Details for August 9 Special Minutes

AITKIN PUBLIC SCHOOLS - MEDIA CENTER 306 SECOND STREET NW AITKIN MINNESOTA 56431 SPECIAL SCHOOL BOARD MEETING MONDAY, AUGUST 9,2021 7:00 PM Minutes 1. Call meeting to order by the chairperson. Chairman Dennis Hasskamp called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. 2. Roll call by the clerk. In attendance were Dennis Hasskamp, Noel Bailey, Jeremy Janzen, Kevin Hoge, Joe Ryan, Dawn Houser and Cindi Hills. All members in attendance. 3. Pledge of Allegiance. Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 4. Approval of agenda - revise or remove as needed. Mr. Ryan made the motion to approve the agenda as presented. Mr. Hoge seconded the motion. All members were in favor, motion passed. 5. *Comments from visitors. 5.A. Comments from visitors must be informational in nature and not exceed five (5) minutes per issue. The Board cannot engage in a discussion or debate in this five minutes but will take the information and find answers if that is appropriate. As part of board protocol, it is unacceptable for any speaker to slander or engage in character assassination at a public board meeting. Jennifer Cummings and Mike Olson both shared their opinions on Critical Race Theory and to not teach it. Dani Owen shared her disappointment in not having the meeting recorded last week and that CRT is being discussed at the wrong time with a Capital Projects Levy to be passed in November. Do not lose the focus! 5. Scheduled presentations: (Max. 10 Minutes) There were no scheduled presentations. 7. New business: 7.A. Discuss Critical Race Theory Mr. Stifter wished to make it clear that Critical Race Theory is not being taught at Aitkin Public Schools. CRT is becoming mostly politicized. We do not teach it. He went on to say that we need to look at what unites us and work on our commonalities. He does not want to lose the community and focus right now. Mr. Ryan asked for courtesy for full transparency on the issue. CRT is coming to all schools unless we decide to not allow that. Good teachers challenge students to think critically. He went on to say that this needs to be discussed. It is coming to public education. It needs to be answered. Ms. Hills agreed with what had been discussed and wanted to reiterate that this is not a part of our standards. She would like to table any discussions until after the Capitol Projects Levy. She addressed that this does not come out until 2024. It is still in the Review and comment stage. Its in the 2nd reading. Ms. Houser stated that what CRT was and what it is she cant wrap her arms around it. It is based on fear. We need to teach accurate history. She suggested we have a board member on a state committee for this. Mr. Bailey stated we are all equal in this room and shared his history on being discriminated against. Mr. Hasskamp said we are not teaching and it is not in our standards. That is where the emphasis should be. Mr. Hoge asked for a link for review and comment on our website. Ms. Hills made a motion to table it until after the November Capital Projects Levy is done. Ms. Houser seconded the motion. Mr. Ryan stated again that transparency matters. Questioning Ms. Hills dont we deserve to know how we will take the district forward? CRT? Will it be taught? We are all behind the Capital Projects levy. Mr. Hoge encouraged that if something big changes, Mr. Stifter will bring it to the Board and the principals. Ms. Houser added that if something comes up with curriculum in the meantime, we will talk about it. Mr. Hasskamp called for roll call on this. Voting yes: Cindi Hills, Dawn Houser, Kevin Hoge, Noel Bailey, Dennis Hasskamp. Voting No: Joe Ryan, Jeremy Janzen. 5/2 vote to table until after Novembers Capital Projects Levy passes. 