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February 28, 2022 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.
4. Recommendation to add items to the agenda from Board members or School Administrators
5. Approval of Agenda
Description:  A motion was made by Board member  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the agenda of the February 28, 2022 Regular Board Meeting as presented/amended.
5.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the agenda of the February 28, 2022 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 January 24, 2022.
Description:  attached
Attachments: (1)
7. Business Services
7.1. A motion was made by  ____________________, seconded by ____________________ to approve the payment of bills check #38967 through #39083 for a total of $257,227.23 and Purchasing Card electronic payments dated Jan. 5, 2022 and Electronic Funds Transfers as submitted.
Description:  Attachments
Attachments: (3)
7.2. Treasurer's Report
Description:  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).
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
Description:  Chad & Diane Rud .....................................  $1,000 to be applied towards unpaid lunch accounts

Middle River Baja Committee .................... Up to a dozen new boots for distribution to elementary students.

Arlys Graff Trust Fund............................... $16,307 for approved expenses related to Theater, Music, Educational enrichment and Academic Activities. 

Wikstrom Telephone Company ............ $4,729 to defray the school cost of internet access

Suggested Board Action:  Motion by Board member _____________ and seconded by _________________ to accept the donations from 1 Better Liquor (Chad & Diane Rud), the Middle River Baja Committee and the Arlys Graff Trust Fund.
8.2. School Board Recognition Week
Description:  Feb. 21-25 was School Board Recognition Week

The Minnesota School Boards Association has set February 21-25 as Minnesota School Board Recognition Week to build awareness and understanding of the vital function elected school board members play in our communities.

Even though we’re making a special effort to show our appreciation this month, school board members’ work is a year-round commitment.  
see attached School Board election cycle
Attachments: (1)
8.3. Bus Driver Appreciation Week
Description:  The week of Feb. 21-25 was Bus Driver Appreciation Week.  THANK YOU TRANSPORTATION DEPT. for getting our students to and from school and school activities safely.  In 2020-2021, the transportation dept. logged 139,000 miles transporting students.
9. Old Business
9.1. Resolution calling for a Public Hearing calling to Consider Granting Property Tax Abatement
Description:  The Board has previously approved moving forward to re-paving the school parking lot.  The funding mechanism approved by the board is a Tax Abatement Bond.  A Tax Abatement Bond requires a Public Hearing and Board Approval, it does not require a vote by school district residents.

see attached proposed Parking lot project

see attached resolution as prepared by the District's legal counsel.
9.2. Superintendent Search
Description:  MSBA report on Superintendent Search process in conjunction with the Tri-County School District.
Motion by Board Member ____________ and seconded by _____________ for the GMR school district join into a joint powers arrangement, pending final approval of the agreement.  The agreement will create an entity that allows for the sharing of resources, the first being a Superintendent, with the Tri-County Public school district in Karlstad, MN.  GMR assigns the following board members to the joint powers board effective immediately:  Shane Kilen, Brandon Kuznia and Allison Harder.

(Source:  Rochester MN area newspaper  Feb. 2022)
[Barb Dorn, director of leadership development and executive search with the Minnesota School Boards Association, said there's a large number of superintendent openings, not just in Minnesota but across the nation.
"There are a lot of openings across the state — more than we've seen in quite some time," Dorn said. "The last few years have been very challenging for public education. I think there are superintendents who feel they did their absolute best to grapple with the pandemic and get their districts through some unprecedented challenges, and perhaps now have decided it's time to retire or move into the private sector. It's a nationwide trend."

In spite of the large number of openings, Dorn said there's also a good pool of candidates from which to draw, even if that pool is a little smaller than it has been in the past.

