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 Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. Chair Melaine Cole called the meeting to order at 7:15 am. The following members were present: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy (Melissa) Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa. 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. 

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you to Dawson Co-op Credit Union for their donation to be used for lunches and/or school supplies for our elementary schools. 

 

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.  

 

Reports were presented by: 

  • Scott Colbeck - Elementary Principal (Adams/McKinley)
  • Tindy Rund - Elementary Principal (Cleveland)
  • 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 August 8, 2022 

 

  1. Personnel

Support Staff Resignations:

  • Michael Whitehead, food service/dishwasher; effective 8/11/2022
  • Joy Brown, food service/dishwasher; effective 8/16/2022
  • Cheryl Anderson, noon hour supervisor; effective 8/9/2022
  • Stephanie Lunde, student support aide; effective 8/12/2022
  • Ursula Nanson, special education paraprofessional; effective 8/15/2022
  • Brenda Harrington, special education paraprofessional; effective 8/17/2022

 

Support Staff Hires:

  • Brooke McConn, Long-term substitute school nurse; effective 8/29/2022 - 10/12/2022
  • Kayla Hansey, para educator @ Adams School; effective 8/31/2022
  • Linda Jenson, asst. server/food service @ Adams School; effective 8/31/2022
  • Jennifer Frings, food service/dishwasher @ KSS; effective 8/31/2022
  • Cassandra Twedt, special education paraprofessional @ Adams; effective 8/31/2022
  • Robyn Hoeper, special education paraprofessional @ Adams; effective 8/31/2022
  • Angela Gladback, special education paraprofessional @ Kennedy Secondary School; effective 8/31/22
  • Janelle Seedorf, special education paraprofessional @ Kennedy Secondary School; effective 8/31/22
  • Dennis Kinser, special education paraprofessional @ Kennedy Secondary School; effective 8/31/22
  • Jody Kidder, student services coordinator @ Kennedy Secondary School; effective 9/1/2022

 

Certified Staff Hires:

  • Gabrielle Fredrickson, elementary teacher/long term substitute @ Adams - .3115 FTE; 8/29/22-11/18/2022
  • Ean Goos, elementary teacher (5th grade) @ KSS; effective 8/29/2022
  • Deborah Kloster, reading intervention teacher - .6667 FTE @ KSS; effective 8/29/2022
  • Jacqueline Ness-Ludwig, art/FCS teacher @ ALC/KSS; contract increase of .1667 FTE (.8333 FTE total); effective 8/29/2022

 

Certified Staff Resignation:

  • Stephanie Fleming, language arts teacher @ KSS; effective 8/29/2022

 

2022-24 Individual Contract

       - Secondary School Nurse

 

Missy Hermes moved to approve the consent agenda. The motion was seconded by Natalie Knutson and carried unanimously. 

 

Old Business: 

None

 

New Business: 

  1. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the CACFP Contract for Vended Meals between West Central MN Communities Action, Inc/Headstart and the Fergus Falls Public Schools; Effective 10/01/2022-10/1/2023. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Kirby Anderson moved to approve the School Nutrition Program Joint Agreement Contract between ISD #544 and LCSC Level 4; effective 7/1/2022-6/30/2023. The motion was seconded by Natalie Knutson and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the 2022-2023 Fergus Falls School District Goals. The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the Hudl Sport Activity Subscriptions; effective 9/1/2022-8/21/2023. The motion was seconded by Natalie Knutson and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the 2022-2023 Fergus Falls Public School Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plan. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Natalie Knutson moved to approve the Fergus Falls Driver’s Education Certification Tuition Reimbursement Plan. The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Missy Hermes moved to approve the 2022-2023 iQ Academy Student/Parent Handbook. The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Stephen Vigesaa moved to approve the request for an additional part-time HR/Payroll Specialist position (25 hrs/week) and the hire of Brenda Harrington; effective 8/22/2022. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Stephen Vigesaa offered the following resolution and moved for its adoption: 

 

RESOLUTION RELATING TO THE ELECTION OF SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS AND CALLING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT GENERAL ELECTION 

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of Independent School District No. 544, State of Minnesota as follows: 

 

  1. It is necessary for the school district to hold its general election for the purpose of electing three (3) school board members for terms of four (4) years each. The clerk shall include on the ballot the names of the individuals who file or have filed affidavits of candidacy during the period for filing such affidavits, as though they had been included by name in this resolution. The clerk shall not include on the ballot the names of individuals who file timely affidavits of withdrawal in the manner specified by law. 

 

  1. The general election is hereby called and elected to be held in conjunction with the state general election on Tuesday, the 8th day of November, 2022. 

 

  1. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 205A.11, the precincts and polling places for this general election are those polling places and precincts or parts of precincts located with the boundaries of the school district and which have been established by the cities or towns located in whole or in part within the school district. The voting hours at those polling places shall be the same as for the state general election. 

 

  1. The clerk is hereby authorized and directed to cause written notice of said general election to be provided to the county auditor of each county in which the school district is located, in whole or in part, at least seventy-four (74) days before the date of said election. The notice shall include the date of said general election and the office or offices to be voted on at said general election. Any notice given prior to the date of the adoption of this resolution is ratified and confirmed in all respects. 

