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January 20, 2021 at 7:30 PM - Preliminary Agenda for Regular Meeting

Agenda
1. Call to Order at 7:30 P.M.
2. Roll Call
Description:  Roll Call: Shane Kilen, Carrie Jo Howard, Joseph Melby, Kurt Stenberg, Brandon Kuznia, Allison Harder and Brandon Ignaszewski
2.1. Roll Call: Shane Kilen, Carrie Jo Howard, Joseph Melby, Kurt Stenberg, Brandon Kuznia, Allison Harder and Brandon Ignaszewski
2.2. Administration: Supt. Larry Guggisberg, Principal Sharon Schultz
3. Welcome New School Board member
Description:  Welcome Mr. Brandon Ignaszewski to the Greenbush Middle River School Board.  Brandon was elected by residents of the GMR School District during the November 3, 2020 General Election.  (Re-elected during the November 3, 2020 General Election were Brandon Kuznia and Joseph Melby).
Prior to the start of the meeting, Mr. Ignaszewski completed the MSBA Phase I and Phase II school board training and took and signed the Oath of Office.   Also prior to this meeting Brandon Kuznia and Joseph Melby took and signed the Oath of Office.
4. Organization of School Board
Description:  Minnesota Statute requires the School Board to elect its officers for the new calendar year at its first regular meeting in January. 

An "Acting Clerk" (as selected by the Board - typically the previous Clerk if "still on the Board") will record the minutes of the minuting until a Clerk is selected by the Board.

After the roll call is taken, an "Acting Chair" (as selected by the Board - typically the previous Chair if "still" on the Board) will request nominations for the position of Chair of the Board.  Parliamentary procedure does not require a nomination to be seconded. 

Nominations are solicited by asking (three times) for "nominations from the floor for the position of Chair of the Board." 

After all nominations are heard, the acting-chair will announce that "nominations are closed" and a vote will be taken by requesting "those in favor of ______________ for the position of Chair of the Board signify by saying "aye" - those opposed signify by saying the same sign "aye".  The candidate with the highest vote total shall be elected to the office.  After the election, the newly elected Chair of the Board shall preside over the nominations and election of the other school board officers. 
4.1.  Nominations for School Board Chair
Description:  Nominations for School Board Chair : _____________________________________

Nominations for School Board Chair : _____________________________________

Nominations for School Board Chair : _____________________________________

After all nominations are heard, the Chair will announce that "nominations are closed" and a vote will be taken by requesting "those in favor of ______________ for the position of Chair of the Board signify (roll call vote) by saying "aye" - those opposed signify by saying the same sign "aye".  The candidate with the highest vote total shall be elected to the office.  
Roll Call Vote
4.2. Nominations for School Board Vice Chair 
Description:  Nominations for School Board Vice Chair : _____________________________________

Nominations for School Board Vice Chair : _____________________________________

Nominations for School Board Vice Chair : _____________________________________

After all nominations are heard, the Chair will announce that "nominations are closed" and a vote will be taken by requesting "those in favor of ______________ for the position of Vice-Chair of the Board signify (roll call vote) by saying "aye" - those opposed signify by saying the same sign "aye".  The candidate with the highest vote total shall be elected to the office.  
Roll Call Vote
4.3. Nominations for School Board Clerk
Description:  Nominations for School Board Clerk : _____________________________________

Nominations for School Board Clerk : _____________________________________

Nominations for School Board Clerk : _____________________________________

After all nominations are heard, the Chair will announce that "nominations are closed" and a vote will be taken by requesting "those in favor of ______________ for the position of Clerk of the Board signify by saying (roll call vote)"aye" - those opposed signify by saying the same sign "aye".  The candidate with the highest vote total shall be elected to the office.  After the election, the newly elected Clerk of the Board shall begin duties of Clerk (eg:  Board Minutes) effective immediately.
Roll Call Vote
4.4. Nominations for School Board Treasurer
Description:  Nominations for School Board Treasurer : _____________________________________

Nominations for School Board Treasurer : _____________________________________

Nominations for School Board Treasurer : _____________________________________

After all nominations are heard, the Chair will announce that "nominations are closed" and a vote will be taken by requesting "those in favor of ______________ for the position of Treasurer of the Board signify (roll call vote) by saying "aye" - those opposed signify by saying the same sign "aye".  The candidate with the highest vote total shall be elected to the office.
Roll Call Vote  
 
