Superintendent's Summary of the Red Lake School District #38, October Board Meeting
The Board met at the Ponemah School on October 21th, for its regular meeting.
Kenny Perrault, District Tech Coordinator, provided and overview of the costs and benefits of adding Wi-Fi to a bus route. This would enable students to access the Internet while on lengthy bus trips to complete homework assignments. The start-up cost for the first year for one bus is estimated at $4500. The board recommended the District proceed with this project, as a pilot, on the bus used most often for long, activity routes.
Superintendent Lundquist shared the following information relative to activities underway to improve achievement, attendance and enrollment:
* Interagency agreements for the Tribal Truancy Court Project, which includes a School Resource Officer, were shared. The project will be funded with Indian Education Program Funds, allocated to the District by the Legislature last spring. As a means of monitoring both progress and accountability, the Superintendent will ask a Tribal Court Representative will be asked to provide monthly updates as part of the regular board meetings.
* The details regarding the Capital Investment Committee bond request were reviewed. The funds, if received will result in substantial updates and additional construction to all schools.
* The shortage of bus drivers was discussed at length. This situation, which has been a problem for some time, is creating numerous issues throughout the district. Potential solutions were explored, including the possibility of running two bus routes each morning and evening to enable the District to operate with fewer drivers. No action was taken as a result of this discussion.
* Enrollment figures, which indicate the District is down by approximately forty students compared to last year at this time were reviewed.
Each of the buildings and district departments offered updates on their activities, including the following:
* Teacher leaders are providing professional development to fellow staff members at Red Lake Elementary School on a monthly basis to build skills in the use of Responsive Classroom strategies. Targeted Services after school programs are up and running four days per week.
* The Ponemah School held its annual MCA Awards Dinner for 14 families in the community on September 29, to celebrate students' success on the MCA tests. Students received medals, trophies, or plaques to commemorate their accomplishments. Targeted Services will be underway next week.
* Parent Teacher Conferences were held on October 1st, in the Secondary Complex. There were 80 parents in attendance at the MS and 45 at the HS. Some HS students engaged in the Riverwatch project where they were able to kayak, experience wildlife, and learn more about the physical aspects of a natural river. Some MS students traveled to Bemidji State Park to engage in science photography, data analysis, geocatching activities.
* The Director for Facilities reported that the State Fire Marshal inspection took place in late September, followed by a visit from the Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA); minor, corrective actions are underway and in some cases, completed. In addition, all District buildings have been rekeyed and access control (fobs) were updated.
* The report from the Special Services Director indicates 50 students are enrolled in the age three- and four-year old pre-school programs district wide. Three licensed teachers received professional development in the iRead, early literacy program, and have begun to implement it with primary level students.
* The new "breakfast in the classroom" program was implemented in recent weeks, whereby meals are delivered via a food cart to all classrooms. The effort has increased student participation in the breakfast program from 29% to 43%, according to the Food Service Coordinators report.
* The Business Manager reported that contract negotiations are underway for both the non-licensed and licensed groups, and that a tentative agreement has been reached for the non-licensed staff.
* The Human Resources Coordinator reported that the District will be rolling out a new service called Clear Cost, which will allow employees the opportunity to compare prices and quality indicators for services throughout the region, which will result in significant savings. In addition, the District will be working with the Minnesota Safety Council to provide training for supervisors in recognizing when employees may be working under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
* In additional discussion, the Board reviewed the recent vandalism to the Ponemah School, where nine windows were broken, and the destruction of an external surveillance camera at the District Office.
In other business the Board took action on numerous personnel recommendations and affirmed numerous policy updates.