 

The clerk is hereby authorized and directed to cause notice of said general election to be posted at the administrative offices of the school district at least ten (10) days before the date of said general election. 

 

The clerk is hereby authorized and directed to cause a sample ballot to be posted at the administrative offices of the school district at least four (4) days before the date of said general election and to cause two sample ballots to be posted in each polling place on Election Day. The sample ballot shall not be printed on the same color paper as the official ballot. The sample ballot for a polling place must reflect the offices, candidates and rotation sequence on the ballots used in that polling place. 

 

The clerk is hereby authorized and directed to cause notice of said general election to be published in the official newspaper of the school district for two (2) consecutive weeks with the last publication being at least one (1) week before the date of said election. 

 

The notice of election so posted and published shall state the offices to be filled set forth in the form of ballot below, and shall include information concerning each established precinct and polling place. 

 

The clerk is authorized and directed to cause the rules and instructions for use of the optical scan voting system to be posted in each polling place on Election Day. 

 

  1. The clerk is authorized and directed to acquire and distribute such election materials as may be necessary for the proper conduct of this election, and generally to cooperate with election authorities conducting other elections on that date. The clerk and members of the administration are authorized and directed to take such actions as may be necessary to coordinate this election with those other elections, including entering into agreements or understandings with appropriate election officials regarding preparation and distribution of ballots, election administration and cost sharing. 

 

  1. The clerk is further authorized and directed to cause or to cooperate with the proper election officials to cause ballots to be prepared for use at said election in substantially the following form, with such changes in form, color and instructions as may be necessary to accommodate an optical scan voting system. 

 

SCHOOL DISTRICT BALLOT INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 544 

(FERGUS FALLS) 

GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 8, 2022

INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS 

To vote, completely fill in the ovals(s) next to your choice(s) like this: 

SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICES 

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER 

VOTE FOR UP TO THREE 

 

CANDIDATE U 

CANDIDATE V 

CANDIDATE W 

CANDIDATE X 

_________________ 

write-in, if any 

_________________ 

write-in, if any

_________________ 

write-in, if any 

 

Optical scan ballots must be printed in black ink on white material, except that marks to be read by the automatic tabulating equipment may be printed in another color ink. The name of the precinct and machine-readable identification must be printed on each ballot. Voting instructions must be printed at the top of the ballot on each side that includes ballot information. The instructions must include an illustration of the proper mark to be used to indicate a vote. Lines for initials of at least two election judges must be printed on one side of the ballot so that the judges’ initials are visible when the ballots are enclosed in a secrecy sleeve. 

 

  1. The name of each candidate for office at this election shall be rotated with the names of the other candidates for the same office in the manner specified in Minnesota law. 

 

  1. If the school district will be contracting to print the ballots for this election, the clerk is hereby authorized and directed to prepare instructions to the printer for layout of the ballot. Before a contract in excess of $1,000 is awarded for printing ballots, the printer shall, if requested by the election official, furnish, in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Section 204D.04, a sufficient bond, letter of credit, or certified check acceptable to the clerk in an amount not less than $1,000 conditioned on printing the ballots in conformity with the Minnesota election law and the instructions delivered. The clerk shall set the amount of the bond, letter of credit, or certified check in an amount equal to the value of the purchase. The election judges shall act as clerks of election, count the ballots cast and submit the results to the school board for canvass in the manner provided for other school district elections. The general election must be canvassed between the third and the tenth day following the general election. 

 

  1. The School District clerk shall make all Campaign Financial Reports required to be filed with the school district under Minnesota Statutes, Section 211A.02, available on the school district’s website. The clerk must post the report on the school district’s website as soon as possible, but no later than thirty (30) days after the date of the receipt of the report. The school district must make a report available on the school district’s website for four years from the date the report was posted to the website. The clerk must also provide the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board with a link to the section of the website where reports are made available. 

 

The motion was seconded by Natalie Knutson 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. Missy Hermes offered the following resolution and moved for its adoption: 

 

RESOLUTION ON HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES FOR THE 2022-2023 SCHOOL YEAR

 

WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes Section 123B.09 vests the care, management, and control of independent districts in the school board; and

 

WHEREAS, the Superintendent of Independent School District #544 is responsible for the management of the schools, the administration of all School District policies, and is directly accountable to the School Board; and

 

WHEREAS, when responsibilities are not specifically prescribed nor School District policy applicable, the Superintendent shall use personal and professional judgment, subject to review by the School Board; and

 

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and the Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) have determined that the COVID-19 pandemic is currently ongoing and may remain ongoing for an unknown time; and

 

WHEREAS, the Minnesota Department of Education (“MDE”) has issued and may continue to issue written guidance for Minnesota schools on educational issues related to COVID-19; and

 

WHEREAS, the MDH has issued and may continue to issue written guidance for Minnesota schools on public health issues related to COVID-19; and

 