"The quality of the candidates is really high," Dorn said. "It's become real clear the last couple years what the challenges of being a superintendent are.  So the people who are applying right now are very serious about it and know exactly what they're signing up for."]

attached 12/22/2021 Greenbush Tribune article
Attachments: (1)
10. New Business:
10.1. Employment of Para Professional
Description:  Motion by Board member  ____________________ and seconded by ________________ to approve employment of Stacey Dallager effective January 31, 2022.
10.2. Development of e-Learning Plan for the GMR School District
Description:  Program plan for e-Learning days (Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.414) [attached]

The 2017 Legislature has amended the Length of School Year; Hours of Instruction (Minn. Stat. § 120A.41) to include the option of a school utilizing e-Learning days:

-  Due to inclement weather.
-  Up to five days in one school year.
-  Counted as an instructional day and included as hours of instruction.


If the school board or charter school wishes to include the opportunity for e-Learning days, they must consult with their teachers (charter schools) or the teacher’s representative (districts) and develop a plan for these days. .

The plan must include:

- Accommodations for students without sufficient access to the Internet,  hardware, or software in their homes. 
-  Accessible digital instruction for students with disabilities under chapter 125A and meet the needs of each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP)/504 plans.
- Notification to parents and students of the plan must occur at the beginning of the school year and, upon implementation of an e-Learning day, there must be at least two hours’ notice prior to the normal school start time that students are to follow the e-Learning day plan. 
-  Access to teachers via telephone and online during normal school hours.

Principal Schultz to report on Feb. 21, 2022 Staff Development e-Learning development.
Attachments: (1)
10.3. Amendment to 2021-2022 School Calendar
Description:  Board consideration to amend the 2021-2022 school calendar to account for the two snow days the district has called thus far.   Due to inclement weather, school was closed for both students and staff 
Feb. 1 and Feb. 18, 2022.  Options to account for the calendar change include:

The Board approved 2021-2022 School Calendar [attached] indicates "make-up days" as being Feb. 21, April 18, May 27.  The Board must approve an amendment to the calendar.  Since there was no regular meeting until Feb. 28 to make a calendar adjustment, options for the Board to consider are:

(1.)  April 18 is Easter Monday, which could be a make-up day option for students and / or staff.
[This date is a way out and families may not have their plans set as of yet;]

(2)  May 27 would be a student make-up day (staff are already scheduled to work this day).   And the end-of the year teacher workshop would then be moved to Tuesday, May 31.

[With one day before the summer break, I don't know if we'd accomplish anything of educational substance with students on Friday, May 27].  [Tying up "loose ends" for Graduation scheduled for Sunday, May 29 may be problematic with the loss of a teacher workshop day].

(3)  What is your "institutional history"? If there is only one or two make-up day(s), the board may consider just "dropping" the make-up day(s) and provide paid time for staff as a 2.5 year Covid Appreciation gesture for contending with challenges associated with the corona virus pandemic.

If so, I'd suggest a clear indication be given to school employees to avoid "precedent setting" with this matter in the future.  [This may not be a factor if the District has an approved e-Learning plan in place for 2022-2023.]

MN Statue 120A.40 requires public school districts to have at least 165 days of instruction for students in grades 1-11 unless they’ve reached a special agreement with the state’s education commissioner.   Spread across those days, they’re required to provide at least 425 hours’ worth of instruction to Kindergarteners, 935 hours for students in grades 1-6, and 1,020 hours for students in grades 7-12.

Most districts schedule 170-plus instruction days at the outset of the year and adjust accordingly to account for snow days or other interruptions.  GMR's calendar initially had 172 days scheduled, the option of an amended school calendar down to 170 instruction days.   Assuming GMR doesn’t cancel class again, the district will have an approx. 30-hour buffer over the state minimum.

Board Discussion:

Motion by Board member  _________________ and seconded by ______________ to:

Attachments: (1)
10.4. Greenbush Middle River 2022 - 2023 School Calendar
Description:  Current MN Statute does not permit school (classes) to start before
Labor Day which falls on the first Monday in September.

