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February 24, 2021 at 7:30 PM - Regular Meeting

1. Call to Order at 7:30 P.M.
2. Roll Call
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
Roll Call Vote
5.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the agenda of the February 24, 2021 Regular Board Meeting as presented/amended.
Roll Call Vote
6. Minutes
6.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the minutes of the preceding regular meeting of January 20, 2021.
Roll Call Vote
Description:  See attached
Attachments: (1)
7. Business Services
7.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the payment of bills check #37871 through #37981 for a total of $120,336.24 and Purchasing Card electronic payments dated January 5, 2021 and Electronic Funds Transfers as submitted.
Roll Call Vote
Attachments: (3)
7.2. Treasurer's Report
Roll Call Vote
Description:  See attached
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).
Attachments: (1)
8. Significant School Events and Communication:
8.1. Board acceptance of donations to the School
Roll Call Vote
Description:  Lake Country Chevrolet donation to GMR "Concession Stand" .......... $200.00
Wikstrom Telcom donation to GMR District for Internet connectivity.... $5,348.00
Meagan Brennan donation to GMR Boys Basketball............................$200.00
Carl and Patricia Peterson are donating a trap set for Clay Busters Trap Team
8.2. Recognition of GMR Spelling Bee Champion(s) [Local, Regional, State participation]
Description:  Spelling Bee Competition is for students in grades 5-8.  The GMR School Bpelling Bee was held on Jan. 27, 2021.

1st Place [advancing]: Audrey Gust - 8th  grade
2nd Place Jude Vacura-5th grade
3rd Place tie Kenzie Dahl 8th grade, Nathan Gust 6th grade

Audrey Gust advanced to the NW MN Regional Spelling Bee at [Virtually] Northland College in Thief River Falls on Feb. 3, 2021.  She placed in the top four and therefore qualifed for STATE Spelling Bee competition.  Adurey competed in the STATE Spelling Bee on February 16, 2021.

5th Grade teacher Mrs. Robin Waage was this year's Spelling Bee Coordinator.
8.3. Recognition of State Math League Participation
Description:  Ryan Hlucny (12) will be participating in State Math League competition on March 8, 2021.

The GMR Math League completed their 2020-2021 season with an over-all third place finish in their division.  Ryan placed 1st in the division for an individual.  This qualifed him to participate in the individual portion of State Math League Competition.  Ryan has finished first in the Division since 9th grade so this will be his 4th consecutive year participating in State Competition.

Mrs. Tara Kern is the Math League Advisor
8.4. Recognition of Bus Driver Appreciation Day
Description:  The MN Association for Pupil Transportation in cooperation with Governor Tim Walz proclaimed Feb. 21-27, 2021 as School Bus Driver Appreciation Week.  

            In the darkness and daylight, on dirt roads to multi-lane highways, from warm spring days to frigid winters, each day, GMR School District bus drivers transport approximately 150 kids safely to and from school.  Additionally, bus drivers provide safe transportation for field trips and various student activities.  The District has 8 bus routes with 9 daily route drivers and one full time Mechanic/Transportation Director for its fleet of Buses, Vans,  lawn mowers and other utility vehicles.   

According to the National Safety Council, Some 25 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus. Designed for safety, with flashing lights, giant mirrors, high seat backs and that bright yellow color, school buses keep more than 17 million cars away from school buildings every day.

Attachments: (1)
8.5. School Board Recognition Week   
Description:  The annual observance of School Board Recognition Week is Feb. 22-26, 2021. 
School Board members throughout the State have the most important volunteer jobs and face some of the most difficult challenges in elected American government.  All Board members are ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication towards governing our public schools.
A Board members "job" is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision with available resources, ensure schools are accountable to the community and advocate for continuous improvement in student learning.  That job entails an endless string of meetings and school functions to attend, reams of reports, agendas, proposals, and other information to read and study; and a host of difficult decisions to make.

        School Board members wear a collective hat when they get down to the business of leading their school district.  Board members must pull together as a team toward a common goal - helping students achieve. Though they may individually disagree on certain issues, their role as a board is to consistently strive toward that goal.
         Board members collectively contribute hundreds of hours each year as decision-makers of their school.   Whether it be developing school policies, hiring administrators, listening to staff and student concerns or recognizing outstanding programs, board members always keep their eyes on the goal of improving student programming and achievement. The time spent in board meetings represents a fraction of the hours school board members spend towards leading their school district.  They also attend seminars and training sessions to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership, are deeply involved in community activities and spend many hours in the schools at extra-curricular events.  Their passion for learning, and concern and caring for students, staff and community drives board members’ desire to lead so students can achieve. 

