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Board strives to encourage participation

In a small school setting participation is key. Any student with even the slightest interest in being part of a team or organization is encouraged in every way possible to join in. Therefore the Hancock School Board did not want to do anything to deter that participation by charging too much in participation fees.

At their meeting on Monday night the board made several decisions regarding the upcoming school year including fees, admissions and lunch prices. In nearly every decision they choose to keep the cost the same as last year and in the participation fee especially noted that they did not want to discourage anyone who might want to participate in activities.

It was also noted during discussions that many area schools charge a great deal more than Hancock in their participation fees. In fact one board member pointed out that he had heard of schools charging as much as $120 per sport with a family cap of $600. Hancock charges only $30 per sport for senior high with a family cap of $120. The board felt charging too much for athletic fees would only discourage participation.

The board also choose to keep admission prices the same for next year with the exception of excluding the admission fee for the Christmas Concert. Admission will continue to be charged for four other music concerts.

Lunch prices will also remain the same as well as board salaries, official newspaper and depository and meeting dates. The school received two bids for milk prices and decided to continue to purchase milk from Cass Clay because of the good service they continue to provide.

In contracts for the coming year the board approved the school nurse contract with Stevens-Traverse-Grant Public Health and approved a contract for Bridget Joos as JH Volleyball Coach. At the May meeting Cory Bedel was approved as the JH Baseball and JH Boys Basketball coach and at the June meeting he was approved as the JH Football Coach. Bedel decided to decline the football coaching position. The school will now be looking for a JH Football Coach.

Visioning Report

The Hancock School Visioning Committee presented a report to the board for approval and explained some of the process they went through to arrive at the statement. Several members of the Visioning Board were present at the meeting and told the board about the great discussions and good sessions they had during the process.

The Vision Plan will now be presented to teachers during the August Workshops. After teachers have been allowed to offer their input the plan will be revealed to the Community.

The board whole-heartedly approved the plan and directed the committee to move on to the next steps.

Sidewalk Work

Jason Schaefer, representing the Hancock FFA, discussed with the board a plan for installing a sidewalk next to the parking lot and removal of the posts along the school side of the lot. He worked with Mark McNally and came up with a bid for the cement work. FFA members and other volunteers will do a majority of the work and some of the materials will be donated.

The board approved paying up to $2000 for materials and labor. The work will begin after all underground lines are marked. The sidewalk will be raised about 5" forming a curb along the parking lot and then slant downward at the existing sidewalks. It will run from the High School entrance sidewalk to the former Art Room entrance sidewalk.

QSCB projects

Last month Superintendent Jerry Martinson informed the board that he had applied for QSCB funds or stimulus money to help fund replacing the school boiler, lights and windows. He recently learned that the approval process would take quite some time and therefore the work could not be completed this year. If approved this would need to be a project for next summer.

However with Health and Safety funds and rebates from Otter Tail Power Company the replacement of lights in the two gyms was something he recommended for this year. The original cost of replacement would be just over $21,000 however with rebates it will be only $15,000. The estimated energy saving would be nearly $3,000 per year.

Martinson added that one feature of the replacement would be a motion sensor that would automatically turn off the lights if no one was inside for a certain period of time. This would also give additional savings in energy usage.

Other business

* The board approved three open enrollment requests for a 4th grader, 7th grader and 8th grader for the coming school year.

* The board set up a committee to work on an Athletic Policy/Handbook. The committee includes Randy Reese, Joel Flaten, Adam Steege and Jerry Martinson. They will be looking at model handbooks from other schools and determining what would fit for Hancock.

* The board asked Martinson about the sign placed on the school doors about no trespassing due to work being done in the gym and hallways. Martinson told the board that they were sealing the gym floor and waxing the hallway floors. They have had trouble in the last few years with people walking on the floor during the drying time. Therefore this year they put the sign up and chain-locked the doors. The board asked if there could be more communication prior to closing off the school such as a notice in the paper. Even though this is done every year, it just 'felt different' with the doors chained.

The gym may also need to be closed during the time that the new light fixtures are installed however it is hoped that all will be complete before practices begin on August 17.