7.B. Add informational educational website links to the school website. Ms. Hills shared that to include a link to the MDE (Minnesota Department of Education) site would be fine with her, but not including links that are political in nature. Politics should not be in the schools. Mr. Ryan thought that was bias. This would be educational news: Advocacy, NEA, EDmn, American Federation of Teachers. It would all be informational organizations. This would not be a site for chat. Ms. Hills announced that Mr. Ryan sends daily news from Alpha News to the whole board. Board members have requested him to stop. As a school board it is not appropriate. It is not appropriate to share on a school website and is not appropriate at the Board table. People can research themselves at home. The Board is receiving emails and forwarded cartoons from Mr. Ryan. She wants to be non-partisan. Ms. Houser agreed that the website and information would need to be controlled by Administration. What one person considers credible is not for another. Lets send this to the Policy Committee to determine if we need a policy or not. Ms. Hills added that people will think the school supports these links. If school board members want to start an individual blog and post to it, that would be best for board members. Mr.Ryan motioned that the district develop a tab on the schools website for educational links and Educational Advocacy and news. Mr. Janzen seconded the motion. Ms. Hills stated that if we pass this it is just the beginning of the fight that is coming - politics. Ms. Hills stated to Mr. Ryan that if we do not agree with you, you shove it down our throats. We dont want emails and politics. Mr. Hasskamp agreed that someone would need to be in charge of it Ms. Houser added we cannot do this without a policy. Mr. Ryan agreed to amend his original motion. Mr. Janzen seconded it. Mr. Ryan made the motion to have ISD l adopt and develop a policy to create an educational news and advocacy site for links only tab on website. Mr. Janzen seconded the motion. Mr. Hasskamp called for roll call: to approve the motion the following members voted in favor: Joe Ryan, Jeremy Janzen, Dennis Hasskamp. The following voted against it: Dawn Houser, Cindi Hills, Kevin Hoge, Noel Bailey. Motion fails 4/3. 8. Adjourn. Mr. Hasskamp asked for a motion to adjourn. Ms. Houser made the motion to adjourn. Ms. Hills seconded it. All members were in favor. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:21 p.m. Respectfully Submitted, Mary Aulie, Administrative Assistant Cindi Hills, Board Clerk Published in the Aitkin Independent Age October 13, 2021 1173685

AITKIN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
- MEDIA CENTER
306 SECOND STREET NW
AITKIN MINNESOTA 56431
SPECIAL SCHOOL
BOARD MEETING
MONDAY, AUGUST 9,2021
7:00 PM

Minutes
1. Call meeting to order by the
chairperson.
Chairman Dennis Hasskamp
called the meeting to order at 7:00
p.m.
2. Roll call by the clerk.
In attendance were Dennis
Hasskamp, Noel Bailey, Jeremy
Janzen, Kevin Hoge, Joe Ryan,
Dawn Houser and Cindi Hills. All
members in attendance.
3. Pledge of Allegiance.
Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
4. Approval of agenda - revise or
remove as needed.
Mr. Ryan made the motion to
approve the agenda as presented.
Mr. Hoge seconded the motion.
All members were in favor, motion
passed.
5. *Comments from visitors.
5.A. Comments from visitors
must be informational in nature
and not exceed five (5) minutes
per issue. The Board cannot engage in a discussion or debate in
this five minutes but will take the
information and find answers if that
is appropriate. As part of board
protocol, it is unacceptable for any
speaker to slander or engage in
character assassination at a public
board meeting.
Jennifer Cummings and Mike
Olson both shared their opinions
on Critical Race Theory and to not
teach it. Dani Owen shared her
disappointment in not having the
meeting recorded last week and
that CRT is being discussed at the
wrong time with a Capital Projects
Levy to be passed in November. Do
not lose the focus!
5. Scheduled presentations:
(Max. 10 Minutes)
There were no scheduled presentations.
7. New business:
7.A. Discuss Critical Race Theory
Mr. Stifter wished to make it
clear that Critical Race Theory is
not being taught at Aitkin Public
Schools. CRT is becoming mostly
politicized. We do not teach it. He
went on to say that we need to look
at what unites us and work on our
commonalities. He does not want
to lose the community and focus
right now.
Mr. Ryan asked for courtesy
for full transparency on the issue.
CRT is coming to all schools unless we decide to not allow that.
Good teachers challenge students
to think critically. He went on to say
that this needs to be discussed. It
is coming to public education. It
needs to be answered.
