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September 21, 2020 at 7:30 PM - Regular Meeting

1. Call to Order at 7:30 P.M.
2. Roll Call
Description:  School Board:    Shane Kilen, Carrie Jo Howard, Joseph Melby, Kurt Stenberg,
                           Brandon Kuznia, Laurie Stromsodt and Allison Harder

Administration:   Superintendent Larry Guggisberg, Principal Sharon Schultz
3. Listening Session
Description:  All speakers are asked to complete the Listening Session Sign-in Form including as much detail as possible and including a printed / written copy of your presentation if one is available. This is an opportunity for the Board to listen, the Board will not engage in dialogue. As a general rule, the Board will not comment on or respond to any comments made by speakers. Please do not include names of Greenbush Middle River employees or representatives, their title, or location in your remarks for your own legal protection and the legal rights of staff.

Each speaker will have five (5) minutes to speak: speakers may not roll their time to another speaker. Speakers will be timed and are asked to complete their comments in this time frame. Board members may ask questions if needed.  Please begin your presentation by stating your name and topic only.
In the spirit of fairness to all participants, we request that you respect the format above. Thank you for taking the time today to attend this meeting and share your concerns and suggestions.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, members of the public may wish to email Board communication(s) to <>
4. Recommendation to add items to the agenda from Board members or School Administrators
5. Approval of Agenda as presented / Amended
Description:  A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the agenda of the September 21, 2020 Regular Board Meeting as presented/amended.
Roll Call Vote
5.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the agenda of the September 21, 2020 Regular Board Meeting as presented/amended.
6. Minutes
6.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the minutes of the preceding regular meeting of August 17, 2020.
Attachments: (1)
7. Business Services
7.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the payment of bills check #37502 through #37569 for a total of $184,617.69 and Purchasing Card electronic payments dated August 5, 2020 and Electronic Funds Transfers as submitted.
Description:  see Business Services attachments
Attachments: (3)
7.2. Treasurer's Report
Description:  Treasurer's report is attachment
Attachments: (1)
7.3. Greenbush Middle River School District Budget to Actual Expenditure Report  (as previously requested by board member to provide on monthly basis).
Description:  As requested by board member, document will be provided on monthly basis.

Budget consists of 6 fund balances:

o  01 General Fund
o  02 Food Service
o  04 Community Services
o  07 Debt Redemption
o  08 Scholarships
o  09 Student Activities
• *see attached
Attachments: (1)
8. Significant School Events and Communication:
Description:  Board recognition of donated items/services and acceptance of donations to the School
Roll Call Vote

DK Farms provided ~15 picnic tables for teachers to use for outdoor classrooms.

Border Bank of Greenbush & Middle River provided school supplies for students in need.

LifeCare Medical Center donated Personal Protective Equipment (rubber gloves) to GMR Buildings & Grounds ................................ ~8 boxes

The Greenbush Friends of the Library donated $900 to each elementary class to be deposited in Scholastic book order accounts. As a result, each student will receive approximately one free book each month.

A motion was made by __________________ and seconded by _______________ to accept the afore-mentioned donations to the School District.
9. Old Business
9.1. School Elections as a part of the November 3, 2020 General Election
9.1.a. School Board Elections
Description:  Four (4) people have filed for three (3) seats, each with a four year term.  See attached Board election history and actual Ballot within the November 3rd General Election.
Attachments: (2)
9.1.b. Operating Referendum
Description:  Absentee Ballots were made available on September 18th.  (see attached Election Timeline).

Because of early balloting, last week the Greenbush Middle River School launched a module (tab) on its website  <> meant to inform residents about the proposed operating levy on the ballot Nov. 3.

If approved, the levy would provide more financial support for the district’s programming and operations.

We encourage residents to explore the operating referendum resources on the school's website to learn more about the challenges our school district faces and the referendum to protect student services, faculty and staff levels, and activities,

The website contains details about the school district’s finances, operations, the ballot question, voting information and the tax impact on local property owners.