         Minnesota school board members are chosen by their communities through election or appointment to manage local schools. They oversee multi-million dollar budgets which fund education programs for more than 825,000 students in approximately 2,000 schools. Their personnel decisions affect more than 52,000 teachers and thousands of administrators and support workers.        

The Main goals of the school board is to raise student achievement which they accomplish by:

  • Supporting safe, secure, and accessible 21st century learning environments;

  • Prioritizing student achievement, best practice instruction and professional supports;

  • Providing equitable opportunities for all students;

  • Communicating effectively and being publicly accountable for policy decisions and actions;

  • Creating a school climate where students can actively learn and teachers can teach;

  • Forming inclusive partnerships throughout the community; and

  • Ensuring fiscal oversight to recruit and retain outstanding teachers and staff.

Source:  MSBA
8.6. Recognition of State FCCLA participation
Description:  Recently FCCLA members were judged and advanced to State competition which will be a virtual event.  Eligible to participate in State [VIRTUAL] competition are:

McKenna Bennett                 Morgan Reed
Mya Bennett                          Katelyn Waage
Bella Burkel                           Brooklyn Wahl
Berlyn Burkel                         Sierra Westberg
Chance Christian                   Honna Westlund
Elizebeth Gust

GMR will do an in-house FCCLA State [virtual] Conference on Thursday and/or Friday March 25-26

The National Conference has gone virtual with a small portion being hybrid.  This means that each state will have very limited numbers able to attend the national conference in person.
We basically gave them two options:  (1.) To compete at the state level; or (2.) To hold their competitive piece over until next year, in hopes that things will be a little more normal.   

The majority of our GMR students made the decision to hold their pieces until next year with the exception of McKenna Bennett who will be competing at the state level in the national event Re-purpose and Re-design and Berlyn Burkel who will be competing in the national event Food Innovations. 
9. Old Business
9.1. Legal Up-date as it relates to petition by Middle River Annexation Property Owners Group
Description:  Since at least March 2018, efforts on the part of representatives of the Middle River Annexation Property Owners Group have engaged in efforts to detach their properties from the GMR District and annex them to a neighboring school district. 
On January 22, 2021, Roseau County Judge Donna Dixon rendered a court decision dismissing the Middle River Property Owners annexation lawsuit.  Judge Dixon essentially adopted the arguments made in support of the manner in which the School Board handled all of the detachment and annexation petitions.

The Group does have the right to appeal the Roseau County Court decision to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The Middle River Property Owners has 60 days to file an Appeal to the January 22, 2021 decision by the Roseau County Judge.
9.2. Introduction of Proposed Budget Reductions effective with the 2021-2022 school year
Description:  Presentation by Superintendent   
see attached

There is a specific (statutory) process, protocol and timelines for budget reductions in a public school.  Simplified (as per MN School Boards Association) as follows:
  1. Administration report on general need for staff reductions.
  2. Board directive to administration for recommended reductions.
  3. Review master agreement (eg:  seniority)
  4. Administrative recommendations to board for reductions in positions and programs.
  5. Board resolution for reductions of positions and programs
  6. The placement of teacher on unrequested leave is consistent with the board’s resolution reducing staff (eg:  financial, enrollment)
  7. Adoption of individual board resolution proposing to place a teacher on unrequested leave of absence (ULA).
  8. Preparation of notice
  9. Service of notice and copy of resolution served on teacher (personaly, certified mail)
  10. Written request of teacher for hearing or acquiescence
  11. If written request is made - set hearing date and place
  12. Board resolution of unrequested leave placement by acquiescence of teacher and no hearing requested

Board Discussion (Steps 1-3 completed)----> Board Action
Work session / March meeting / Tabling item
(implement Steps 4-12 in chronological order)   see attached for Step #5
Attachments: (2)
9.3. Superintendent options for 2021-2022
Description:  as per January 20, 2021 School Board Meeting....

