School District 166

ISD 166 has new school board member and a plan for returning students

School District 166 met Jan. 7 for its organizational and regular monthly meeting. A lot was covered in those meetings, including plans for bringing students back into the school building for classes. The plans for the return to the hybrid model for kindergarten through fifth-grade were confirmed the next day, during a meeting of the school/community COVID-10 incident management team.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Principal and Acting Superintendent Megan Myers right after that January 8 meeting. Click below to hear that conversation.

Also discussed is other actions at the January 7 organizational meeting, at which new board members are sworn in and board members are appointed. Taking the oath of office via Zoom was new school board member for District 4, Stephanie Radloff.

The board selected board chair Dan Shirley to serve that role for another year. Selected to serve as clerk was Carrie Janson and treasurer, Rena Rogers.

The school board discussed compensation for school board members and passed a unanimous motion to keep the pay the same in 2021. School board members receive $2,400 annually, with the board chair receiving an additional $700.

After the organizational matters were handled, the school board moved into its regular January meeting agenda. The school board welcomed a new student representative to the board, Olivia Nesgoda. Olivia follows Hazel Oberholtzer who was last year’s representative.

One of the main topics of discussion was Indian Policies and Procedures (IPP). This is the policy that outlines how School District 166 works with Native American students and families. The IPP is developed by the Local Indian Education Committee (LIEC). More information on this can be found in this WTIP story: Learning more about the work of the Local Indian Education Committee

There was consideration of ways to raise awareness of the LIEC and how the school and Tribal leaders can work together. Principal Megan Myers expressed appreciation to the LIEC, specifically Anna Deschampe, who provided much of the language that stresses partnerships and collaboration.

Principal Myers, who is serving as interim superintendent while Superintendent Dr. Bill Crandall is out on medical leave, followed up on discussion of the previous meeting about hiring a Dean of Students. At the last meeting, there was board consensus that this position should be created to assist Principal Myers and Assistant Principal Dorr with day-to-day duties as Myers takes on more tasks as interim superintendent. The board asked Myers to create a job description and bring it to the meeting, which she did.

The board accepted the job description and authorized hiring a Dean. This will be a temporary position. It will be offered to staff at the school first and if there is no interest or qualified applicants, it will be advertised outside the school.

The school board approved the hiring of new technology coordinator Kevin Anderson. Current Tech Coordinator Lisa Bauer will continue until the end of this school year, to give Anderson the opportunity to learn all the details of this position. Anderson will be paid an hourly wage of $22.20 as he job shadows and takes on more duties.

In an earlier WTIP interview, regarding the return to school for kindergarten through fifth-grade, it was noted that the school district would only have to make some minor modifications to its current COVID-19 procedures to be ready for the governor’s plan, such as getting face shields for teachers, to be worn in addition to masks.

Myers said new will be voluntary testing of teachers and staff, to be performed by the school’s testing coordinator, School Nurse Alex Miller.

Myers also noted that the school is very pleased with the air exchange/cleaning system it installed, which is more than what is required by the Minnesota Department of Education. She said kudos should go to School Maintenance Director Tom Nelson, who researched and oversaw installation of the equipment. Myers said the monitors register air quality as good as outdoor air, which has been reassuring for staff and parents at ISD166.

Finally, in related business, anyone interested in reviewing the school’s Truth-in-Taxation presentation can find it on the school’s website. The presentation includes a history of revenue and budgets over the last 10 years, as well as a breakdown of who pays the school levies, based on homestead, commerical, agricultural and apartments. Overall, the taxpayer levy is lower for 2021. View the presentation here.