The regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 was held in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. Chair Melaine Cole called the meeting to order at 5:15 pm. The following members were present: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy (Melissa) Hermes, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa. Natalie Knutson was absent. Jeff Drake, Superintendent, Renae Macheledt, Finance Director, and Elaine Jahnke, HR Director, were also present. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all present. 

Missy Hermes, clerk, established a quorum. 

Stephen Vigesaa made a motion to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously. 

Natalie Knutson entered the meeting at 5:16 pm.

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PUBLIC MEETING 

A public meeting regarding the World’s Best Workforce Report, presented by Curriculum Director Amelia Lemar, began at 5:16 pm in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School.

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Melanie Cole offered the resolution of acknowledgements for the following and moved for its adoption:

Thank you to Barry & Pamela Boettcher, Wayne & Constance Pastir, Elizabeth Turchin, Megan Duckwitz, and the Women of Grace for their donations to the Otter Angel Account, an account created to anonymously assist families unable to pay for student meals. 

Thank you to Mary Petit for her donation to the Kindergarten Dance & Dessert. Also thank you to West Tool & Design of Fergus Falls for their donation of custom made precision parts for the Supermileage Challenge Team.

The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and upon roll call vote being taken, the following voted in favor thereof: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa; 

and the following voted against same: 

None. 

Whereupon said motion was declared duly passed and the resolution adopted.  

Reports were presented by: 

  • Mikaela Pasch - Marching Band Trip (St. Louis; June 28-July 2, 2023)
  • Scott Colbeck - Elementary Principal (Adams/McKinley)
  • Tindy Rund - Elementary Principal (Cleveland) w/guest Cedar Walter, Public Information & Education Officer/Otter Tail County Solid Waste
  • Ivan Hirst - Middle School Principal
  • Mark Anderson - High School Principal
  • Jeff Drake - Superintendent

General Consent Items

The following consent agenda was presented for approval: 

  1. Minutes from the regular School Board meeting held on November 14, 2022 
  2. Personnel

Support Staff Resignations:

  • Isabella Pederson, special education paraprofessional @ KSS; Last work day-12/21/2022
  • Amanda Nelson, special education paraprofessional @ Adams; Last work day-12/2/2022
  • Richard Eickholt, mechanical worker/custodian; Last work day-11/30/2022

Support Staff Hires:

  • Crista Baumer, special education paraprofessional @ Adams; Effective-12/2/2022
  • Laurie Kessler, special education paraprofessional @ KSS; Effective-12/2/2022

Certified Staff Hires:

  • Madison Carbert, special education teacher; overload contract-.0833 FTE; effective 1st semester
  • Katie Hosch, special education teacher; overload contract-.0833 FTE; effective 1st semester
  1. 2022-2024 Contract Agreement between the Fergus Falls Para Educators Association and the School Board of ISD #544
  2. 2022-2024 Contract Agreement between the Education Minnesota Fergus Falls Special Education Paraprofessional Association and the School Board of  ISD #544 and the Fergus Falls Area Special Education Cooperative #935

KIrby Anderson moved to approve the consent agenda. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously.

Old Business: 

  1. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the FY22 Fergus Falls Public Schools’ Financial Audit. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously. 

 

New Business: 

  1. Missy Hermes moved to approve the 2021-2022 Fergus Falls Public Schools World’s Best Workforce Report. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Stephen Vigesaa moved to approve the following new high school course offerings, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year:  
  1. Plant Science/Agronomy
  2. History of Entertainment and Culture
  3. College State & Local Government
  4. Modern US History
  5. Women in American History
  6. General College Biology I and II
  7. Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology
  8. Anatomy and Physiology Lecture & Lab I and II
  9. Workplace Communications 2
  10. Baking and Pastries 
  11. Beginner College Spanish 2

 

The motion was seconded by Natalie Knutson and carried unanimously. 

 

The next regular School Board meeting will be held at 5:15 pm Monday, December 12, 2022 in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School, which will include public meetings for the Technology Plan & Internet Safety Policy and the Fergus Falls Public Schools Taxes Payable 2023 (beginning at 6 pm).

 

Stephen Vigesaa made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:38 pm. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously. 

 

A work session followed the regular board meeting.



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Melissa Hermes, Clerk

 

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 Approval Date

Greetings!

On behalf of the Fergus Falls Public School District, I extend a warm welcome.  We are honored that you have entrusted us with the care and education of your child. 

The Fergus Falls Public School District is a special place.  Our mission statement outlines our commitment to each and every child:  “The mission of the Fergus Falls Public Schools is to prepare productive and engaged members of society by creating an environment where all students reach their full potential.”

What will your child’s experience be as a member of our school community?  Children will be surrounded by adults who care about them.  We will provide the necessary support to help ensure that each child is successful.  Children will be challenged.  That’s how new skills are developed and how learning, confidence and leadership is fostered. 

In providing a robust 21st century learning environment - we emphasize the five “Cs” - Core Knowledge, Creative Problem Solving, Communication, Contributing Citizen and Character.  These core competencies ensure that our students will be well-positioned for success wherever their dreams take them.

We pride ourselves on providing a rigorous academic curriculum with a diverse selection of electives.  We support our students with a 1:1 technology initiative to augment instruction, we have strong vocational programs and excellent participation among our students in the arts.  A large percentage of our students are involved in co-curricular activities and our programs are highly respected and competitive.  In summary, we offer the family atmosphere of a small rural school combined with the opportunities typically only found in much larger districts. 

Through the process of discovering and developing their talents, interests and skills, our students are going to make great memories, grow in confidence, become leaders in our school and community and form lifelong friendships.  Once an Otter, always an Otter!

Warmest Regards,

Jeff Drake

Superintendent