Discussion at Aug. 11 workshop of live-streaming board workshop sessions
By Joseph Back
Due to be visited at the Sept. 22 South Washington County School Board meeting, are many items.
Among them is approval of the 2023 Preliminary Levy, with board members to be asked to approve a “maximum” levy amount, the preliminary levy requiring approval by Sept. 30, and providing roughly 26 percent of the district’s general fund revenue or 31 percent of its total revenue.
Also on the list of items the school board will cover are long-term facilities maintenance master contract with architecture firm KOMA, as well as one with Kraus Andersen, also for maintenance. With average expenditures totaling $20 million, two district staff would be assigned the duties of coordinating design and engineering of long-term facilities maintenance projects, with two district employees assigned to act as construction managers on said maintenance projects.
Also touched on at the Sept. 22 school board meeting will be district finances with finance director Dan Pyan, while report is made that the long-range facility planning steering committee and leadership team has reconvened, once agains seeking to find a way forward on the district’s facility needs. The district is in conversation with a consulting firm named Morris Leatherman about a community survey to potentially be conducted from mid-Nov. to Dec. The district’s timeline at this point is to begin meeting with task force and advisory teams in February to review and discuss plans moving forward.
Among those means mentioned as potentially helping to meet the district’s current overcrowding and facility needs include short-term fixes with attendance boundaries, staff movement and classes made to be portable, movement of special education programming and/or moving of early learning programs” located in district schools. Current recommendation on the long-range facility planning measures is discussion and information, with the earliest any vote could return in principle being next February, pending realities on the ground as regards readiness of the revisions. A possibility of live-streaming workshop meetings for the public will also be discussed at the Sept. board meeting. Currently not televised, the cost of live-streaming board workshops is estimated at approximately $12,260 per year, pursuant to a bid by Bluum of Minnesota LLC to the district.
Coming in for proposed policy changes at the Sept. 22 board meeting, meanwhile, are the removal of 301.1 Administrative Organizational Plan, adding of clarifying language to 305 Policy Implementation, with no suggested changes to policy 307 Records Retention. Policy review is an otherwise routine feature of school board business, with policies set to review on a rolling basis.
Closing out this week’s school update, three extended field trips are planned for students this fall and winter.
The first is a trip from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8 by the Woodbury High School varsity volleyball team to Albertville Minnesota via coach bus for an overnight volleyball tournament featuring college scouts.
Coming in second on the extended field trip list for students this fall into winter is a trip by the East Ridge High Orchestra Program of 40 students and four adult supervisors to Chicago Illinois. While there the East Ridge students and chaperones will attend a performance of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and have an opportunity to meet members of the music performance group. Also traveling via coach bus, the East Ridge Orchestra departs for Chicago Nov. 16, returning Nov. 19.
Finally on the list of extended field trips to come this year is one by the Woodbury High School Wrestling Team, set to take place from Dec. 28 through Dec. 30 of this year. Members of the 30 strong wrestling team will travel along with five adult supervisors to Fargo, North Dakota for a wrestling tournament.
The mechanics of running and/or interacting within a large school district can be daunting, as shown by this chart outlining different responsibilities and relationships in the district. South Washington County Schools is due to remove 301.1 Administrative Organizational Plan from its list of policies, pending approval of the consent agenda at the Sept. 22 regular board meeting. Image courtesy South Washington County Schools website.