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Lester Prairie School Board Minutes

May 17, 2004

A regular meeting of the Board of Education of District #424, Lester Prairie, McLeod County, Minnesota was held on May 17, 2004 in the school media center. Chairperson Fred Blaser called the meeting to order at 6:33 p.m. Members present were Clerk Robert Carlson, Treasurer Robert Remer, Director Jeff Hecksel, Director Chester Hoernemann and Director Melissa Williams. Staff members present were Dr. James Redfield, Superintendent; Joe Miller, High School Principal; Pam Lukens, Elementary Principal. Ryan Gueningsman of the Winsted-Lester Prairie-New Germany Herald Journal, Kym DeBruyckere and Connie Murphy was present.

Vice-Chairman Hoernemann led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Motion made by Remer, seconded by Carlson to approve the consent agenda as presented, the minutes from May 12, 2004 and bills in the amount of $110,692.83. Motion carried with a unanimous vote.

There was no communication received since the last meeting requiring board attention.

In old business to the Southwest/West Central Service Cooperatives 2004-2005 Contract was discussed.

Motion made by Carlson, seconded by Hoernemann to approve the following services from the Cooperative: Membership Dues, Cooperative Purchasing, Media Services, Drug and Alcohol Management Program, Regional Management Information Center, Special Education Services and Regional Special Needs Projects. The board decided not to take the Technology Services and tabled Health and Safety Portion of the contract.

Review took place regarding the last school board retreat. It was the general consensus of the board to “Meet and Confer” with school staff to explain the goals of the board, discuss test scores, curriculum mapping and the staff survey. Two board members would meet with staff during three separate dates. No action was taken.

Motion made by Carlson, seconded by Remer to accept the resignation of Superintendent James Redfield. Motion carried with a unanimous vote.

Motion made by Hoernemann, seconded by Williams to hire James L. Redfield, certified school superintendent, at a daily rate of $392.25 per day for July and August of 2004 and perhaps in September also as the part-time transition Superintendent. Motion carried with a unanimous vote.

Motion made by Remer, seconded by Williams to direct the Administrative Committee of Carlson, Hoernemann and Williams to meet with Superintendent Redfield to develop a severance package for him. The details will be ready for action at the next board meeting. Motion carried with a unanimous vote.

Motion made by Carlson, seconded by Hoernemann to adopt a resolution to authorize the administration to implement a plan that utilizes IRS section Code sections 401(a) and 403(b) to save the district payroll taxes on payments to employees at retirement. Roll call vote: Yes, Carlson; Yes, Hecksel; Yes, Williams; Yes, Blaser; Yes, Hoernemann and Yes, Remer. Resolution passed 6 to 0. Said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.

Motion made by Hoernemann, seconded by Remer to adopt a resolution to authorize the administration to establish a Trust, (Employee Benefit Trust) in the name of the district. The Trust will allow the district to pre-fund for the district’s current and future post-retirement liabilities while achieving a higher rate of return than is currently available. Roll call vote: Yes, Carlson; Yes, Hecksel; Yes, Williams; Yes, Blaser; Yes, Hoernemann and Yes, Remer. Resolution passed 6 to 0. Said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.

Motion made by Carlson, seconded by Hoernemann to adopt a resolution to authorize the administration to establish a Trust based Post-Retirement Health Care Savings Plan in the name of the district. This plan will save the district payroll taxes on payouts to employees at retirement. Roll call vote: Yes, Carlson; Yes, Hecksel; Yes, Williams; Yes, Blaser; Yes, Hoernemann and Yes, Remer. Resolution passed 6 to 0. Said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.

Superintendent Redfield asked board members not to discuss “legal issues” when approached by school staff.

Discussion and review of the 2003-2004 budget took place. It was determined the budget was “right on track”. There was also discussion about declining enrollment and the implications that may affect the 2005-2006 budget. No action took place.

Discussion took place regarding the roofing consultant. The roof study is almost complete. No action was taken.

Motion made by Hoernemann, seconded by Remer to approve the quote from Security Systems Solutions. Motion passed with a unanimous vote.

Board reports followed. Board member Hoernemann said the Special Education Teachers (Crow River Special Education Cooperative) negotiations continue and both sides are close to a settlement. The board received information on Summer Cleaning and the 5-year facilities plan. No action took place.

Elementary Principal Pam Lukens provided a written report and informed the board of the plan of action for assignments of students to rooms and teachers for next fall.

High School Principal Joe Miller had nothing further to add.

Superintendent Dr, Redfield provided an oral report and asked the board to act on a few items.

Motion made by Carlson, seconded by Remer to approve nursing contracts with public health. Motion carried with a unanimous vote.

Motion made by Hecksel, seconded by Carlson to set a special meeting with the Facilities Improvement Committee on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 at 6:30 p.m.

In new business the board reviewed the foreign exchange student options. No action was taken.

Motion made by Hoernemann, seconded by Carlson to authorize the hiring of a part time math and computer science position for 2004-2005 school year.

Agenda items were discussed for the next regular school board meeting. Agenda items to include discussion regarding using the school as a Severe Weather Shelter, barricades for bussing and the Pre-school/Kindergarten situation.

The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Robert N. Carlson,

Clerk – District #424


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