Ms. Hills agreed with what had
been discussed and wanted to reiterate that this is not a part of our
standards. She would like to table
any discussions until after the Capitol Projects Levy.
She addressed that this does
not come out until 2024. It is still in
the Review and comment stage. It’s
in the 2nd reading.
Ms. Houser stated that what
CRT was and what it is she can’t
wrap her arms around it. It is based
on fear. We need to teach accurate
history. She suggested we have a
board member on a state committee for this.
Mr. Bailey stated we are all equal
in this room and shared his history
on being discriminated against.
Mr. Hasskamp said we are not
teaching and it is not in our standards. That is where the emphasis
should be.
Mr. Hoge asked for a link for review and comment on our website.
Ms. Hills made a motion to table
it until after the November Capital
Projects Levy is done. Ms. Houser
seconded the motion.
Mr. Ryan stated again that transparency matters. Questioning Ms.
Hills “don’t we deserve to know
how we will take the district forward? CRT? Will it be taught? We
are all behind the Capital Projects
levy. Mr. Hoge encouraged that if
something big changes, Mr. Stifter
will bring it to the Board and the
principals. Ms. Houser added that
if something comes up with curriculum in the meantime, we will talk
about it.
Mr. Hasskamp called for roll
call on this. Voting yes: Cindi Hills,
Dawn Houser, Kevin Hoge, Noel
Bailey, Dennis Hasskamp. Voting
No: Joe Ryan, Jeremy Janzen. 5/2
vote to table until after Novembers
Capital Projects Levy passes.
7.B. Add informational educational website links to the school
website.
Ms. Hills shared that to include
a link to the MDE (Minnesota Department of Education) site would
be fine with her, but not including
links that are political in nature. Politics should not be in the schools.
Mr. Ryan thought that was bias.
This would be educational news:
Advocacy, NEA, EDmn, American
Federation of Teachers. It would all
be informational organizations. This
would not be a site for chat.
Ms. Hills announced that Mr.
Ryan sends daily news from Alpha
News to the whole board. Board
members have requested him to
stop. As a school board it is not
appropriate. It is not appropriate to
share on a school website and is
not appropriate at the Board table.
People can research themselves
at home. The Board is receiving
emails and forwarded cartoons
from Mr. Ryan. She wants to be
non-partisan. Ms. Houser agreed
that the website and information
would need to be controlled by
Administration. What one person
considers credible is not for another. Let’s send this to the Policy
Committee to determine if we need
a policy or not. Ms. Hills added
that people will think the school
supports these links. If school
board members want to start an
individual blog and post to it, that
would be best for board members.
Mr.Ryan motioned that the district develop a tab on the school’s
website for educational links and
Educational Advocacy and news.
Mr. Janzen seconded the motion.
Ms. Hills stated that if we pass this
it is just the beginning of the fight
that is coming - politics. Ms. Hills
stated to Mr. Ryan that if we do not
agree with you, you shove it down
our throats. We don’t want emails
and politics. Mr. Hasskamp agreed
that someone would need to be in
charge of it Ms. Houser added we
cannot do this without a policy. Mr.
Ryan agreed to amend his original
motion. Mr.
Janzen seconded it. Mr. Ryan
made the motion to have ISD l
adopt and develop a policy to create an educational news and advocacy site for “links only” tab on
website. Mr. Janzen seconded the
motion.
Mr. Hasskamp called for roll call:
to approve the motion the following members voted in favor: Joe
Ryan, Jeremy Janzen, Dennis Hasskamp. The following voted against
it: Dawn Houser, Cindi Hills, Kevin
Hoge, Noel Bailey. Motion fails 4/3.
8. Adjourn.
Mr. Hasskamp asked for a motion to adjourn. Ms. Houser made
the motion to adjourn. Ms. Hills
seconded it. All members were in
favor. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:21 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted,
Mary Aulie,
Administrative Assistant
Cindi Hills,
Board Clerk
Published in the
Aitkin Independent Age
October 13, 2021
1173685

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