The Isle School Board convened for their regular meeting on Monday, July 22, but the evening’s agenda did not keep them long. The meeting saw the board approving a consent agenda containing a number of yearly organizational structure items, such as setting board member salaries, designating an official newspaper and depository for school funds, authorizing employee salary payments, and setting mileage reimbursement. The board also reviewed and approved Minnesota School Board Association policies. While a number of these policies had non-substantial changes only, there were four policies that saw legal change revisions, and all were approved by the board.
The following organizational items were approved as part of the consent agenda:
• The Lakeside office of the First National Bank of Milaca was designated the official depository for school funds.
• All school board officers were permitted to sign short term loans to help the district meet its financial obligations.
• Payments were authorized for employee salaries as they came due.
• Payments of claims prior to board approval to enable the district to receive discount privileges were authorized.
• Mileage reimbursement was set at 58 cents.
• Programs for tax-deferred annuities and 403 B plans for employees were approved.
• Flynn, Knutson and Deans were authorized as legal counsel.
• The district office bulletin was officially designated for the posting of 72-hour notice of open school board meetings.
• School board member salaries were approved ($60 for the chair, $50 for members, and $70 for meeting over five hours). No changes were made from the previous year.
• The Mille Lacs Messenger was designated the official newspaper.
The four policies with these revisions included the Tobacco-Free Environment, Use of Peace Officers, Curriculum Development, and Home Schooling policies.
The tobacco-free environment policy was updated to change the term “electronic cigarette” to “electronic delivery devices.” As superintendent Dean Kapsner stated, this change was made to recognize other electronic and vaping devices the policy previously hadn’t included.
Changes to the Use of Peace Officer policy concerned seclusion rooms. This change requires the quarterly reporting on the use of seclusion to the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education. As Isle school doesn’t have a seclusion room or use seclusion, Kapsner said, this policy will not greatly affect the district’s operation.
Changes to Curriculum Development addressed informing students on options for continuing their education if they were failing to meet the standards as measured by the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. “I think that was probably put in there in response to wanting to improve graduation rates,” Kapsner said, “so that kids don’t feel they’re not being successful and give up on school prematurely.”
The Home Schooling policy clarified what materials a district would provide to a home-schooled child upon formal request. The changes specified that teacher’s guides and other accompanying material would be provided if such material was physically or electronically packaged with textbooks intended for student use. “[These are] updates on how we support home-schooled families,” Kapsner clarified, “within the dollar limits with which we are required to expend. There’s not any big changes there either.”
All these policy changes, substantial or otherwise, were approved by unanimous vote of the school board.
• Bids for supplies for 2019-2020 school year were approved. All current providers from the previous year were recommended by Kapsner, and the council approved.
• The board accepted the resignations of van driver James Ellis, van para Karen Ellis and para Kali Groth.