5. Designation of date & time for Regular monthly meetings.
Description:  Suggested Board Action:   Motion by __________seconded by ____________ to designate the third Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. as the official day & time for the regular monthly meeting of the Board unless change is necessitated by unforeseeable events.  
Roll Call Vote
6. Designation of School District legal counsel
Description:  Designate the Law Firm of Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger as the School District’s Legal Counsel.  The individuals authorized to contact legal counsel include the Board Chair and the Superintendent or a school staff member given authorization from the Board Chair or Superintendent.   (John P. Edison, PA has been the specific attorney for the GMR School District)>

Suggested Board Action:   Motion by __________seconded by ____________  to designate the Law Firm of Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger as the School District’s Legal Counsel.
Roll Call Vote
7. Designation of official depositories for school funds.
Description:  Suggested Board Action:     Motion by _______________ seconded by ______________ to designate Border State Bank and the Minnesota School Board Liquid Asset Fund as official depositories for school funds. 
Roll Call Vote
8. Designation of Official School Newspaper
Description:  A motion was made by ____________________ , seconded by ____________________ to approve The Tribune of Greenbush, MN and The Honker of Middle River, MN as the designated official school newspapers.
Roll Call Vote
9. en masse Selection of Board ad hoc committee representation:
Description:  en masse Appointment of Board ad hoc committee representative(s) for:

       a. Badger / Greenbush Middle River Joint Sports Board: Principal Sharon Schultz & ____________

       b. Negotiation Committees:
Representatives for the School Board will be chosen at the time an employee group requests negotiations to commence.   Board representatives for each committee negotiates with employee group(s), reports progress to the school board, and makes recommendations to the school board regarding employee agreement(s).   
 ________________

       c. Meet and Confer Committee:
Representatives for the School Board will be chosen at the time an employee group requests a meeting.  
 ________________

        d. MN School Boards Association (MSBA) legislative liaison:  ________________

        e.  Community Education Advisory Council:
__________________

A motion was made by ________________ , seconded by ________________ to approve the appointed list of committee members appointments en masse.
Roll Call Vote
10. Rotation of assignments for 2021 Board auditing committee
Description:  Board members will be partnered with another Board member throughout the 2021 calendar year to review bills prior to each regular board meeting. 
Review the attached schedule and let me know if you have any conflicts.
see attached
Attachments: (1)
11. Establish School Board Compensation (same as previous year).
Description:  A motion was made by ____________________ , seconded by ____________________ to approve $67.50 per meeting for attendance at school board meetings, $135.00 per full day or $67.50 per half day for attendance at board workshops or conventions; and the positions of Board Chair and Clerk to receive an annual officer payment of $270.00.
Roll Call Vote
12. Selection of Board Representative to the Northwest Regional Inter-District Council (NWRIC)
Description:  Some information/details: 

NW RIC Board meetings occur every two months (even-numbered months).  
NW RIC Board materials are shared via Google Drive. 
Each member district has one representative.  
 
History of the NWRIC:
The Northwest Regional Inter-District Council (NWRIC) is a special education cooperative formed in 1969 to provide special education consultation and direct services to eight member districts.

NWRIC Purpose:
To provide assessment, direct services, consultation services, and service coordination to administrators, parents, students, and teachers.

The NWRIC's mission statement is:
The member districts of the NWRIC have joined together for the purpose of providing all eligible students with services and resources, direct and indirect, that will ensure progress toward personal and academic success.

NWRIC teachers serve students in the eight-member districts.  
nwric.com

Motion by Board member _________________ and seconded by _____________ to appoint Board Member ___________________ as the GMR representative to the NW RIC Governing Council.
13. 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 <info@greenbush.k12.mn.us>
14. Recommendation to add items to the agenda from Board members or School Administrators
15. Approval of Agenda
15.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the agenda of the January 20, 2021 Regular Board Meeting as presented/amended.
Roll Call Vote
16. Minutes
16.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the minutes of the preceding regular meeting of December 21, 2020.
Roll Call Vote
Attachments: (1)
17. Business Services
17.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the payment of bills check #37799 through #37870 for a total of $159,867.89 and Purchasing Card electronic payments dated December 7, 2020 and Electronic Funds Transfers as submitted.
Attachments: (3)
17.2. Treasurer's Report
Description:  see attached
Attachments: (1)
17.3. Greenbush Middle River School District Budget to Actual Expenditure Report  (as previously requested by board member to provide on monthly basis).
Description:  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)
18. Significant School Events and Communication:
18.1. Board acceptance of donations to the School
Roll Call Vote
Description:  Donation in the name of Tom & Cooky Kujava to Technology Fund (replacing wireless computer network system)......... $100