Board discussion regarding position of Greenbush Middle River Superintendent beyond 2020-2021 school year

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: ________________________________

Board Discussion ----> Board action which may include tabling the item.
10. New Business:
10.1. Report on MNSHSL Constitutional Amendment
Description:  The MN State High School League Board of Directors approved a resolution approving member schools to vote on proposed constitutional amendments.
see attached

The proposed amendment will add two members (school Superintendents) to the Board of Directors to be appointed by the MN Association of School Administrators.
Attachments: (1)
10.2. Approve employment of Para Professional
Description:  Motion by Board member _______________ and seconded by _____________ to approve employment of Ms. Karla Davy as a para professional effective February 16, 2021. 

Roll Call Vote
10.3. Board approval of Teacher resignations as a result of Early Retirement Incentive Program (M.S. 122A.48)
Attachments: (1)
10.3.a. Approve resignation of licensed Teacher Mrs. Laura Stand
Description:  Motion by Board member _______________ and seconded by _____________ to approve the resignation of licensed teacher Mrs. Laura Strand effective at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year and in accordance with the Board approved Teacher Early Retirement incentive Program pursuant to M.S. 122A.48. 
Roll Call Vote
10.3.b. Approve resignation of licensed Teacher Ms. Joleah Hasson
Description:  Motion by Board member _______________ and seconded by _____________ to approve the resignation of licensed teacher Ms. Joleah Hasson effective at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year and in accordance with the Board approved Teacher Early Retirement incentive Program pursuant to M.S. 122A.48. 
Roll Call Vote
11. Reports:
11.1. Superintendent
11.1.a. GMR Student Enrollment (to-date)
Description:  see attached GMR K-12 student enrollment as of Feb. 1, 2021
Attachments: (1)
11.1.b. Development of 2021-2022 School Calendar
Description:  A calendar for the 2021-2022 school year will be brought forward to the Board in the March regular meeting.

COVID-19 has affected many things, including school calendar(s).  Such as, Snow Days during the pandemic can be viewed as "distance learning."
Legislation has been introduced in the MN Legislature to continue this calendar option after the pandemic.   A "traditional" 2021-2022 school calendar will be brought forward with in consideration.
11.1.c. Report on the activities and events of the 2021 MN Legislative Session
Description:  see attached Legislative summary provided by the MN School Boards Association
Attachments: (1)
11.1.d. Superintendent Comments:  In-person learning in the GMR School - In general, not the same as other schools in Minnesota or even the United States.
11.2. Principal
11.2.a. COVID-19 Testing
Description:  Principal Schultz will report on:
[1]  COVID-19 saliva testing available for staff
[2]  COVID-19 vaccination offered to staff  
11.2.b. How COVID-19 has affected Winter Activities (to-date)
Description:  See attached Winter Sports Tournament Information 2021
Attachments: (1)
11.2.c. How COVID-19 has affected Spring Activities (to-date)
11.2.d. Principal’s report on Feb. 15, 2021 Staff Development activities
11.2.e. Parent Teacher Conferences (March 15, 2021)
Description:  Greenbush-Middle River Elementary and High School parents are invited to the annual Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences on Monday, March 15 from 1:00 - 7:30 p.m.  Elementary conferences will be scheduled; High School conferences are in an open house format in classrooms.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be health and safety restrictions in place.  All visitors are expected to be symptom-free and wear face coverings.  Physical distancing will be practiced during each conference.  To maintain distance and minimize risk, visitors are asked to not congregate in groups or linger to visit in hallways.  
11.2.f. Statewide Assessments

The U.S. Education Department says states must resume the annual testing of students that was suspended a year ago amid the pandemic.

For the past two decades, federal law has required schools to test students once each year in math and reading, in grades three through eight and once in high school. And they are required to publicly report these standardized test results, broken out by racial and ethnic group and disability status, and in some cases, hold schools accountable with various sanctions if their students score too low.

In March of 2020, with nearly every school in the nation suddenly pivoting to remote learning, the department wiaved these requirements.  

However, in a Feb. 22 letter to state schools chiefs and governors, the Department of Education wrote that states must again give these tests this spring and report the results.
source:  MN Public Radio

12. Adjournment
Motion by__________________        Second by ____________________ to ADJOURN
13. Communications
  • Blood Drive on March 3, 2021
  • Parent Teacher Conferences on March 15, 2021
  • Regular March School Board Meeting - March 15, 2021 @ 7:30 p.m. in GMR School Library

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