Even if voters approve the ballot question, the GMR school will need to consider reducing expenses in its 20-21 operating budget due to reasons which include the district lagging behind state and federal funding, unfunded mandates and declining enrollment as reasons.

10. New Business:
10.1. Approve Employment of Para Professional
Description:  Approve Employment of Mrs. Aris Rice-Gross as a para professional.

Motion by ______________________ and seconded by ________________ to approve Mrs. Aris Rice-Gross as a para professional.
10.2. Approve employment of Para Professional
Description:  Approve Employment of Ms. Chelanne Kostrzewski as a para professional.

Motion by ______________________ and seconded by ________________ to approve Ms. Chelanne Kostrzewski as a para professional.
10.3. Ratification of Principal / Activities Director employee Agreement
Description:  The Board Chair and Vice Chair met with Mrs. Sharon Schultz (Principal / Activities Director) on September 3, 2020 to renew her employment Agreement.  Both parties agreed to a 1.5% increase in salary for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.  All other terms and conditions of employment remain the same over the previous Agreement.

Motion by ____________________ and seconded by ________________ to renew the employment Agreement with Mrs. Sharon Schultz (Principal / Activities Director) as recommended by Board representatives.
10.4. Certification of 2020 Pay 2021 Preliminary School Tax Levy
Description:  The Truth-in-Taxation calendar indicated below refers to taxes levied in 2020 and payable in 2021 for use in the 2021-2022 school [budget/fiscal] year.

On or before Sept. 30:   School board members review and approve the proposed tax levy and send the certified levy to the [Home] County Auditor.  

Nov. 24:   Deadline for the County Auditor to mail a parcel-specific notice to each property owner in the GMR School District service area.

Dec.21:  GMR School Board includes as a regular School Board agenda item, the Payable 2021 School Tax levy and adopts the levy during its Regular meeting.   The certified levy is sent to the [Home] County Auditor.

On or before January 7, 2021:   The certified levy is sent to the Department of Education. The certificate of Truth-in-Taxation is sent to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

Because of the 2001 Tax Law Changes, the local levy effort for supporting school programming changed.   In the 2001 legislative session, the basic general education levy was repealed and replaced with state education aid.  As a result, local Levy authority is pretty much limited to areas such as Health & Safety, Crime Levy, Long Term Facilities Maintenance and Community Education (eg: School Readiness and Early Childhood Family Education).

Exhibit 10.4.2  GMR Propety Tax Growth - Pay 2016 - Pay 2021
Exhibit 10.4.1  Total School Property Taxes 2016-2021
Exhibit 10.4.0   PROPOSED School Tax Levy Payable in 2021 - $436,010.77

Note 1  The specific dates and timeline are established by the MN Dept. of Revenue  

Note 2  Source(s): MN Dept. of Education & MN Department of Revenue

Note 3  As per statute, Board meetings containing a Truth-in-Taxation agenda item cannot begin prior to 6:00 pm.

A motion was made by ______________, seconded by ______________, to certify the 2020 payable 2021 school tax levy for the "MAXIMUM" amount.
Attachments: (3)
11. Reports:
11.1. Superintendent
11.1.a. Greenbush Middle River School District K-12 enrollment (as of September 17, 2020)
Attachments: (1)
11.1.b. School District Audit for 2019-2020 
Description:  The District's Financial Auditor (Eide-Baillly) will be conducting the District's 2019-2020 (FY 20) Sept. 23-25 on site.
11.1.c. Border Bank Sponsorship of Greenbush Middle River School District Weekly Radio Program.
Description:  Border Bank has once again agreed to sponsor a radio news report, which will feature and promote the Greenbush Middle River School District once a week (Tuesdays).  KQ 92 Radio (Warroad) will positively feature the Greenbush Middle River School District every Tuesday at approximately 8:35 a.m.  The Border Bank sponsored KQ 92 radio program provides the GMR District the opportunity to discuss, promote and feature our school district, students, district accomplishments and events. 
11.1.d. Community Education programming during COVID-19
Description:  A number of Community Education program offerings were made available to district residents in the previous (2019-2020) school year.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, offerings in the previous year would not meet existing safety guidelines.   Until guidelines are relaxed or virtual programing is available, Com. Ed. programming will be put on hold.

