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By Cara L. Dempski
ELK MOUND – The Elk Mound School Board learned during its May 24 meeting of the progress that has been made toward referendum projects. The Board learned grading was finished for the track, and project leaders estimated paving would begin before May 28. Excavation work for a new parking lot on the west side of the middle school, in the area known as the battlefield has started.
The meeting started with its usual agenda items of a roll call and the Pledge of Allegiance, before moving on to things like approving the previous meeting’s minutes and approving the bills and vouchers in need of payment.
There was no one present this month for a citizens forum, which led the Board on to the principals’ reports. Eric Hanson reported first on Moundview’s activities. He said students and teachers recently celebrated reading week, and Teacher Appreciation Week was held May 3. The PTO planned something for each day. He said one day he grilled out for the teachers. He reported the May 6 Animals on the Lawn event held with high school agriculture students was fun and interesting. He laughingly informed the Board this year none of the teachers had to assist in the delivery of a calf.
Hanson also said Grandparents’ Day was held May 20; and Mrs. Linzmeier created a video which was released that day for grandparents and families to watch.
Fourth-grade students participated in their annual Olympics on May 21.
Hanson also announced parents will soon be receiving a survey regarding the District’s Title I services, and preschool graduation was scheduled for May 27, with the traditional Moundview picnic scheduled for May 28.
Next, middle school principal Chris Hahn reported on what’s been going on in his building. He said there were approximately 40 students on this year’s track team which was coached by Mr. Linzmeier and Mr. Proft.
Hahn also said fourth grade students have had an opportunity to visit the middle school and meet some of the teachers and other students there in preparation for changing to the middle school building for fifth grade. The fourth-grade orientation was held May 14.
Then his reporting switched from the students who will be new to the building next year to the students who will be leaving the building. He explained eighth grade graduation is scheduled for May 27 in the high school gymnasium. Hahn offered his appreciation to teacher Mike Kessler for his work in organizing the event.
With that, his report shifted to preparation for fall athletics. He said approximately 63 students signed up to participate in football.
A few upcoming events were shared, such as “Getting Ready for Middle School,” which will be June 2 and third, the “Middle School Summer Academy” held June 14-25, the middle school volleyball camp scheduled for June and July, and a safe schools meeting will be held in June along with bus inspections.
High school principal Paul Kling informed the Board the final parent-teacher conferences of the school year were held April 29. They were again held virtually. He reported attendance was a bit lower than previous conferences, but said teachers were still able to connect with the parents of struggling students.
Explaining he was impressed by the agriculture students during the Animals on the Lawn event; Kling especially liked how students were willing to explain and teach the younger kids about the animals they were meeting. He estimated there were several who would make excellent teachers.
He thanked guidance counselor Hugh Goodrich for his work planning the May 12 Senior Honors Night. Graduation was held at 8 p.m. on May 14 in the high school gym. The traditional all-night post-graduation party was hosted this year by Action City.
Kling indicated the track, baseball, and softball teams are looking forward to the spring sports tournaments which will start in June, and he wished good luck to all the coaches and athletes.
The last day for students was scheduled for May 28, and the first summer school classes are slated to start in June.
Kling introduced the student representative to the Board, Olivia Schindler, a junior who he said is highly involved in all aspects of the school. Schindler will be part of the Board for the 2021-2022 school year.
Next, superintendent Eric Wright presented the open enrollment applications for the next school year; the Board approved these. Then, a trio of contracts for audio and visual items, cabling and commissioning received approval. Next, the Board approved the resignation of both Ms. Doane, an elementary school teacher, and Megan Bonnell, a speech and language teacher. The resignation of custodian Jacob Hoag was also approved.
Wright discussed some plans for spending the potential ESSER funding for the district. ESSER funds are meant to help districts mitigate the impact of the corona virus.
The Board approved maintaining WIAA affiliation for the next school year. The Board also unanimously approved using a program called Neola for updates to school district policies.
The meeting adjourned to closed session during which the Board planned to discuss and/or act on hiring a pair of full-time paraprofessionals, a high school math teacher, an elementary teacher, and a speech and language teacher, and on the continuation of support staff assignments, and the approval of employee compensation.
Wright later explained the Board approved hiring Liz Wik and Shawn Gilbertson as full-time paraprofessionals, Bradley Wesley as a high school math teacher, and Kasey Carpenter as an elementary teacher.
No action was taken on hiring a speech and language teacher. Wright hopes to present a recommended candidate for the position at the June meeting.
He also said an increase in the hourly pay rate or salary of approximately 3 percent received approval; and all staff assignments were approved.
Finally, the Board confirmed it will meet next at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 21.