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Dassel-Cokato School Board reviews ballot’s potential wording
June 29, 2018

By Nancy Dashwood
Staff Writer

DASSEL, COKATO, MN – The Dassel-Cokato School Board picked through potential wording for the district’s two questions that will appear on November’s ballot, at its meeting Monday night.

The school board previously decided the requested bond will be contingent upon the passage of the operating levy.

The current proposed ballot version’s language features a straight-forward first question asking if the voter supports an operating levy for the district.

The second question, regarding the proposed bond, and what the funding would be used for, was too long for several of the board members.

The board tasked Superintendent Jeff Powers to take the proposed language back to the district’s attorney with their suggestions.

Adding a communications coordinator

The board approved a new position for the district, a communications coordinator. Mmbers looked at a lengthy description for the job, which read, “the communications coordinator will seek out new ways to learn, connect, and share communications across varying forms of media ensuring completeness, accuracy, and consistency.” The board then hired Abigail Lang for the position.

2018-19 budget a go

The board took a final look at the proposed 2018-19 budget, and passed it unanimously.

Odds and ends

In other business, the school board:

• approved Cokato Elementary Principal Brian Franklin to serve as the district’s representative for Title grants.

• approved the sale of the vocational house to a bidder who offered $39,300 for it, which was its approximate cost to the district.

• reviewed proposed changes to the district’s lunches for the upcoming school year. Proposed changes included: increasing the cost of lunch by 10 cents, an increase due to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which requires districts to gradually increase prices until they are representative of the national average; increasing the cost of milk from 35 cents per carton to 50 cents per carton; maintaining the current cost of breakfast for students, with the exception of kindergartners, who receive free breakfast per legislation; and to continue to have the district pay for the cost of milk and juice break for kindergarten through grade four students.

Board members Andy Engh, Dave Sangren, Rebecca Clemen, Irene Bender, and Bill Aho voted in favor of the changes. Board member Chuck Nelson voted against them;

• approved food service bids for Indianhead as the prime food vendor, Dean Foods/Land o’ Lakes as the milk vendor, and Pan O’Gold as the bakery vendor;

• approved the reauthorization of board-approved referendum authority;

• approved annual membership in the Minnesota State High School League;

• approved a long-term facilities maintenance plan; and,

• reviewed and accepted a list of resigning staff and newly hired staff.

Powers said he believed the hiring process for the next school year was nearly complete, but was admittedly ready for a surprise or two.

“Most of the hiring we know of is done,” he said. “There’s talk of a few more (DC staff) interviewing. If that happens, we’ll deal with it,” Powers said.

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