SHERBURN– Before the Martin County West School Board meeting on Monday the school board had a special session with the new Business Manager, Todd Netzke, from School Management Services company. He introduced himself as working since 1988 with school business management and that his company helps 40 school districts.
He began by stating that the former business management did an excellent job. He then compared the years of 2019-2020 and 2021 so far. He explained the print out given to the board members about the percentage of change with each year which showed that $700,000 of the $800,000 in revenues is from State Aid. He predicted that the revenues will be right on budget or above and the expenses will be under budget.He also explained the large expense in one category is the furniture ordered.
The budget will be worked on through January. Next year’s budget should be worked on in March so that it is done by June. The biggest items are salaries, student count and expenses and State Aid. All these may change periodically due to teacher changes, student numbers, and the ever changing State mandates and budget.
The proposed levy was also discussed. The maximum amount was approved as the district can always lower but not raise the amount. The amount was lower than last year by $200,000 to around $1 million. He mentioned that the state of Minn. usually gets 97 to 98 percent of the taxes collected so it is easier to plan knowing that the taxes will be available. The superintendent and board agreed they should try to level out or keep the tax levy steady instead of large dips or swells in the levy.
The Questions and Answers period led to a request for the reports on all buildings and enrollment for the next five years. The board thanked Netzke and continued with the regular School Board Meeting.
Superintendent Cori Reynolds gave a presentation on the finances so far as compared to other years and enrollment reports (plus 16). She also discussed some updates to do with Covid cases and exposures and policies. Four student have had positive cases have and four staff with one quarantined at present.
Autumn Welcome, Elementary Principal, reported that the Empower Project to help reading skills will be re-activated soon and they hope to add a math project too. She has been meeting with staff for continuity in the elementary buildings in Sherburn and Trimont.
Community Educ. And Rec. Leader, Nickole Bowie, reported there were new classes listed on the website and that there was good enrollment in classes so far. Some of the new classes listed were: fitness, stem class, robotics, Sharks in the water(attorney about taxes etc.), girl power boot camp, children’s food classes and adults food classes.
The board reports asked about the water issue at the high school. Superintendent Reynolds reported that the softening of the water loosened accumulation in the old galvanized pipes and made for discolored water. The plan may be to replace all the old pipes, some each year.
The board approved several hirings: for elementary music-Bailey Scott, long term sub; preschool teacher, Luann Peterson; first grade long term sub, Alma Barber; coaches, Alicia Swanson and Tanya Schmidtke; parprofessionals, Casey Pollard and Tanner Bettin; food service, Shelly Reisdorfer; art instructor, Chelsea Brolsma; social worker for Trimont and Sherburn Elementary, Jana Brackey; bus route and shuttle driver, Bret Schwager.
In other news:
— The board accepted donations from CHS and NuWay K&H for FFA Leadership activities, also CFS Cooperatives, Land-0-Lakes, Fairmont Foods and Odell Wind farms.
— The board approved the date of Dec. 20, 2021 at 6 p.m. board meeting as the time for the public hearing regarding the budget and proposed property tax levy.
— The board approved the refunding of the General Obligation Bonds authorizing issuance and sale.
— The board approved the Crisis Management Plan.
— There will be a Fire Prevention presentation on Oct. 7th.
— On October 6 there will be an early dismissal for a staff workshop. No school on MEA Oct. 21-22.
— The next School Board meeting will be 6:30 p.m. October 18.