Donation by Joni Mooney & Stacy Dallager to GMR Special Education program as a part of the "Cultivating Community" employee giving program at Border Bank............ $400

A motion was made by __________________ and seconded by _______________ to accepted the afore-mentioned donations to the School District.
Roll Call Vote
19. Para Professional Recognition Week
Description:  The week of January 25-31, 2021 is Paraprofessional Recognition Week.  Paraprofessionals are individuals who work in a variety of positions in a school district.  Their roles include but are not limited to instructional assistants, Title I paraprofessionals, special education paraprofessionals, lunch room and playground assistants, hall monitors media center assistants.  Thank You for all they do to meet student needs and doing their part to make sure our schools run smoothly.
20. Old Business
20.1. Report on Federal Funding:  Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) Round 2 Federal Funding estimates
Description:  COVID-19 [Round 2] Federal Funding was signed by President Trump at the end of December 2020. 

Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER) [Round 2] funds will be allocated to local educational agencies (LEAs) based on Title I childcount.
For the GMR School District, the estimated ESSER amount is $176,045. 
NOTE:  [Round 1] ESSER Federal Funding for GMR was $41,954.  
 It is anticipated more guidance from MDE in the days ahead as to permissible uses of the funds.

NOTE:  Inaugurated today, President Joe Bidden has indicated he intends to introduce legisation related to Covid Relief when he takes office.  It is to-be-determined if Public Education will be included in the Covid Relief legislation [Round 3].

In terms of a financial strategy, it would be wise for the District to leverage as much as possible ESSER [Round 1 and Round 2] Federal Funding to replace 01-General Fund expenditures.
 
20.2. Resolution to extend deadline for Leave granted by the Families FIRST Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA)
Description:  In part, the Families FIRST Coronavirus Recovery (FFCRA) Act provided up to 80 hours of paid sick and family leave for employees who were unable to work because of certain COVID-19-related reasons.
This provision expired on December 31, 2020.  The stimulus bill signed by President Trump the last week in December 2020 did not extend the deadline or provide any additional source of leave.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides the option of an employer to voluntarily extend the deadline for eligible employees to use any used hours/days of leaves defined in the FFCRA Act through March 31, 2021. 

The GMR- Education Association [Teacher specific) has requested a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to extend Covid Leave under the terms of the Families First Coronavirus Recovery (FFCRA) Act that expired on Dec. 31, 2020.

MSBA has provided guidance regarding a school district voluntarily extending Covid Leave.  To-date, costs associated with COVID Leave (eg:  substitutes) have been "paid" by Federal CARES/ESSER [Round 1 / Round 2] Funding

Future [Round 2] Federal Funding signed by President Trump at the end of December 2020 is estimated at this time.

The suggested Board Action indicated below is discretionary on the part of the board and is a combination of a MOU request by GMR-EA and partially suggested by MSBA.  [NOTE:  Not approving an extension would mean teachers and staff would be required to use accumulated sick leave (PTO).]
The basis for the recommendation to extend leave is based on:
(a)  staff more educated towards stopping the spread of Covid;
(b)  vaccination already administered to specific staff (eg:  Front line medical workers); and 
(c) vaccination to school staff in the making

Board member _____________ introduced the following resolution,

Resolution to Extend Deadline for Leaves Granted by the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act  
 
WHEREAS, the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA) required covered employers to provide up to 80 hours of paid emergency sick leave and up to 12 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave, and
 
WHEREAS, the requirement to provide said leave ended on December 31, 2020, and
 
WHEREAS, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 provides the option for covered employers to extend the deadline for eligible employees to use hours/days of leaves defined in the FFCRA through March 31, 2021, and
 
WHEREAS, the School District did not experience high rates of absences due to FFCRA leaves prior to December 31, 2020 and wishes to voluntarily extend the deadline for employees to use FFCRA leave in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,
 
BE IT RESOLVED, The School Board of Greenbush Middle River Public Schools shall extend the deadline for eligible employees to use FFCRA paid emergency sick leave and partially paid expanded family and medical leave, according to the guidelines outlined in the FFCRA as modified in this Resolution, through March 31, 2021.  For purposes of implementing this Resolution and in recognition of the fact the School District has been able to provide in-person instruction throughout this school year without experiencing excessive employee absences,  the School District will treat all employees as if they did not use FFCRA leave prior to January 1, 2021 for purposes of calculating the total amount of paid leave an employee will be entitled to receive between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021 pursuant to this Resolution.

and board member __________________ duly seconded the above-mentioned resolution.

