skip to main content

View Options:

Show Everything
Hide Everything

June 21, 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
5.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the agenda of the June 21, 2021 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 May 17, 2021.
Attachments: (1)
7. Business Services
7.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the payment of bills check #38259 through #38368 for a total of $141,584.54 and Purchasing Card electronic payments dated May 5, 2021 and Electronic Funds Transfers as submitted.
Attachments: (3)
7.2. Treasurer's Report
Description:  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:  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)
Attachments: (1)
8. Significant School Events and Communication:
8.1. Board acceptance of donations to the School & recognition of direct donations to a specific school program.
Description:  Donation by One Better Liquor (Diane Rud) for reducing outstanding school lunch account(s)... $2,500

Donation by John Harder family via America's Farmers Grow Communities fund sponsored by Bayer (Monsanto Grant) towards video streaming system in GMR Gym (see attached)..... $2,500
Attachments: (1)
8.2. Participation in State Girls Golf Competition
Description:  The B-GMR Girls Golf Team participated in the State Girls Golf Meet on June 15-16, 2021 in Becker, MN.  The team placed 3rd.  Alysa Rinde placed 4th.
Val Truscinski is the Head Coach.
8.3. Participation in State Girls Softball Tournament
Description:  The B-GMR Girls Softball Team participated in the State Softball Tournament June 15-16 in Mankato Minnesota.  The team placed 4th in state.
Mr. Kent Christian is the Head Coach.
8.4. Participation in State Clay Target Competition
Description:  The Gator Claybusters participated in State Clay Target Competition in Alexandria, MN June 17-18.  Final results are not available at this time because there are ~6,500 competitors in the State Clay Target Competition and State Competition will not conclude until June 22.
8.5. FCCLA Competing/Attending National Competition
Description:  Our two (2) State Officers Bella Burkel (State President Elect) and McKenna Bennett (State Treasurer) along with National STAR event advancer Berlyn Burkel will be traveling with the assistant FCCLA Advisor to the National Conference in Nashville, TN this weekend.  
9. Old Business
9.1. School Election timeline for [recommended] Fall Operating Referendum
Description:  There are no school Board elections scheduled in 2021.  (see attached)  However, the administrative recommendation is to follow School District election guidelines (see attached) to seek a Special Election on November 2, 2021 to, at minimum, renew the existing school district operating referendum.   

The District's current operating referendum expires at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.   The operating referendum is $506.05 per pupil unit (ppu)   [NOTE:  Original referendum amount was $806.05].  The operating referendum provides $146,552.08 in additional revenue for the School District [$65,345.48 in State Aid and $81,206.60 in local tax levy = $146,552.08].

If the referendum is not renewed by district voters in a November 2021 school election the additional referendum revenue will not be available in the 2021-2022 school year [loss in revenue].

The administrative recommendation is for the GMR School Board to follow election protocol and approve a Special School Election resolution on or before August 20, 2021 for an election to take place on November 2, 2021.
Attachments: (2)
9.2. Clarification - Conducting School Board meetings ---> post pandemic
Description:  During the May regular School Board meeting, the Board passed a motion by a 6-1 vote to revert to pre-pandemic public attendance at School Board Meetings effective with the regular June 2021 School Board meeting.  The motion included continuing with streaming to the public to continue with / improve transparency of school board action.

Upon consulting with a representative of the MN School Board Association MN Statute 13D.02 sets forth the requirements for remote participation by Board members. This statute in excerpt form indicates:

(a) A meeting governed by section 13D.01. subdivision 1,2,4, and 5 (Open Meeting Law), and this section may be conducted by interactive technology so long as:

(1) all members of the body participating in the meeting, wherever their physical location, can hear and see one another and can hear and see all discussion and testimony presented at any location at which at least one member is present;

(2) members of the public present at the regular meeting location of the body can hear and see all discussion and testimony and all votes of members of the body;

(3) at least one member of the body is physically present at the regular meeting location;

(4) all votes are conducted by roll call so each member's vote on each issue can be identified and recorded; and

(5) each location at which a member of the body is present is open and accessible to the public.

(b) A meeting satisfies the requirements of paragraph (a), although a member of the public body participates from a location that is not open or accessible to the public, if the member has not participated more than three times in a calendar year from a location that is not open or accessible to the public, and:

(1) the member is serving in the military and is at a required drill, deployed, or on active duty; or

(2) the member has been advised by a health care professional against being in a public place for personal or family medical reasons. 

