fell on the same day as Holy Trinity’s graduation. The board also discussed moving the ceremony to a Thursday night or Sunday, but ultimately ruled them out. The board approved scheduling graduation for May 27, stating it would look into another stage rental.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• approved contracts with Janelle Afrasiab, Spanish; Petra Nelson, elementary teacher; and, Ben Machemehl, head boys basketball coach.
• accepted the resignation of Mike Bjork from the driver’s education and behind-the-wheel positions.
• approved Julie Olson’s master’s level classes, allowing for the expansion of college English courses at Lester Prairie.
• approved a cooperative agreement between Mayer Lutheran High School and Lester Prairie High School for boys’ soccer.
• approved the 2016 band trip to St. Louis.
• accepted a bid from Merlin Matthews Lawn Service for the amount of $3,300, or $165 per session.
• approved the continuation of the Head Start program.
• approved the renewal of membership in the Minnesota State High School League.
• approved addition of the Southwest Minnesota State University Teacher Education Program for the upcoming school year, allowing students from SMSU to student-teach in Lester Prairie.
• heard from Superintendent Jeremy Schmidt about some of the issues regarding MCA testing. Schmidt stated students did experience some delays, but did not experience any shutdowns, as other districts had.
• heard from Schmidt that kindergarten round-up attendance was down from last year, and that he called the missing families.