Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Move to new school building under way


Lois E. Johnson

The crews from the Challenge Incarceration Program at Willow River are moving furniture, books and equipment from the old Moose Lake school to the new school building.

The Moose Lake School Board approved a lease for 20/20 Revenue Maximization Partners, LLC for renting the elementary office space in the old school, at the meeting of the board on Monday, June 19.

In a separate interview after the meeting ended, Superintendent Robert Indihar reported three-fourths of the furniture, books and supplies had been moved to the new school. The crew from the Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) moved the equipment, saving the school district many thousands of dollars.

"The original estimate for having a moving company come and help us move was $80,000," he said. "Now we are estimating the moving expenses will be about $10,000. I will be thanking the CIP in my next column."

When asked if the administrative office would be set up and ready to go in the new school on July 10, as had been planned, according to a board member, Indihar said that wouldn't be possible. But he was not sure if the July 17 meeting of the school board would be held in the old school or the new school. The school district has not received a Certificate of Occupancy yet for the new school as small details still have to be completed in the elementary wing by construction crews, Indihar said.

The board set up a schedule for tours of the new school during weekend before the Fourth of July. The tours will be on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 1, 2 and 3, every half hour from 10 until noon.

Genevieve Berthelot, choir instructor, gave a report about her methods of teaching and how well they are working. She also presented her budget for the coming school year.

"During sight reading, I also teach the students hand signs," she said. "Every note has a hand sign attached to it. By high school, the students are sight reading, and by the end they are singing and signing both in four-part harmony."

Berthelot spoke about a special needs student that learned kenesiatic hand signs and that assisted him to sing every note perfectly.

"Fifty-five posture chairs are needed so the students can breath properly when they are singing," said Berthelot. "And we need platform risers so the students don't have to stand for 70 minutes when they are singing. We'll keep the narrow risers that we have now and still use them, too."

When asked about the choir robes, Berthelot said she is having the current robes cleaned and repaired. But the stoles need to be replaced.

She spoke of a resource center where used stoles from churches can be purchased.

Berthelot said she enjoys using the curriculum the school already has, but that curriculum is no longer published. She is going to try and purchased used books to replace those that are not usable.

Teach Rock curriculum is used in junior high.

"The kids have enjoyed it because it connects with history," she said. "It really gets the kids involved. When Chuck Berry died, they said they knew who that was because of that class."

Recorders and method books are needed, method books and bags for ukuleles are needed and new mallets (sticks) for playing the xylophone are needed. The total requested for the equipment, books and curriculum is $6,000. No decision was made by the board.

Berthelot reported the students did well in competitions they participated in right after spring break.

"The judges were very impressed," she said. "The students were one point away from the top score."

In his report, Indihar reported the Moose Lake School property by the old school has been selected for a cell phone tower. It would be located east of the old elementary wing. He said the estimated income for a cell phone tower is $7,000 a year. He was expecting a call later in the week to hear more about the plans, he added.

The past school year started with 660 students and ended with 653, said Indihar. To date, 51 students have registered for kindergarten.

"That's a pretty big class," said board member Julie Peterson.

The board applauded Business Manager Linda Dahlman, as it was her last regular board meeting before retiring at the end of the month.

"We appreciate all of the work you have done for us," Indihar told her.

There was discussion about offering wrestling as a sport, but it would be similar to the hockey program and not part of the athletic cooperative. More information was needed, but the board members expressed interest in offering the program.

The board agreed to grant an easement to Carlton County at the new school site for widening the road by the school.

Lois E. Johnson

"They will give us a stipend of $3,000," said Indihar. "The curb and gutter and culvert are already in but they will replace it. They are adding a turning lane."

He said he did not know when the construction would take place. A request from the school district to set a school zone speed limit had been submitted before former County Engineer Mike Tardy retired. He had told Indihar the paperwork had been submitted.

The board approved the 2017-18 preliminary budget.

Dahlman said the budget includes the 2 percent increase granted by the Legislature this year, but the budget still shows the school district will be deficit spending.

The next meeting of the board was set for Monday, July 17, at 6 p.m., location to be announced.


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