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) for our youngest learners will still be available and meet safety guidelines.  See attached Fall ECFE Newsletter with Fall programming information.

The GMR School District's ECFE coordinator is Mrs. Lynn Balstad.
11.1.e. Free School Meals
Description:  See attached parent communication relating to Free School meals from September 14, 2020 up to as late as December 31, 2020.
Attachments: (1)
11.1.f. Back-to-School during the COVID-19 pandemic
Description:  The 2020-2021 School year started in-person, in-school learning for students in Pre K-12 in accordance with the GMR Back-to-School Planning Guide.  Guidance from the MN Dept. of Health and MN Dept. of Education as well as a local Ad Hoc Back-to-School stake holder committee provided guidance for a safe re-opening of school amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cooperation from GMR students, staff and parents has been outstanding.

Each Thursday afternoon the Roseau County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director along with Life Care Medical Center release a report on the current case rate and how that may affect the instructional delivery model in area schools.  Over time, the number of cases in Roseau County have steadily increased.  (see attached)

Communications from health officials continue to indicate the best means to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus is for people to wear a mask and physical (social) distance themselves.

With that said, the recent decision by the MNHSL towards reinstatement of Fall sports may involve prolonged athlete & spectator proximity that may put them at risk for spreading the coronavirus.  

In addition, local large events (eg:  weddings, festivals) are areas where people congregate and again, these events tend to involve prolonged person-to- person proximity that may put them at risk for spreading the coronavirus.  

If you want students in school so that parents can work (either at home or at their place of employment) then precautions and diligence by everyone need to be made to prevent the spread the disease.

11.2. Principal / Activities Director Report(s)
11.2.a. MN State High School League [Special] meeting held on Sept. 21, 2020 and its affect on Fall Sports (Football & Volleyball) seasons.
Description:  The Minnesota State High School League, the governing body of Minnesota high school sports held a [Special] meeting on September 21, 2020.   The meeting agenda included a vote on whether or not to have the Football and / or Volleyball seasons to take place either this Fall or a shortened season in the Spring as previously approved by the MN State High School League.
In the end, the Board of Directors voted to reverse their previous (August 4, 2020) decision.  There will be a Fall volleyball and football season.
see attached MNHSL Press Release
Attachments: (1)
11.2.b. Virtual Student Activities
Description:  Student Activities taking place in a virtual manner are:

Knowledge Bowl
Math League
11.2.c. Change in the traditional MN State High School League (MNHSL) Fee Structure [COVID-19 installment fee(s)] and its impact on GMR
Attachments: (1)
11.2.d. Fall Sports (Football & Volleyball) practice in accordance with MN State High School League guidelines 
Description:  As per Governor Walz executive order(s), MN High School FALL Sports (eg:  Football and Volleyball) were changed to a shorted season in the Spring of 2021.

The MN High School League permitted MN Schools (including B/GMR) to have Fall Sports (Football & Volleyball) practice in accordance with MN State High School League guidelines.  Practice started on September 14th. 

Due to pressure including threatened litigation, the League voted on whether or not to reinstate football and volleyball to the fall on Monday, September 21 at 9:00 a.m.  This is an important vote for our schools and out kids.  If passed, fall sports would start October 12.
12. Adjournment
Motion by__________________        Second by ____________________ to ADJOURN
13. Communications
  • On-site School District Financial Audit is Sept. 23-25    
  • Regular October School Board Meeting - October 19, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m. in GMR School Cafeteria
  • General Election on November 3, 2020
  • VIRTUAL MREA State Conference Nov. 15-19
  • State MSBA Conference January 14-15, 2021.  As of today's date the conference will be held at the Mpls. Convention Center, however, depending on the COVID-19 pandamic, the conference may be held in a VIRTUAL manner.

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