Superintendent's Summary of the Red Lake School District #38, March Board Meeting
The Board met at the District Office on March 23, for its regular meeting. Superintendent Lundquist shared the following information relative to activities underway improve achievement, attendance and enrollment:
• The superintendent received an email from an individual who happened to see our boys' basketball team play at the Minneapolis North tournament game earlier this month which stated, "The team displayed great sportsmanship and pride, they were wonderful to watch. They set the bar for class that all teams should try to live up to. They seem to understand it is not about wins and losses but how you play the game and how your represent yourself." This random, unsolicited accolade for our players is honorable.
• Tribal Truancy Court Administrator, Jason Defoe provided a report in which he stated the Children's Healing Center will be incorporated as an alternative setting for those who qualify
• The Board will engage in a Retreat, at noon, next month just prior to the regular board meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Ponemah.
• The Board was invited to attend the upcoming All-Staff Quarterly Professional Development Session, scheduled to take place on Monday, March 28, from 8:00-11:00, Superintendent Lundquist, and guest speaker Rich Olson will address customer service and the District's Strategic Vision.
Each of the buildings and district departments offered updates on their activities, including the following:
• Red Lake Elementary School will host a joint school leadership team/parent advisory meeting on March 28, at 3:15, to collaboratively design the Title I Teacher-Student-parent Compact for the 2016-17 school year. Also, students at RLES celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday with a Read Across America event earlier this month.
• At the Ponemah School students have surpassed their year-long goal of reading 10 million words. The school also recognized their first 1 million word reader! The school will also take part in their annual MCA Blast-Off Week to spur students on to success in their annual testing efforts.
• The Secondary Complex was pleased to report their two highest ACT scores ever, with two students scoring 23 and 26! The average student score rose from 14 to 17 from last year. In addition, Citizen Cope, a national recording artist is paying all expenses for 12 students to fly to Washington, DC to perform in his music video, as part of the Turnaround Arts initiative.
• The Facilities Director reported that a threat assessment was conducted earlier this month to further ensure the facilities are as safe as possible. A detailed report on the findings will be presented next month. The re-roofing project at the Ponemah School are substantial complete, as is the Secondary Complex cafeteria, which is scheduled to open May 2nd.
• The Special Services Director's report stated $170,000 is available to support costs associated with School Readiness programs which has greatly reduced the cost for these programs within the general fund. The Director also reported she conducted Nonviolent Crises Intervention Training (which is designed to deescalate potential student crisis situations), recently to new staff and those who were in need of additional training.
• In the Food Service Coordinators report the development of new menu items is underway, and when the new cafeteria opens, students will be introduced to even more new food choices.
• The Transportation Director reported that all buses are now being washed once each week, which should help extend their lifespan by clearing away salt and sand from under the chassis. A part time mechanic position was requested, and if the budget permits for such, the position will be posted.
• The Human Resources Coordinator attended SORNA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) training hosted by the Red Lake Nation. The Coordinator was asked to join the Tribes committee on this topic, which meets quarterly, to represent the District. The Coordinator has also begun attending the job fairs hosted by Oshkiimaajitahdah.
• The Parent Education Partnership Project representative reported that PAT (Parents as Teachers) training sessions continue to be offered, and are well attended. The representative has also begun teaching class to clients at Oshkiimaajitahdah, as part of a nine required, required series.
• The Community Education Coordinator has begun working on a new draft policy for Sexual health Education, which will soon be required in all public schools and is currently drafting sample curriculum for use in the Secondary Complex, based upon the Nation Sexuality Education Standards.
• The Business Manger's report consisted in part of an oral report from the Miller McDonald, CPA firm. Key financial highlights include:
o Net position decreased by 6.76% from prior year
o Overall revenues were $32,557,045, and overall expenses were $36,111,442. Expenses exceeded the revenues in the district-wide statement mainly due to depreciation expense, accrued interest on capital loans, and overall operational expenses exceeding revenues in the governmental activities.
o General fund balance increased by $2,026,319.
o There was not change in the Building Construction or Feed Service fund balanced, an increase occurred in the Community Service fund balance of $18,386, and a decrease in Debt Service fund balance of $476.
• The Business Manger further reported that negotiations with Education Minnesota continue, as does the effort the compile and write the District's Accounting and Cash management Policy. Payroll and Human Resources departments continue to work diligently to verify Affordable Care Act data in the payroll system.
• The Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment (CIA) department hosted a farewell reception for Sherri Dahl, who has resigned her position. In further news, the team is leading district-wide testing efforts in collaboration with several data coaches and other professional staff members.
In other business the Board approved a donation large donation from Anderson Fabrics for the Middle School, and 3500 children's books from Arrow Printing, and approved the purchase of 81 passenger school bus.