Labor Day is Monday, Sept. 5th. Because of this late date within the
calendar cycle, to schedule 172 student days and 180 teacher days
results in limitations of school calendar options.  Attached is Calendar Option #1

Other options for the 2022-2023 proposed School Calendar may be presented to staff members as well as board members prior to the March regular school board  meeting.  The calendar will be presented for Board approval during the March or April board meeting.

Board Action:  None recommended at this time.
Attachments: (1)
10.5. Board approval to reinstate summer youth ball contribution to City of Greenbush and City of Middle River
Description:  An Agenda item within the Feb. 8, 2022 GMR School District's Community Education Advisory Council meeting was discussion towards recommending to the School Board to reinstate annual funding for summer youth ball to the City of Greenbush and City of Middle River.  

[In March 2021, a component of a deficit reduction effort to be implemented in the 2021-2022 school year was to cut a $2,000 contribution to the City of Greenbush and the City of Middle River for their summer youth ball program.]

The Com. Ed. Advisory Council unanimously passed a motion to recommend to the GMR School Board to reinstate annual funding for summer youth ball to the City of Greenbush [$2,000] and City of Middle River [$2,000].  

Board Discussion:

Motion by __________________ and seconded by ___________________ to provide funds in
the amount of $2,000.00 to each [City of Greenbush and City of Middle River] community to offset expenses for Summer Recreation Youth Ball.
11. Reports:
11.1. Superintendent
11.1.a. Classroom Instructional Technology replacement using Round III Federal Covid Relief Funding
Description:  Results of Tech. Committee Meeting on Feb. 21, 2022
Attachments: (1)
11.1.b. New CDC guidance eliminates mask enforcement on school buses
Description:  Schools should only mandate masks when COVID cases and hospitalizations are high, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Friday (Feb. 25, 2022), in a shift that means most U.S. schools now have the agency’s OK to go without masks.

The move is the first major change in national guidance on masks in schools since last summer, and follows decisions by many states and districts to lift mask mandates in recent weeks. Still, many schools have continued to require masks for students and staff, and the CDC’s shift could pave the way for further changes.

The rules appear to be an attempt by federal officials to thread the needle between increasing political pressure to return to "normal" and the fact that COVID-19 still represents a threat, particularly in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low.

"Because children are relatively at lower risk for severe illness, schools can be safe places for children. So for that reason, we’re recommending that schools use the same guidance that we are recommending in general community settings," CDC epidemiologist Greta Massetti said Friday.

Specifically, the new CDC rules say if new COVID cases and hospitalizations are low or moderate, and hospitals aren’t overburdened in a community, then mask mandates aren’t necessary. About 70% of Americans live in parts of the country where those metrics are now low or moderate, the agency says. 

When COVID cases and hospitalizations are high, schools should still require masks, the CDC recommends.

Source:  CDC: Masks can come off in schools unless COVID metrics are high  by:  Matt Barnum  [retrieved on Feb. 28, 2022 @ 9:30 am)
11.1.c. MN State Legislative Session News
Description:  The State Office of Management & Budget released an up-dated State Budget forecast.  
The December 2021 State Budget forecast was a record $7.7 billion surplus.  An up-dated State Budget Forecast was released on Feb. 28, 2022 and indicated a $9.25 billion surplus.

11.2. Principal
11.2.a. State Wrestling Tournament 
Description:  Participating in the State Wrestling Tournament March 4-5 will be:

Sarah Paulk
Ethan Waage
Caleb Vacura
Nathan Waage
11.3. BGMR Community Service Project in Cooperation with the Badger - Greenbush Lions Club
Description:  The Badger - Greenbush Lions Club sponsored an Eyeglass Donation activity as a part of the GBMR vs Lake of the Woods Boys Basketball game on Feb. 25.  140 pairs of eyeglasses were donated as a part of this effort.

12. Adjournment
Motion by__________________        Second by ____________________ to ADJOURN
13. Communications
  • Regular March School Board Meeting - March 21, 2022 @ 7:30 p.m. in GMR School Library

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