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August 2, 2021 at 7:30 PM - Special Meeting

1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call
Description:  School Board:    Shane Kilen, Carrie Jo Howard, Joseph Melby, Kurt Stenberg,
                           Brandon Kuznia, Brandon Ignaszewski and Allison Harder

Administration:   Superintendent Larry Guggisberg
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.

4. Approval of Agenda
Description:  A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the agenda of the Special School Board Meeting as presented/amended.
5. Board Approval to purchase a School Bus with (Round II) Federal Covid Relief Funds
Description:  The District has a fleet of 15 buses that include:  one (1) bus dedicated for the use of school activities and one (1) mini-bus.  In 2021-2022, the district will have seven daily route buses.  The remaining buses are spares that model-wise go back as far as 1995.  The most recent bus purchased was in 2019.  The bus purchase below includes a trade-in of a current bus.

See attached ESSER II funding source information.

Motion by Board member __________________ and seconded by __________________ to utilize Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) funds approve the purchase of a school bus from North Central Bus & Equipment via the MN State School Bus Cooperative Purchasing system in the amount of $88,833.20.
Attachments: (1)
6. MN Dept. of Education:  COVID-19 back-to-school recommendations 
Description:  It is August and that means the school year is approaching soon.
       The first day of Fall sports practice is August 16.
       The first teacher workshop day is August 30.
       The first student day is Sept. 7.
It appears from media and government agency reports the Covid pandemic will continue.  The reports indicate Covid is reaching those especially who are unvaccinated.  In addition, a highly contagious Covid variant called the Delta Variant is largely responsible for a rise in Covid cases throughout the country.   The President to nearly every elected official and education leader is calling for a full restoration of in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year.   What COVID-19 protocols will schools have to undergo for the start of the 2021-2022 school year?  [Masking, Social Distancing, Vaccination, etc.].  Physicians, Public Health, Centers for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, Political leaders and certainly others have sometimes competing points of view about Covid safety measures to be in place for the start of school.   In addition, health recommendations appear to be changing daily.
It is important to do what needs to be done to protect the health of our students and the staff serving our students.  So the answer to the "what will school look like" question is to-be-determined with guidance and /or recommendations provided by agencies such as the Center of Disease Control, MN Dept. of Health, MN Dept. of Education and Roseau County Health.
On July 28, the MN Dept. of Health (MDH) released its Best Practice Recommendation for COVID-19 Prevention in Schools for the 2021-2022 School Year document.

Key points of guidance include:
  • All people ages 12 years and older should get vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to in-person school, sports, or other activities to protect themselves and people around them who cannot get vaccinated.
  • All students, teachers, staff, and visitors in school buildings should wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
  • Schools should maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms whenever possible. When it is not possible to maintain 3 feet of distance between students, it is especially important to layer other prevention strategies.
  • Students, teachers, and staff should stay home if they feel sick and should contact a health care provider for testing and care.
  • Students, teachers, and staff who have been fully vaccinated do not need to stay home even if they have had recent close contact with a confirmed case so long as they do not have symptoms and do not test positive. Follow CDC testing guidance for anyone exposed to a confirmed case.
  • People who are not fully vaccinated and returning to in-person school, sports, or extracurricular activities (and their families) should get tested regularly for COVID-19 according to CDC guidance.
  • Schools should encourage ventilation, contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, handwashing, respiratory etiquette, cleaning, and disinfection as important layers of prevention.
Source:  retrieved from MSBA on Aug. 2, 2021

At this point in time...

Governor Walz’s executive order lifting the indoor mask wearing mandate expired on May 13.  Without an executive order, at this point in time, Covid prevention measures will be determined at the local level. 

It appears the masking options are:  requiring masking, not requiring masking and wearing masks as optional.

Things can change quickly, more guidance on the start of school is likely still be come, however, at present, schools have recently release CDC and MDH guidance and recommendations to consider.

NOTE:  Roseau County Vaccination rate is rate for those 16+ years old is 53% with at least one dose.

             State of MN Vaccination rate for those 16+ years old is 68.8% with at least one dose.

