Board advised to build large enough
Building a new school large enough to accommodate students from other districts attracted to a new building was a caution presented to the Moose Lake School Board by first grade teacher Heidi Anderson at the meeting of the board on Monday, August 18.
“The proposed new school will not be big enough,” said Anderson. “I think that it will be a draw. Be sure to put in more classrooms now before you build. I talked to a police officer who said he would bring his four kids to Moose Lake after the new school is built.”
Superintendent Robert Indihar agreed.
“My fear is that we are under building this building,” he said.
In a later public information session, in answer to questions from the audience, Supt. Indihar said there are approximately 630 students from the school district and 40 students under open enrollment currently attending school in Moose Lake.
Architect Scott Sosalla added the new school is being designed for 650 students.
Anderson had approached the board to request another teacher be hired for a third section of first grade. She said there are 55 students in first grade for the upcoming school year, and that means 27 and 28 students in each of the current two sections. Three of those students are children with special needs.
A third teacher had been hired to teach a section of kindergarten, where there are 56 students registered, she pointed out.
Anderson also suggested that, if there are extra rooms available in the elementary wing, one could be used for science or school-age kids in the Mini Moose Lodge, the child care center in the school, or for an indoor activity room for recess during inclement weather.
Two high school students presented letters to the board about restoring the $7,000 budget for the purchase of new library books that had been cut.
Supt. Indihar explained the library has other budgets that were not cut.
“We are not getting rid of the books, we just aren’t adding to them,” said Supt. Indihar.
Board Chairwoman Kris Lyons replied that the school has an agreement with the Arrowhead Library System and that any book desired or needed could be ordered through the system.
Supt. Indihar spoke about the superintendents from 10 school districts who have formed the North East Area School Consortium and their plans to develop digital curriculum for the Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum.
“We will be working together as an area to get digital curriculum into the schools,” he said. “With this group, we can bring a person here for seminars instead of sending people somewhere else. That saves money and time.”
The board will be asked to pass a resolution next month about the proposal for digital curriculum and staff development.
The board approved the Carlton County Hazardous Mitigation Plan.
Supt. Indihar said, with the 600-page plan in place, the school may be able to apply for funding for a safe room in the new school, such as the gym, and receive up to 70 percent state funding for the room because the plan was in place. The room could be used as a shelter by area residents, as well as students, in the event of hazardous events, such as an impending tornado.
In other business, the board approved the updated policy about bullying, approved the Health and Safety Plan for 2014-16, and set the Truth in Taxation Hearing for December 15 at 6:01 p.m.
The next regular meeting of the board was set for Monday, September 15, at 5 p.m.