BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN After ending the 2017-18 school year with a projected unassigned balance of $6,162,080, Delano Public Schools had planned to deficit spend by about $900,000.
With the school board’s approval of the 2018-19 original budget Monday, that number was reduced to $765,403, with a projected unassigned fund balance of $5,396,677 in June of 2019.
“Our unassigned fund balance has gone up about $150,000 over and above what I had last month,” Business Manager Mary Reeder said. “We had a big special education adjustment that came in June 20, so I updated that.”
The district is expected to deficit-spend by about $160,000 in the capital fund, Reeder said. In related action, the board approved the 10-year LTFM plan, including $988,472 in LTFM spending in 2018-19.
“You don’t want to spend all our money every year because you are going to have some big expenses coming through,” Reeder said. “I have some roofs built in there on some of those bigger years . . . They’re going to be about $800,000.”
Addressing skylight issues and other related roof problems is expected to cost about $150,000, while correcting structural issues at the Community Education building is estimated at $52,000.
With the opening of the Delano Intermediate School, $52,218 of deficit-spending is planned for the food services budget, though Reeder expects that number to be smaller.
The community service fund balance is expected to increase from $123,960 to $135,301.
The final budget will be approved in December following a Truth in Taxation public hearing.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• discussed school security during the work session, after a parent raised concerns during the May 21 meeting. Superintendent Matt Schoen said the district is looking into how to better secure the vestibules in each building.
• reviewed and discussed student activity participation numbers during the work session. Despite fee increases, involvement increased from 1,419 participants in 2016-17, to 1,461 in 2017-18. It was unknown how much, if any, of that increase was attributed to the waiving of fees for students receiving free lunches and the reduction of fees for students receiving reduced-price lunches, as that information is data-private, Schoen said. Activity fees totaled $217,017, or about 20 percent of the $1,081,397 cost of activities, up from a total of $163,658 covering 16 percent of the total expenses in the previous year. Schoen suggested adding into policy a requirement for fees to cover a specific percentage of costs. He did not believe the district had received many complaints about the increased fees, and did not know how many families paid the maximum fee.
• approved the lead in water management plan as required by new state legislation. Testing is required when each building is open to students, so Delano’s testing will begin in the Community Education building.
• approved the first read of Policy 613-Graduation Requirements. Health and physical education teacher Mitch Rue, who is working toward an administration degree, presented this policy during the work session, noting that many requirements have sunsetted. Furthermore, some requirements in the policy are redundant because they also appear in the handbook, though the policy says to refer to the handbook, which is updated on an annual basis, while the policy is not updated nearly as often.
• received a construction update. The diving well and pool are expected to be completed before the girls swim season in the fall, the performing arts center is expected to be completed in mid-October, and the high school renovations and Tiger Activity Center locker rooms are expected to be completed in December.
• learned that the filing period for school board candidates will be Tuesday, July 31, through Tuesday, Aug. 14. The filing fee is $2.
• accepted $47,616 in donations from 21 entities.
• approved personnel matters including the resignation of Delano High School counselor Jennifer Deering; the hiring of Joe Lawrence as spring musical director, Nicole Sass as head cheer coach, Mark Seguin as boys head swim coach, and Tory Spanier and Robert Stocker as co-head boys golf coaches; and contracted new hires of DHS special education teacher Samantha Bialozynski, DHS math teacher Abigail Bohler, third-grade teacher Marissa Ekness, fifth-grade teacher Bridget Hanson, and second-grade teacher Lindsey Westphal. The board also approved the following contracts: 2018-20 accountant contract, 2018-20 building and grounds coordinator contract, 2018-20 business manager contract, 2018-20 director of teaching and learning contract, 2018-20 early childhood programs coordinator agreement, 2018-20 health office professionals/assistants labor agreement, 2018-20 human resources compensation/benefits specialist contract, 2018-20 payroll specialist contract, and the 2018-20 superintendent and school board assistant/communications coordinator contract.