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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Board of Education has approved Security Health Plan as the health insurance provider for the 2021-2022 school year with rates representing a 3 percent increase.
Security Health Plan was the bid recommended by the Northwest Public Entities Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperative, said William C. Yingst Jr., district administrator, at the Colfax Board of Education’s April 26 meeting.
The health insurance cooperative is offered through Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) 11 and includes 22 schools with several thousand employees all together, he said.
The original budgeted increase for health insurance premiums was 12 percent, Yingst noted.
“That’s the value of being in a co-op,” he said, noting that the cooperative flattens out the increases in health insurance premiums for all of the members of the cooperative.
The cooperative creates leverage in bargaining with health care providers. Initially, the increase was going to be 3.8 percent, but then the bid came in at a 3 percent increase, Yingst said.
“I’m satisfied with that,” he said.
Security Health Plan had offered a two year deal, with the increase in health insurance premiums not to exceed 12 percent in the second year, Yingst said.
The cooperative suggested a one-year deal with the idea of sending out Requests for Proposals (RFPs) next year, he said.
For the 2020-2021 school year, health insurance premiums increased by 4.5 percent.
The Board of Education approved joining the Northwest Public Entities Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperative in March of 2018.
During the April of 2020 school board meeting, Yingst reported in the time that Colfax had been part of the health insurance cooperative, the district had saved $840,000 on health insurance premiums.
At the April 26 meeting, Yingst said he recommended continuing with Security Health Plan.
The Colfax Board of Education unanimously approved Security Health Plan as the health insurance provider for the 2021-2022 school year.
The school board also approved Delta Dental as the dental insurance provider for the 2021-2022 school year with a zero percent increase in premiums.
Colfax is self-insured for dental insurance through Delta Dental. The school district receives a good value for the rates, Yingst said, and saves a significant amount of money by being self-insured.
Prior to the regular school board business on the agenda, the Colfax Board of Education held its organizational meeting.
Incumbent school board members Ken Neuburg and Kyle Knutson were sworn in to serve on the school board.
Neuburg and Knutson were re-elected to the Board of Education in the April 6 election. Both of them ran unopposed.
Todd Kragness was once again elected by the board to serve as president of the school board, and Ken Neuburg was elected to serve as vice-president.
Andrew De Moe was elected by the board to serve as clerk of the school board, and Kyle Knutson was elected to serve as treasurer.
The Colfax Messenger was designated as the school district’s official newspaper.
The Board of Education approved holding monthly meetings on the third Monday of every month.
Wipfli LLC was approved as the school district’s auditor, and Weld Riley was approved as the school district’s legal firm.
Jaclyn Ackerlund was once again approved as the representative on the CESA 11 Board of Directors.
Neuburg was again approved as the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) representative.
In other business, the Colfax Board of Education:
• Learned that the Colfax Elementary and Middle School spring concerts will be virtual and are in the process of being recorded. The concerts will be available on the school district’s website at www.colfax.k12.wi.us by May 20.
• Learned that graduation will be held Friday, May 21, at 7:15 p.m. Graduation will be limited this year, with six seats allowed per graduate. Families will be arranged in the gymnasium according to the social distancing guidelines used to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Class of 2021 has 61 seniors. School board member Ken Neuburg, and Todd Kragness, president of the Board of Education, will be handing out diplomas.
• Learned that the school district has received the Dunn County lottery credit in the amount of $73,331.95 and the Chippewa County lottery credit in the amount of $13,978.16.
• Approved a list of policy updates that were technical updates including statutory updates or minor wording changes, along with several new policies. The list brings the school district up to date on policies, Yingst said. The policies included definitions; bylaws and policies; board member information requests (new policy); indemnification; board member behavior and code of conduct (new policy); sexual and other forms of harassment; whistleblower protection (new policy); student supervision and welfare; school counseling and academic and career planning; student privacy and parental access to information; parental/police access to library information (deleted); libraries (new policy); board and staff communications; student supervision and welfare; unauthorized work stoppage; student supervision and welfare; bullying; investigations involving suspected child abuse; crowdfunding (new policy); student activity fund; joint use of facilities/inter-library loans (cooperation with local governments) (new name); pediculosis (head lice); public requests, suggestions or complaints; relations with non-school affiliated groups.
• Approved budget adjustments for the 2020-2021 school year. The final amount of the budget adjustments will be available in June, Yingst said.