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Hancock School board sets up committees for 2013

Barry Nelson was re-elected to serve as the chairman of the Hancock School board at their meeting on Monday night. Rod Peterson will also serve another term as clerk and Joel Flaten will fill the treasurer position.

The board also elected members to serve on various committees and took a hard look at the roles of these committees and in some cases, if the appointments continued to be needed.

After reviewing the committee assignments, the board members decided to eliminate one appointment and table another. They also added three new committees to the list.

The assignment designated each year to the Lakes County Service Cooperative was removed from the list after it was noted that representatives have not been asked to attend a meeting for several years. Instead, this designation can be made as needed.

The board members then conducted a discussion on the Strategic Planning Committee which was set up a few years ago. The committee established a plan for the district along with a vision and mission statement. The discussion focused on whether the plan is being carried out and more specifically, if the results are being measured or reported.

Principal Tim Pahl told the board members that the strategic plan is discussed often with the staff but may be hard to put into  numbers and results. The teachers are encouraged to keep the strategic plan and vision for the school in the daily lesson plans.

Board member Joel Flaten stated that it is hard, as a board, to know what is happening on a day to day basis in the classroom. Maybe the board needs more feedback as to what is going on.

Board member Tim Schaefer did not want to see the Strategic Plan simply “put on a shelf.” He added that the plan is a cornerstone and can be referred to  with everything that happens in the building.

In the end, the board members decided to table this committee assignment for one year but will put it back on the list the following year. Basically,  with the construction taking place this year, it would be a good time to step back and re-evaluate after everything is completed.

New committees added to the list were an Evaluation/Transition Committee which will help with the state mandated evaluations and also with the transition that will take place upon the full retirement of Supt. Jerry Martinson. This committee will be able to evaluate the administrative needs of the school. Joel Flaten and Tim Schaefer will serve on this committee.

Pahl requested that a board member be elected to serve on a Truancy board which oversees student attendance. This was recommended by a judge following a recent truancy court case. Troy Hausmann volunteered to serve on this committee.

The final new committee was a building committee  with the purpose of board representation in building construction meetings. Rod Peterson and Barry Nelson will serve on the committee along with Martinson and Pahl.

Other action

• The board accepted the resignation of head cook Connie Engler effective May 24. They hope to hire someone to begin in April and learn from Engler before she leaves. The board thanked her for her years of service.

• The board approved hiring Jack Van Eps as a bus driver pending full licensure.

• A resolution was approved establishing procedures for reimbursement of expenses which basically will allow for the payment of construction bills during the coming year.

• Board members reported on some of the seminars they attended at the state school board convention earlier in the month. Martinson also handed out some proposed legislative changes that may affect school districts.

• Pahl presented an update on the new build and stated that things are progressing nicely. There was some good news about asbestos as it was found only in floor tile and not in ceiling tile or mastic. The asbestos abatement will take five days per level to remove.

* The school was approved to receive grant money from Otter Tail Power Company for some of the energy efficiency items that will be put in during the construction and remodel. The actual dollar amount has yet to be determined.

It was noted in the upcoming dates that school will be let out early on Feb. 14 due to a speech meet here and there will be no school on Feb. 18 which is President’s Day. The next regular board meeting will be on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m.