Roll Call Vote



 
21. New Business:
21.1. Board Approval to dispose of obsolete equipment and materials.
Description:  Effective use of school building space (eg:  storage availability) will at times require disposal of obsolete equipment and material(s).   Protocol for disposal of obsolete equipment and materials will largely follow the model MSBA Policy [802] for disposal of obsolete equipment and materials.   The district has a small Ford Utility Tractor and a small Greenhouse that it could sell via public bids.

Suggested Board Action:  Motion by ________________ and seconded by ____________ to approve disposal of obsolete equipment and materials in accordance with MSBA Policy for disposal of obsolete equipment and materials.
21.2. COVID-19 vaccine pilot program to serve prekindergarten through grade 12 educators and  school staff
Description:  On January 18, 2021 Governor Walz announced a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program to serve prekindergarten through grade 12 educators and  school staff.
It is important to note, the amount of vaccinations Minnesota has received from the federal government is not enough to vaccinate all of Minnesota’s educators, school staff, and child care workers.
see attached.
Attachments: (1)
21.3. Notice of intent to commence negotiating the 2021-2023 Agreement with GMR-Education Association (GMR EA)
Description:  The working two-year GMR - EA Teacher Agreement is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021.  Terms and Conditions of employment of the current Agreement remain in place until a new Agreement is approved.

As per working GMR-EA Teacher Agreement:  Article XV, Section 1.    .... Unless otherwise mutually agreed, the parties shall not commence negotiations more than 90 days prior to the expiration of this Agreement.

see attached
Attachments: (1)
21.4. Report:  Bidding for renewing group Health & Hospitalization Insurance
Description:  Background:  Because of the rising cost of Health care, there have been many changes with Health & Hospitalization (H & H) insurance in the state of Minnesota and nationally. 
Most recent to note, the Affordable Care Act (sometimes referred to as Obama Care) was passed by Congress and then signed into law by President Obama in March, 2010.  In addition, in Minnesota, several years back the Public Employees Insurance Program (PEIP) was created by special legislation (Minnesota Statute 43A.316) to make a comprehensive package of medical insurance benefits available to employees of Minnesota's cities, townships, counties, school districts and other units of local government. 

Up until approximately the 2016-2017 school year, the GMR School was a part of a self-insured group Health & Hospitalization (H & H) Insurance Pool with ~43 other school districts in NW MN providing group Health Insurance to ~6,100 people.  The NW Service Cooperative (NW SC) was the District's group H & H insurance carrier.  The Insurance Pool of approx. 43 school district members was administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, the GMR Licensed Teachers changed their group H & H insurance carrier as permitted by the Health Insurance Transparency Act (HITA) and other MN statutes associated with PEIP.  Other GMR employees eligible for group H & H insurance remained with the NW SC insurance services program.

Typically, bidding for group H & H insurance takes place every two years.  The 2020-2021 school year is year two of the District's two year group H & H insurance program.

Steps are being taken by the District Administration to solicit bids for the District's group H & H Insurance program that would be in effect July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022 and July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 [rates are typically different each year.]

Bids will be accepted this March or April (specific date to-be-determined).  As permitted by HITA, representatives of the GMR-EA desire to be present at the group H & H insurance bid opening and ultimately have the option of selecting PEIP as their group H & H insurance carrier. 





 
21.5. Resolution directing the Administration to make recommendation for reduction in programs and position and reasons therefor
Description:  When student enrollment and corresponding revenues are declining, schools must make adjustments or changes in their operation(s).  Declining enrollment can and does have an adverse effect on the number of students taking courses, especially elective courses.
Considering the information above and the requirement(s) to follow protocol for budget reductions, especially how it may relate to personnel reductions, it is recommended the Board pass a resolution directing the Administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions and reasons thereof.

Projecting how well a school district will fare financially two or more years from now is a daunting task not only because it is based on what is known in the present, but also on assumptions for the future.
                                                                     
See attached presentation providing the status of the Financial Condition of the GMR School District

I.    Facts about the past financial status of the GMR School District
 
II.   Facts about the current financial status of the GMR School District

III.   Facts about the projected financial status (renewal of Operating Referendum set to expire June 30 2022 & use of Federal Covid-19 funds for the GMR School District which leads to a recommendation to reduce expenditures in 2021-2022.


Suggested resolution:  Member ________________ introduced the following resolution and moved its adoption:

RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE ADMINISTRATION
TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REDUCTIONS
IN PROGRAMS AND POSITIONS AND REASONS
THEREFOR.