Each member of a body participating in a meeting by interactive technology is considered present at the meeting for purposes of determining a quorum and participating in all proceedings.

If interactive technology is used to conduct a regular, special, or emergency meeting, the public body shall provide (3 day) notice of the regular meeting location and notice of any location where a member of the public body will be participating in the meeting by interactive technology.

The minutes for a meeting conducted under this section must reflect the names of any members appearing by interactive technology and state the reason or reasons for the appearance by interactive technology.
10. New Business:
10.1. GMR Staffing for 2021-2022
10.1.a. Accept resignation of Para Professional
Description:  Accept resignation of Para professional Mrs. Elizabeth Christinson as per submitted letter.
10.1.b. Board Approval to employ licensed Science Teacher at .50 Full Time Equivalency (FTE) 
Description:  Motion by Board members _______________________ and seconded by ______________ to approve employment of Mrs. Carol Rhen as a licensed Science Teacher effective with the 2021-2022 school year at .50 full time equivalency (FTE) with salary and benefits pro-rated.
10.1.c. Pending Staffing decisions for 2021-2022
-  Special Education Teacher staffing
-  Reduction of one (1) Office Support staff
-  Replacement of Para Professional
-  Reduction of one (1) Bus Driver
-  Review of after school (Activity) Bus Driver compensation
-  GMR-EA Negotiations (inital meeting being planned)
10.2. Renew membership in Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA)
  • MREA advocates exclusively for Greater Minnesota School Districts · MREA provides guidance and information relating to best practice within education, professional development opportunities as well as legislative policy.
  • MREA provides a voice at the Minnesota Legislature advocating for policy, testifying before committees as well as informing legislators on the issues that impact rural education. 
  • Membership dues are required annually 

A motion was made by ______________, seconded by _________________, to renew the District's annual membership with the Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA). 
Attachments: (2)
10.3. Renew membership in Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA)
  • The MN School Boards Association (MSBA) is an organization specific to School Board members.
  • Greenbush Middle River School District currently is a member of the Minnesota School Boards Association 
  • Membership dues are required annually 
  • MSBA assists the Greenbush Middle River School District on a variety of issues such as policy development, negotiations, human resources, advice based on legal precedent, legislative lobbying 
A motion was made by ______________, seconded by _________________, to renew the District's annual membership with the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA). 
10.4. Renew membership in the MN State High School League
Description:  Minnesota Statute requires individual school boards each year to 
authorize membership in the MNSHSL.  The Resolution for Membership affirms;  (1) that the Board of Education for each school delegates the control, supervision and regulation of League-sponsored athletic and fine arts activities to the MNSHSL;  (2) that the School Board adopts the Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations of the League; and, (3) that the administration for and activities are assigned to the official school representative.
The resolution to renew membership includes a requirement for board members to view  WHY WE PLAY, a video by the MN High School League.  WHY WE PLAY training video defines the purpose of education-based athletic and activity programs and assists school communities in communicating a shared-common language.

The video viewing requirement was in-place for renewal of MN Sate High School League membership became effective in 2017-2018 and continues for the 2021-2022 school year.  The board action indicated below implies Board members will view the WHY WE PLAY training video at a convenient time for each Board Member.

see attached MNSHSL document
Attachments: (1)
10.5. Adopt PRELIMINARY Fiscal Year 2021-2022 School Budget based on "roll over" of  2020-2021 School Budget
Description:  MN Statute 123B.77 indicates that prior to July 1 of each fiscal year, the Board of each school district must approve and adopt its revenue and expenditure budgets for the next school year.  The budget document so adopted must be considered an expenditure-authorizing or appropriations document.  No funds shall be expended by any Board or district for any purpose in any school year prior to the adoption of the budget document which authorizes that expenditure, or prior to an amendment to the budget document by the board to authorize the expenditure.

The administrative recommendation for adopting this "rollover" budget is for legal compliance with the understanding the 2020-2021 estimated school budget will be amended at a later time .  School boards are required to adopt annual budgets before the fiscal year ends June 30.  Because many details about state (GEER) and federal grants (ESSER) and MDE's allowance for one-time fund balance transfers are not clear or have not been implemented to-date, the budget will be reviewed and adjusted as guidance and answers to questions become available.

