Natalie Knutson, Chair

Committees: Finance Committee; Buildings & Grounds; Policy Committee; Wellness Committee

Negotiations: Special Education Paraprofessionals; District-wide Individual Contracts

Term ends: 2024

Email: nknutson@fergusotters.org

Melanie Cole, Vice Chair

Committees: Spec Ed. Coop & Region I Board; Meet & Confer

Negotiations: Certified staff; Special Education Paraprofessionals

Term ends: 2026

Email: mcole@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-205-4854

Kirby Anderson, Treasurer

Committees: Finance Committee; 544 Education Foundation; Activities Committee

Negotiations: Principals

Term ends: 2026

Email: kirbyanderson@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-770-7161

Melissa Hermes, Clerk

Committees: Curriculum Review; Policy Committee

Negotiations: Certified staff; Food Service

Term ends: 2026

Email: mhermes@fergusotters.org

Matthew Lemke

Committees: MN State HS League & Co-Curricular; Activities Committee; Finance Committee; Buildings & Grounds

Negotiations: Certified staff; Principals; Secretaries & Custodians

Term ends: 2024

Email: mlemke@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-731-1385

Stephen Vigesaa

Committees: Activities Committee; Policy Committee; Buildings & Grounds; Staff Development

Negotiations: Principals; Secretaries & Custodians; Title 1 Paras & Para Educators

Term ends: 2024

Email: svigesaa@fergusotters.org

Phone: 507-993-5941

The regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 was held in the Community Education Office at the Roosevelt Education Center. Chair Natalie Knutson called the meeting to order at 5:17 pm. The following members were present: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy (Melissa) Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa. 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. 

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

Stephen Vigesaa offered the resolution of acknowledgements for the following and moved for its adoption:

Thank you to Tyler Rowlan for his donation of a Yamaha Trumpet to the Kennedy Secondary School Music Department. 

Congratulations to Superintendent Jeff Drake for receiving the 2023 Region 4 Administrators of Excellence Award through the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA). Those who receive this award are recognized for their leadership, concern for students, and active involvement in professional and community affairs. 

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: 

  • Kirby Anderson – 544 Education Foundation, Finance, Activities
  • Melanie Cole – Spec Ed Coop, Region I
  • Missy Hermes – Staff Development, Policy
  • Matthew Lemke – MSHSL
  • Natalie Knutson – Wellness, Buildings & Grounds
  • Stephen Vigesaa – Curriculum Review

General Consent Items

The following consent agenda was presented for approval: 

  1. Minutes from the February 27, 2023 regular School Board meeting 
  2. Bills and Treasurer’s Report - reviewed by Natalie Knutson and Kirby Anderson:

 

General Fund

$2,367,741.13

Food Service

$74,976.29

Community Service

$17,190.99

Building Fund

$0.00

Debt Service

($373,291.83)

Trust & Agency

$40,861.54

Activities

$21,048.79

TOTAL

$2,148,526.91

 

  1. Personnel

Certified Staff Retirement:

  • Kathryn Enderson, work-based learning coordinator/teacher @ KSS; effective end of the 2022-23 school year

Certified Staff Hires:

  • Josey Ness, elementary teacher/long-term substitute @ McKinley; effective 3/13/2023 - end of 2022-23 school year
  • Carey Johnson, ALC Director; effective July 1, 2023

Support Staff Hire:

  • Ashley Meyer, para educator @ KSS; effective 3/27/2023

Support Staff Resignation:

  • Steven Peterson, custodian @ KSS; effective 3/31/2023

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

Old Business: 

None

New Business: 

  1. Missy Hermes offered the resolution and moved for its adoption:

RESOLUTION REGARDING ONLINE ENROLLMENT

WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes 124D.095 provides, “An online learning provider may limit enrollment if the provider’s school board or board of directors adopts by resolution specific standards for accepting and rejecting students’ applications”; and

WHEREAS, the Fergus Falls Public Schools, Independent School District 544, has determined that students’ academic achievement would be compromised if they enroll in an online course after a specified date;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the School Board of Fergus Falls, ISD 544, sets the 17th day of March as the deadline for enrollment in an online course for the 2022-23 school year.

The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson 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.  

  1. Kirby Anderson offered the resolution and moved for its adoption:

RESOLUTION ON THE RETIREMENT OF KATHRYN ENDERSON

WHEREAS Kathryn Enderson began her employment with the Fergus Falls Public Schools in July 1989 and

WHEREAS Kathryn has been a valued employee with the Fergus Falls Public Schools for 29 years, and

WHEREAS Kathryn has been a dedicated FCS teacher and work-based learning coordinator/teacher for the school district and,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Fergus Falls School Board to thank Kathryn Enderson for her 29 years of service to the Fergus Falls Public Schools.

The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole 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.  

  1. Melanie Cole moved to approve two additional special education teaching positions (2 FTEs) for the 2023-24 school year and the hire of Jasmine Rocholl; effective 8/28/2023. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously.
  2. Stephen Vigesaa moved to approve the Spring 2023 Memorandum of Agreement outlining the fee structure for the College in the High School program at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously.
  3. Melanie Cole moved to approve the 2022-25 Achievement and Integration Application. The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously.

 

  1. Matthew Lemke moved to approve a revision to the 2022-2023 District Calendar (due to snow days on 2/15/2023, 2/23/2023 & 3/1/2023) with student make-up days on 6/5/2023, 6/6/2023 & 6/7/2023; move student 3-hour early out to 6/7/2023; and staff development day to 6/8/2023. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole; following discussion, the vote failed unanimously. 

Matthew Lemke moved to modify the motion by approving a revision to the 2022-2023 District Calendar (due to snow days on 2/15/2023, 2/23/2023 & 3/1/2023) with student make-up days on 6/5/2023 & 6/6/2023; and staff work days on 6/7/2023 & 6/8/2023. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried five votes to one (Hermes).

The next regular School Board meeting will be held at 5:15 pm Monday, March 27, 2023 in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. 

Stephen Vigesaa made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:57 pm. The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and carried unanimously. 

A work session followed the regular board meeting.

_________________________________________

Melissa Hermes, Clerk