WHEREAS, there has been a reduction in student enrollment, and,

WHEREAS, this decrease in student enrollment must include discontinuance of positions and discontinuance or curtailment of programs, and

WHEREAS, a determination must be made as to which teachers' contracts must be terminated and not renewed and which teachers may be placed on unrequested leave of absence without pay or fringe benefits in effecting discontinuance of positions,

BE IT RESOLVED, by the School Board of Independent School District No. 2683, as follows:

That the School Board hereby directs the Superintendent of Schools and administration to consider the discontinuance of programs or positions as a result of a reduction in enrollment, make recommendations to the school board for the discontinuance of programs, curtailment of programs, discontinuance of positions or curtailment of positions.

 The motion for the adoption of the foregoing resolution was duly seconded by Member
__________________________________ and upon vote being taken thereon, the following
voted in favor thereof:

and the following voted against the same:

whereupon said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted / failed.
Attachments: (1)
21.6. Resolution Relating to a Teacher Early Retirement Incentive Program pursuant to M.S. 122A.48
Description:  The Board may consider to plan early for budget reductions with consideration of a one-time retirement incentive offer to pay $15,000 (i.e. represents two years of the current GMR-EA Health & Hospitalization benefit) towards the premium cost for of a school district sponsored Health & Hospitalization (H & H) insurance premium for retirement-eligible teachers in the district. 

Suggested Board Motion:  Motion by board member ___________ and seconded by ____________________ to offer licensed staff pursuant to MN Statute 122A.48, a one time early retirement incentive of $__________________  towards the premium cost of a school district sponsored Health & Hospitalization (H & H) insurance for retirement-eligible teachers in the district. 
Roll Call Vote
Attachments: (1)
21.7. Board discussion regarding position of Greenbush Middle River Superintendent beyond 2020-2021 school year
Description:  The current Superintendent of School was employed by the GMR School Board in late June 2019 for the 2019-2020 school year as a part time interim Superintendent.  With the on-set of COVID-19 in March 2020, the employment agreement was extended to the 2020-2021 school year.

MN Statute requires a School District to employee a licensed School Superintendent:

Moving forward, options for consideration of the GMR Superintendent position include:
-  Consider hiring full time Superintendent of School with assistance from MSBA;
-  Consider hiring full time Superintendent of School without assistance from MSBA;
-  Consider hiring Superintendent as a part of a Sharing Agreement for with a neighboring School District;
- Consider renewing the current part time interim Superintendent;
- Consider hiring a different part time interim Superintendent with or without assistance from MSBA;
- other: ________________________________
22. Reports:
22.1. Superintendent
22.1.a. State MN School Boards Association [Virtual] Conference
Description:  The 2021 MSBA Leadership Conference is being held in a virtual format over a three day period:  Thursday, January 14; Thursday, January 21; and Thursday, January 28, 2021.
22.1.b. Replacement of School District Wireless Computer Network System
Description:  Over this past Christmas Break, a vendor (WikTel) replaced the School District Wireless Computer Network System.  The previous computer network system was installed in 2011 and because of its age was not able to meet the growing demands of today's distance learning educational model.  Funding for replacement of the system came from local donations (previously recognized by the Board) and Federal Covid-19 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act [Round 1] funds.
22.2. Principal
22.2.a. Teacher [Virtual] Workshop on January 18, 2021
Description:  Nearly 650 teachers from all around NW MN (from Park Rapids to Baudette) participated in virtual training options provided by the NW Service Cooperative to improve student learning.
Virtual classes focused on student mental health and how teachers can help with that.  There were other teacher trainings for classroom strategies to improve student behavior and academic improvement as well as sessions on cultural competencies designed to broaden our understanding of and effective interaction with people of cultures, native languages, socioeconomic and other backgrounds that may be different from our own.

 
22.2.b. MN State High School League & start-up of Winter Sports
22.2.c. COVID-19 items / up-dates
Description:  - Return to School (individual contacts with Distance Learners)
- Up-date of Guidelines for Face Covering Up-date (Shields recommended but no longer required)
- COVID-19 [Salvia] Testing opportunity for school staff
- Vaccination Pilot program (based out of Thief River Falls)
- Planning in progress with Life Care Medical Center for future vaccination of school staff
23. Adjournment
Description: 
Motion by__________________        Second by ____________________ to ADJOURN
24. Communications
Description: 
                
  • Regular February School Board Meeting - Wednesday, February 17, 2021 @ 7:30 p.m. in GMR School Cafeteria

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