What we do know is State general education revenue is projected to increase up to TBD% for the 2021-2022 school year (pending SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION).  However, the increase in State aid will likely be off-set by declining K-12 student enrollment.

Suggested Board Action: Moved by _____________ and seconded by _____________ to adopt the estimated 2020-2021 (FY 21) budget as a preliminary working budget for July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 (FY22) with the understanding the FY 22 Budget will be amended at a later date.    
10.6. Designation of Superintendent of Schools as the Identified Official with Authority (IOwA) to authorize user access to MDE secure website(s) for the Greenbush Middle River School District.
Description:  The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Professional Educator Licensing Standards Board (PELSB), and Office of Higher Education (OHE) require annual designation of an Identified Official with Authority (IOwA) for each local education agency that uses the Education Identity Access Management (EDIAM) system. The IOwA is responsible for authorizing, reviewing, and re-certifying user access for their local education agency in accordance with the State of Minnesota Enterprise Identity and Access Management Standard, which states that all user access rights to Minnesota state systems must be reviewed and re-certified at least annually. The Identified Official with Authority will authorize user access to State of Minnesota Education secure systems in accordance with the user’s assigned job duties, and will revoke that user’s access when it is no longer needed to perform their job duties. The Director recommends the Board authorize Larry S. Guggisberg, Ed. D., <>  to act as the Identified Official with Authority (IOwA) for the Greenbush Middle River School District ISD# 2683-01.

A motion was made by ______________, seconded by _________________, to approve the Superintendent of Schools (Larry S. Guggisberg, ED. D) be designated as the Greenbush Middle River School District's [ISD# 01-2683] Identified Official with Authority (IOwA) effective with the 2021-2022 school year.
Attachments: (1)
10.7. District Support of Summer Recreation programming
Description:  Budget reductions approved by the Board in March 2021 are slated for implementation in 2021-2022.  Recommendation to continue with financial support to the City of Greenbush and City of Middle River for summer recreation programming.

Motion by __________________ and seconded by ___________________ to provide funds in the amount of $2,000.00 to each (City of Greenbush & City of Middle River) community to offset expenses for Summer Recreation.
10.8. Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plan - a condition of accepting ESSER III Federal Funding.
Description:  The Coronavirus (COVID-19) was "introduced" to the world in December 2019.  It developed into a world-wide health pandemic affecting everyday living including public education.  From March 2020 to May 2020 as per Governor's Executive Order(s), all MN schools provided K-12 instruction via distance learning.

Prior to the start of the 2020-2021 as per Governor's Executive Order(s), all MN Schools had to develop a "Back to School Plan" which provided a framework for three learning models (in-person, hybrid and distance learning) that could be utilized during the pandemic.  The "Back to School Plan" was developed with input from parents and posted on the school's website.

The 2020-2021 school year was successful in that the GMR School District was able to provide in person instruction for the entire school year.*

As a condition to accept and receive ESSER III Federal funding, all MN schools are required to develop a Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plan for the 2021-2022 school year.  The Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plan for the 2021-2022 school year is posted on the school's website.  We are asking GMR community members who would like to see changes to this plan to contact the Superintendent or a School Board member and share ideas and concerns.

*= NOTE:   Two week re-set in Oct. 2020 where 9-12 were in distance learning due to the adults unavailable to provide instruction.

Attachments: (1)
11. Reports:
11.1. Superintendent
11.1.a. GMR Elementary School Summer Programing - CAMP EXPLORER
Between 40 - 50 GMR Elementary students are attending the GMR Summer Enrichment program.

Grade Level     Teacher
Pre-K................  Lynn Balstad
K-1....................  Brittnay Burkel
2.......................   Emily Sorenson
3-5 ......... ..........  Robin Waage

GMR School Summer is named Camp Exploration.  Summer School has Math, Reading, and Science hands-on enrichment activities held on Mondays from 8:00 am to Noon according to the following schedule:
June 14, June 21, June 28 and July 12, July 19, July 26 as well as July 3 (Water Event  @ Legion Park), July 15 (Music)* and July 29 (Arts) *.
*=enrichment events at the Greenbush Welcome Park

Light Breakfast and Lunch is provided to students on Mondays.

