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Boyceville school board approves limiting access during class time

BOYCEVILLE — The school board approved a recommendation of the administration to purchase equipment that will allow the school to monitor who enters the school buildings during the school days.

Alarmed by the recent school shootings, Superintendent Kevin Sipple reported to the board that, “we have been reviewing our school safety plans in the past month. We have had meetings with school administrators, local law enforcement, teachers and the board of education. I have also talked with several parents regarding the safety of our buildings,” he told the board at their Monday, January 21st meeting.

Sipple presented a plan to the board that would have the school accessed from the outside at only one location in each of the two buildings and a third place where delivers are made to the office. In all cases the entrances will be under video surveillance and office personnel will be able to talk to the person that needs entrance to the school during class time before the door is unlocked. School personnel will also be able to see who is at the door on a monitor in the office.

Sipple noted that, “its best if we know who is coming into our buildings.” He also indicated that the parents that he talked to agreed with the need to control who comes into the school. Sipple presented the board with a cost estimate of installing three Aiphone video entry systems at a cost of $4,890.00. Sipple noted that when remodeling was done recently some of the wiring and equipment was installed at that time, and that is why we have an attractive bid.

Sipple reported that the new parent notification system should be up and running in the next couple of weeks. He also noted the school will implement an additional pay method for parents. “E-Funds gives parents the ability to pay for lunches on-line by using debit and credit cards and they may link their checking account to eFunds using their direct deposit.”

Sipple also informed the board that it was in 1914 that the Boyceville Community began supporting a 9-12 high school and this was the beginning of a K-12 school system. He would like to hear from anyone who would like to be involved on a committee to plan and organize one hundredth anniversary events. Sipple said the target date would be for the Pickle Fest in 2014.

In his report, Middle/High School Principal Steve Glocke reported that the Science Olympiad team captured first place this past weekend in River Falls. He noted that he along with Diane Buck attended an all day work session of the 2013 Technology Plan with CESA 11. The technology committee will be coming to the board in the spring to review the plan. “This is in preparation for all the good things that are coming,” Glocke told the board. He also informed the board that at the staff meeting held on Monday they looked at new standards that the staff will be evaluated on. Glocke also noted that this Friday is the “Coaches for Cancer event.” He told the board that the event has raised over $5,000 in the last two years.

In his report, Elementary Principal Nick Kaiser informed the board that the past week was National Crossing Guard Week and praised the schools crossing guards, Vicki Johnson, Ray Cherney and Dennis Minter.

Bonnie Barker, the Districts Director of Special Education reported that along with herself and Jeff Hoff, Nicole Rygiel, Karlene Berry attended a workshop on Mental Health Issues in the classroom. Her report said, “The workshop came at a time when people in our country are looking for a better understanding of mental health disorders, how they affect youth, and what can be done.” Board member Tim Sempf questioned Barker about identifying students dealing with violence.

Barker indicated that some of the studies are going there now, but explaining that some students talk about violence and don’t act but another may not talk about it, but act on it.

At the beginning of the meeting the school board listened to the audit firm of Baker Tilly who presented the 2011-2012 audit report. Joan Betz and Jim Murray informed the board about the school finances. Betz told the board that the school’s general fund balance has sufficient balance to carry three months of expenditures. “That’s right on line with what we like to see in fund balances,” Betz told the board. She continued saying that no funds had a deficit balance and no deposits of the district were exposed and that all were insured.

Murray noted that the school has borrowing limits of over $26 million and the current debt is at $12,072,000. He indicated that the school’s revenues were down some two percent over the previous year, but the expenditures were down at 1.8 percent.

Betz indicated to the board that the school does have controls on finances, but maybe not as many as we would like to see. “You have a small staff,” she said, “but I have to explain that each year.” Their report also included a report that is required if a school district has over a half million dollars in federal expenditures. Betz noted that the district had some $790,000 in federal money.

At the end of the report, Board President Gail Stark thanked them for the audit and praised the district office staff for their work.

In other action, the school board:

• Approved retirement request from Larry Hanestad, who has been with the school for 36 years. His last day will be February 1st.

• Reviewed the Open Enrollment Space Availability report. The report indicated that the district has room for open enrollment in all grades except kindergarten through fourth grade.

• Gave their blessing to six out of state field trips including trips to the Perpetual Motion at Woodbury, MN. Two classes to the Science Museum in St. Paul, the 5th graders to the National Eagle Center at Wabasha, MN and to Como Zoo and the Sea Life Aquarium at Bloomington.

• Accepted an AnnMarie Foundation grant in the amount of $3,310 for equipment at Tiffany Creek Elementary.

• Accepted a Rural and Low Income program grant from the DPI for $14,920.