School Board reviews staffing, handbooks

by Adam Gruenewald
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With the start of school still well over a month away, District 108 Central School Board members reviewed handbook updates and changes with staffing.
All three school principals reported on changes in the student handbook which included mostly minor changes in terms of updating the calendar, updating phone lists and changes to the wording regarding required immunizations.
Elementary Principal Michael Daugs also shared that the snack program initiated last school year went well with about 50 percent participation with a cost of $40 for milk and $20 for a snack per semester.
“It was a pretty good success,” said Daugs, adding there was a surplus of about $200. “Those numbers were pretty close to right on with what it was going to cost to run that program. It’s a convenient thing for families and they seem to appreciate that.”
Daugs added that summer school is winding down.
“Summer school is almost complete,” he added. “It has gone fairly well with very minor hiccups.”
Daugs added that letters including teacher information and welcomes will be sent out to students and their families on Aug. 11.
“Kids look forward to that and it creates a buzz in the community and phone calls to the office,” said Daugs, adding that families should receive the letters between Aug. 12 to 14.
Middle School Principal and Activities Director Ron Erpenbach too shared that there were updates to the handbook and that staff has been hired, including industrial technology teacher Pat Pehrson.
“We had positions we weren’t sure we could get filled,” he said. “They got filled in a decent and timely manner so that was good for us.”
Erpenbach also presented 2-year activities agreements with both Emanuel Lutheran and St. John’s Lutheran schools for several sports.
In addition to sharing handbook updates, High School Principal Tom Erickson shared updates on the 1:1 chromebook initiative that started this past spring with the junior class. There are plans to roll that out more fully next year and also bring in a computer repair teacher to offer courses to students.
“It is cost effective,” said Erickson. “Kids get credit for it and are interested in it and can provide help to Steve Anderson, our technology director.”
He also shared changes in policy regarding truancy and his expectations regarding the state mandated decisions that will be made in the coming weeks and will most likely remove the Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR) rating system.
In his report, Superintendent Brian Corlett updated the school board on the Dairy Queen house and the buyer that fell through due to residential and commercial zoning issues as well as on ongoing teacher negotiations.
“Hopefully we’ll get it solved and done,” he said.
In their official actions of the night, school board members OK’d organizational items that included a 10 cent increase in lunch fees to $2.40 for elementary students and to $2.60 for high school students and a discussion of potential increases for umpire and referee fees, approved a $500 donation from the Hamburg Lions to Community Education, accepted a $300 donation from the Hamburg Hawks to Community Education for the purchase of a pitching machine, OK’d an overnight volleyball team trip to Wabasha-Kellogg on Sept. 15, OK’d new Community Education hires in Recreation Coordinator Brooke Raether and Early Literacy Interventionist Meghan (Kurk) Andrews and approved the previously mentioned athletic agreements with St. John’s Lutheran and Emanuel Lutheran schools.
Notably, filing for the Nov. 7 school board election this fall begins Aug. 1, with four-year terms seats held by Rich Schug, Elroy Latzig and Nicole Evenski up for election.
The District 108 School Board will next meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28 at Central High School.

Follow Adam Gruenewald on Twitter @adamgruenewald.