The GMR School Summer is funded by State funding as approved by Governor Walz in May 2021.
11.1.b. School Facility improvements - Summer 2021
Description:  Improvement Project                                                        Funding Source
Exterior brickwork on the front of High School building                         Long Term Facilities Maintenance

Gym improvements                                                                                Long Term Facilities Maintenance
   - winches to raise / lower baskets
    - Center Court graphics -                                                                    Anonymous donation
    - gym floor -                                                                                           warrantee work
    - video streaming [Pixellot] - installation the week of July 24             Bayer Fund (Monsanto Grant) 

Bus Radio Communications for Emergency communications -              Safe schools levy

Bus Garage improvements -                                                                   Long Term Facilities Maintenance
(roofing, replace heat system)
Replacement of Dishwasher -                                                                 Long Term Facilities Maintenance or COVID-19 Funding to provide Free School meals

Explore parking lot improvement options for consideration during the summer of 2022.
11.1.c. Greenbush Middle River Graduation Rate in 2020
Description:  The graduation rate (90.9%) for GMR High School in 2020 surpassed the overall State graduation rate of 83.3% according to information released the week of June 7 by the Minnesota Department of Education.

Demographic     Year       GMR Graduated count   GMR Graduated %    STATE Graduated %

All students        2015                 40                           93.0%                                82.1%
All students        2016                 36                           94.7%                                82.5%
All students        2017                 27                           90.0%                                82.7%
All students        2018                 30                           96.8%                                83.2%
All students        2019                 32                           86.5%                                83.7%
All students        2020                 30                           90.9%                                83.8%

For 2020, GMR posted a six-year-graduation rate of 91.9%,that is well above the state’s graduation rate of 83.0%.

School and student performance characteristics on MY REPORT CARD on the MN Dept. of Education website.  <>
11.1.d. Report of the events and activities of the 2021 Special Minnesota Legislative Session and potential effects on Public Education    
Description:  The MN Legislature was called to St. Paul to return to a Special Session by Governor Walz.  The Special Session began on June 14, 2021.  The Legislature is scheduled to pass legislation (funding and policy Bills) soon.  Failure to do so will result in a Government shutdown effective July 1, 2021.
The following excerpt of the MN Legislative status is provided by the MN Rural Education Association [MREA] on June 21, 2021.

E-12 Bill Not Addressed in First Week of Special Session

First week filibuster 

Governor Walz called the legislature into special session on Monday, June 14 in order to get 13 budget bills and one tax bill passed and sent to him for signature. The state’s fiscal year ends on June 30th and legislative leaders are committed to avoiding a state government shutdown. However, after a week of legislative activity, they have very little to show for progress. The House GOP is holding up a number of smaller budget bills, literally talking nonstop on the House floor for over 14 hours a day, day after day (Filibuster)

As we get into the second week of this special session, only the Higher Education, Legacy and Agricultural bills have passed the House and are ready for final votes in the Senate. 

E-12 bill nowhere to be found

The E-12 omnibus bill is notably missing from the list of agreed to bills. The House and Senate E-12 committee chairs are dug in on the offers they announced publicly in early June. For the Senate, they’re still pushing a 3% &1.5% formula scenario and no new mandates. For the House, they’re still pushing a 2% & 2% formula scenario, dollars for expiring 4-year old PreK slots and significant new policy aimed at improving racial equity and educational outcomes for students of color.

The E-12 spending target is $525M for the next two years, and the new spending can grow to $675M in the two years to follow, called the "tails" budget. This totals $1.2B in new E-12 spending over the next 4-years under the leadership agreement from May 17. For comparison, the Senate’s 3 & 1.5% would consume $1.1B of the available $1.2B. The House’s 2&2% would consume $960M of the available $1.2B target over the next 4-year.


12. Adjournment
Motion by__________________        Second by ____________________ to ADJOURN
13. Communications
  • June - July 2021 - Negotiations with GMR-Education Association whose employment Agreement expired June 30, 2021.   
  • Regular July School Board Meeting - July 19, 2021 @ 7:30 p.m. in GMR School Cafeteria
  • September 20-21 tentative date for 2020-2021 Financial Audit

<< Back to the Public Page for Greenbush Middle River ISD 2683