Vaccination Data Source: retrieved from <>

Board awareness and discussion of the MN Dept of Education's recommendation to follow recent Center of Disease Control back-to-school guidelines.
Attachments: (1)
7. Accept resignation of Food Service Staff member 
Description:  Motion by Board member __________________ seconded by _____________________ to accept the resignation of Ms. Patty Wojciechoski effective August 2, 2021 as per submitted letter.
8. Adoption of revised 2021-2022 estimated school budget.
Description:  During the regular June 2020 Board meeting, the Board adopted a 2021-2022 budget based on "rolling over" of the previous year's (2020-2021) budget with the understanding the FY 22 Budget will be amended at a later date.    

The attached 2021-2022 estimated school budget documents provide a snapshot of administration’s best budget assumptions at this point in time.

The district is / has been reviewing ways to close the budget gap including implementing budget reductions effective in 2021-2022 and an infusion of ONE-TIME Federal & State funds due to COVID-19.

As previously reported (in FY 21) to the Board,  As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting schools the MN Dept. of Education will permit fund transfers for Fiscal Year 2020 and 2021 only.  The District's Financial Auditor will provide guidance for fund transfers.  Criteria for allowable fund transfers include:  (1) The transfer does not increase state aid obligations or result in additional property tax authority; (2) the transfer is limited to operating funds of a school district; and (3) the school board must approve the fund transfer(s) prior to the reporting deadline for the respective fiscal year.  The School District's Financial Audit is scheduled for Sept. 20-24.

What we do know is State general education revenue is projected to increase 2.45% for the 2021-22 school year and 2% in the 2021-2022 school year.  However, the increase in State aid will likely be off-set by declining K-12 student enrollment.

See (attached) cover page for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.  The importance of an operating referendum and budget reductions can't be over-stated in order to improve the school district's financial condition.

(attached) enrollment data.

Moved by _____________ and seconded by _____________ to adopt the revised estimated budget for July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 (FY22) with the understanding the estimated budget may be amended at a later date. 
Attachments: (6)
9. Board Discussion & Resolution towards Operating Referendum for a November 2, 2021 Special School Election.
Description:  As far back as the December 2019 school board meeting, the financial condition of the GMR School District has been included as an Agenda item within the District's School Board Meetings.  Included in that is the estimated school budget(s), budget reductions and consideration of an operating referendum.  Also included in the above is the fact that MN School Districts have an increasing reliance on operating referenda.

Board decision towards acting on options for a Resolution towards an Operating Referendum during a November 2, 2021 Special School Election. 
Sample ballot question(s) to be attached

attachments:    Election Year Scenarios
                        School Referendum Tax impact
                        Board Resolution 
10. Schedule date for School Board meeting which includes approval of Final 2021 Pay 2022 School Tax levy
Description:  In past years, State law required a [School] Truth-in-Taxation Hearing be held separate from other School Board meetings. That rule was repealed during the 2009 legislative session.  The new law requires School Districts to discuss the school tax levy at a regularly scheduled meeting and to allow the public to speak as it pertains to that agenda item.  The Board must allow time for a presentation as well as time for public feedback.  The levy can then be adopted.

The [abbreviated] Truth-in-Taxation calendar indicated below refers to taxes levied in 2021 and payable in 2022 for use in the 2022-2023 school [budget/fiscal] year.

August 20   Last day to adopt resolution calling for referendum election.

Sept. 30   Deadline for school boards to certify proposed property tax levies to home county auditor.

October 19    Deadline for school districts holding referendum elections on November 2 to deliver by mail a notice of the referendum to each taxpayer in the district (at least 15 days prior to date of election). The notice may not be mailed to taxpayers prior to October 4 (no more than 30 days prior to election).

Nov. 2        Election Day

Nov. 24   Deadline for county auditor to prepare and county treasurer to deliver by mail a notice of proposed property taxes for all taxing authorities to each taxpayer.

After November 24, 2021, but before final levy is adopted:
Districts are required to discuss the Payable 2022 Levy and 2021-2022 fiscal year budget at a regularly scheduled board meeting and allow the public to speak.
-  The meeting must take place at 6 p.m. or later.
-  The district may adopt the final levy at the same meeting.

December 28, 2021   Deadline for school districts to certify final adopted levies to home county auditor

Suggested Board Action:   Motion by board member _________________ and seconded by ___________________ to approve the regular December 20, 2021 school board meeting to include School Taxes Payable in 2022 as an agenda item within said meeting.

11. Adjourn

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