WHEREAS, the Superintendent and the administration of the School District have conferred with the School Board regarding COVID-19 health and safety measures, the current CDC, MDE, and MDH requirements for each, and other relevant information; and

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the School Board of Independent School District #544 as follows:

 

Section 1: The Superintendent is hereby authorized, after consultation with the School Board Chair and notification to the School Board, to select and implement different health and safety measures for the School District or any specific school buildings without School Board action if the Superintendent reasonably believes that prompt implementation of different health and safety measures is necessary, and that constraints of time and public health considerations render it impractical to hold a School Board meeting to approve the implementation. The health and safety measures selected and implemented by the Superintendent shall continue in effect unless and until the School Board, in consultation with the Superintendent and appropriate school district staff and public health officials, deems it in the best interest of the School District and its students to implement different health and safety measures. 

 

Section 2:  The Superintendent will provide regular updates to the School Board regarding the School District’s efforts to implement COVID-19 related educational and public health guidance issued by the MDE and the MDH, respectively.

 

The motion was seconded by Stephen Vigesaa 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. Matthew Lemke offered the following resolution and moved for its adoption: 

 

RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER GRANTING A PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT

 

         BE IT RESOLVED, by the School Board of Independent School District No. 544, State of Minnesota, as follows:

 

  1.     The School Board hereby finds and determines that a public hearing shall be held, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 469.1813, Subdivision 5, to consider granting an abatement of certain property taxes levied against net tax capacity imposed by Independent School District No. 544 (the “Proposed Property Tax Abatement”) for taxes payable in 2023 through 2032 on the following properties within the School District boundaries (identified by property identification number):

 

Property ID Nos.

 

26000200128000

71004990932000

09000340173001

71003991544000

71003991813000

71001990455000

71003991816000

71003991560000

 

 

71003991821000

71002500045002

71003991561000

71003991447000

71001500046902

71004990645000

71003990236000

71003991433000

 

     
  1.     The purpose of granting the Proposed Property Tax Abatement is to provide funds to finance the construction of and improvements to parking lots at various sites in the District.   The total estimated cost of the Proposed Property Tax Abatement by the School District is $1,978,834 over ten (10) years, an amount estimated to be sufficient to pay the principal and interest charges on approximately $1,600,000 of bonds issued to finance parking lot construction, reconstruction and improvements districtwide and related financing costs.

 

  1.     The public hearing to consider the granting of the proposed tax abatement shall be held at 5:15 o’clock p.m., on September 12, 2022, in the Otter Community Room, Kennedy Secondary School, 601 Randolph Ave, Fergus Falls, MN  56537.  The Clerk is authorized and directed to cause notice of the hearing to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the School District at least one time more than ten (10) days but less than thirty (30) days before the date of the hearing.  The newspaper must be one of general interest and readership in the community and not one of limited subject matter.  The newspaper must be published at least once per week.  The Notice of Public Hearing shall be in substantially the form of the Notice attached hereto as EXHIBIT A and shall contain instructions as to how to connect with the hearing electronically or by telephone.

 

  1.     All who wish to be heard as to the Proposed Property Tax Abatement will be given an opportunity to express their views at the time of the public hearing or may file written comments with the Superintendent prior to the public hearing.

 

  1.     All actions taken by the School District to cause the publication of the attached Notice of Public Hearing prior to the date of this resolution are hereby ratified, confirmed and approved.

 

EXHIBIT A

 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER GRANTING

A PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 (Fergus Falls Public Schools), Fergus Falls, Minnesota (the "District") will hold a public hearing on September 12, 2022, at 5:15 o’clock p.m., in the Otter Community Room, Kennedy Secondary School, 601 Randolph Ave, Fergus Falls, MN  56537, to consider granting an abatement of certain property taxes levied against net tax capacity imposed by the School District (the "Proposed Property Tax Abatement") for taxes payable in 2023 through 2032 on the following property within the School District boundaries (identified by property identification number):

 

Property ID Nos.

 

 

26000200128000

71004990932000

09000340173001

71003991544000

71003991813000

71001990455000

71003991816000

71003991560000

 

 

71003991821000

71002500045002

71003991561000

71003991447000

71001500046902

71004990645000

71003990236000

71003991433000

 

     

The purpose of granting the Proposed Property Tax Abatement is to provide funds to finance the construction of and improvements to parking lots at various sites in the School District. The total estimated amount of the Proposed Property Tax Abatement by the School District is $1,978,834 over ten (10) years, an amount estimated to be sufficient to pay the principal and interest on approximately $1,600,000 of bonds issued to finance the parking lot projects and related financing costs.

All who wish to be heard as to the Proposed Property Tax Abatement will be given an opportunity to express their views at the time of the public hearing or may file written comments with the Superintendent prior to the public hearing.

 

The motion was seconded by Natalie Knutson 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.  

The next regular School Board meeting will be held at 5:15 pm Monday, September 12, 2022 in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. 

Stephen Vigesaa made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:24 am. The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously. 

A work session followed the regular board meeting.

_________________________________________

Melissa Hermes, Clerk

 

_________________________________________

 Approval Date