School board ready for a new year [UPDATED]Published 9:13am Tuesday, August 27, 2013 Updated 11:17am Tuesday, August 27, 2013
In the last meeting before the district’s first day of school, the Fergus Falls School Board approved new hires and heard reports from district principals.
An additional special education paraprofessional position was added for the coming school year. There will be new special education paraprofessionals working in Cleveland and Adams Schools and Kennedy Secondary School. School Superintendent Jerry Ness said the district is required to add these paraprofessionals, who work with special needs students and supplement full-time teachers.
“If it’s part of their individual education plan, you have no choice,” Ness said. “You have to meet that student’s needs.”
Stephanie Leslie will work as a special education paraprofessional at Cleveland School, Karri Gullickson will work at Adams School and Korene Moore will work at Kennedy Secondary School.
School principals Scott Colbeck and Monke addressed the board early at Monday’s meeting. Colbeck, the elementary principal, said he still needs to secure a few more recess and lunch supervisors before next week, while Monke said after a mad rush of hiring in the past month, he may only have to fill one more receptionist position.
The upcoming school district open houses were a topic of discussion as well. All district schools except McKinley Elementary will have their open houses on Aug. 28, the earliest beginning at 5 p.m. and the latest ending at 8 p.m. Monke said the biggest advantage of attending the open house is for students to get their school schedules early.
“If you don’t show up that night, you’ve got to wait for the following Tuesday before you see which classes you are rotating to and comparing who is in your classes,” Monke said. “We hang on to those really tight and it’s amazing how that improves our attendance for open house night.”
In other news, the board approved a contract renewal between the district and Minnesota State Community and Technical College that allows high school students to take college courses. The program is offered at Kennedy Secondary School.
Several staff resignations were also approved, among them Fergus Falls varsity girls golf coach Jon Harris.
The warm weather also reared its head during the meeting. Ness said some sporting events could be cancelled later this week if it is deemed too hot. Soccer was mentioned as being questionable at this time, but Ness said the Fergus Falls High School football game will be played as scheduled Friday night.
After a little more than 20 minutes, the meeting briefly went into closed session as the board discussed contract negotiations.
The next school board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Sep. 9 in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.