SHERBURN — Prior to Monday’s Martin West County School Board meeting, the school board had a special session with new business manager Todd Netzke of School Management Services. He introduced himself as working since 1988 with school affairs management and that his company helps 40 school districts.
He started by saying that the old management of the company had done a great job. He then compared the years 2019-2020 and 2021 so far. He explained the impression given to board members about the percentage change each year, which showed that $700,000 of the $800,000 revenue came from state assistance. He predicted that revenues will be on budget or above and expenses will be below budget. He also explained that the major expense in a category is the ordered furniture.
The budget will be worked until January. Next year’s budget should be worked on in March for completion in June. The most important items are salaries, number and expenditure of students and state aid. All of this can change periodically due to changes in teachers, student numbers, and ever-changing terms and state budget.
The proposed levy was also discussed. The maximum amount was approved because the district can still decrease but not increase the amount. The amount was down from last year by $200,000 to about $1 million. He mentioned that the state of Minnesota typically receives 97-98% of collected taxes, so it’s easier to plan knowing that taxes will be available. The Superintendent and the Board agreed that they should try to stabilize or keep the tax levy stable instead of sharp declines or increases in the levy.
The question and answer period led to a request for reports on all buildings and listings for the next five years. The board thanked Netzke and continued with the regular school board meeting.
Superintendent Cori Reynolds gave a presentation on the finances so far compared to other years and enrollment reports (plus 16). She also discussed some updates regarding Covid cases, exposures and policies. Four students have had positive cases and four staff members, one of whom is currently in quarantine.
Elementary Principal Autumn Welcome said the Empower project to help with reading skills will soon be reactivated and they also hope to add a math project. She met with staff for continuity in the elementary buildings of Sherburn and Trimont.
Community Educ. To be C. Manager Nickole Bowie reported that new classes were being listed on the website and there have been good enrollments in classes so far. Some of the new classes listed were: Fitness, Stalk Class, Robotics, Sharks in the Water (Tax Lawyer, etc.), Girls Boot Camp, Kids Feeding Class, and Adult Feeding Class .
The council reports asked about the water problem in the secondary school. Superintendent Reynolds reported that softening the water loosened the buildup in the old galvanized pipes and made the water discolored. The plan may be to replace all old pipes, some every year.
The board approved several hires: for elementary music-Bailey Scott, long-term replacement; preschool teacher, Luann Peterson; first-year long-term submarine, Alma Barber; the coaches, Alicia Swanson and Tanya Schmidtke; paraprofessionals, Casey Pollard and Tanner Bettin; restoration, Shelly Reisdorfer; art teacher, Chelsea Brolsma; Jana Brackey, social worker for Trimont and Sherburn Elementary; bus and shuttle driver, Bret Schwager.
In other news:
– The board has accepted donations from CHS and NuWay K&H for FFA leadership activities, as well as CFS, Land-0-Lakes, Fairmont Foods and Odell Wind farms cooperatives.
— Council approved the date of December 20, 2021 at 6:00 p.m., council meeting as the date for the public hearing regarding the budget and the proposed property tax.
— The board approved the redemption of general bond bonds authorizing the issue and sale.
— The board approved the crisis management plan.
— There will be a presentation on fire prevention on October 7.
— On October 6, there will be early dismissal for a staff workshop. No school on MEA on October 21 and 22.
— The next school board meeting will be October 18 at 6:30 p.m.