Thursday, April 26, 2012

USD 383 Board of Education

April 18, 2012
Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer

Board members discussed the board vacancy created when Doug Messer resigned.  The board has received four letters of interest thus far, and the deadline to apply is April 24th.  The board will hold a special meeting on April 25th to review all of the received applications.

Dr. Bob Shannon, Superintendent, led a discussion that followed up on topics discussed during the board's winter retreat in February.  The topics included senior early release, daily start time at MHS, open/closed lunch at MHS, scheduling options at MHS, and planning and collaboration time for teachers. Dr. Shannon recommended that a committee examine senior early release and bring recommendations to the board.  For MHS start time (which would affect other grade levels if it were changed), Dr. Shannon recommended that the board hold a public hearing on Oct. 10th and get input from the public.  Similarly, Dr. Shannon recommended a public hearing for open/closed lunch on Sept. 26th.  Small committees will work on developing recommendations for MHS scheduling options and teacher planning time.

The board approved 6-0 to increase school meal prices $0.05 for the 2012-13 school year.  The increase is necessary due to dietary guidelines that require more servings of fruits and vegetables, which are more expensive.  The increase is also needed due to federal mandates which require schools to provide the same level of financial support for full-pay students' meals as they provide for students who qualify for free lunches.

Board members also discussed student fees and textbook rental fees for the 2012-13 school year.  Administration recommended a 3% increase in student fees and textbook rental fees.  The board approved 6-0 the recommended increases.  The board also discussed textbook purchases to provide several courses with updated material at MHS and also to adopt the Math In Focus curriculum for 6th grade.  Previously, Math In Focus had been adopted for grades K-5, and 6th grade math had been aligned with the 7-12 grade curriculum.  Recent changes in math standards make it more appropriate to align 6th grade math with grades K-5.

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