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

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Moose Lake School Board 4-2 vote passes 3-year contract with superintendent


January 31, 2019

The three-year contract for Superintendent Robert Indihar was approved with a 4-2 vote at the January 22 meeting of the Moose Lake School Board. Two previous votes, one for a three-year contract and one for a two-year contract in 2018 were tied at 3-3.

The no votes came from School Board Directors Jerry Pederson and Jamie Jungers.

Pederson maintained his stand that he just wanted a one-year contract for Indiahar to see if there were improvements in the low test scores. He also said that the new standards from the Minnesota School Board Association stated that the superintendent had to assume all responsibilities.

Jungers said that he favored a one-year contract to see if there was improvement in the test scores, and the salary and retirement fund increases of 2 percent per year for each of the three years were too much.

However, Kim Lourey Bohnsack, the new board member, turned the tide and was the vote needed to pass the motion.

“We need consistency,” she said before the vote. “Changes negatively impact long-term goals. At the end of the day, the buck stops with us.”

Board Chair Steve Blondo said, “It’s going to take more than a year to turn the test scores around. The test scores is a huge issue. Our responsibility is to provide priorities to Bob (the superintendent) so he can provide priorities down the line.”

Elementary teachers Megan Nielsen and Joanne Unzen spoke about the Professional Learning Community for the elementary and its goals.

“What do we want all students to know and be able to do?” asked Nielsen. “How do I know that they’ve learned it? What rich learning skills do I need to teach them those skills?”

She went on to say that scope and sequence were needed for vertical alignment in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

“Those affect the students as they get into the seventh grade,” she said.

Joanne Unzen spoke about the long-term goals.

“We don’t think that it will turn around in a year,” she said. “With the PLC, there is communication and the staff is becoming a great team. It takes time and money. It’s a work in progress.”

Natalie Hoffman of ICS Consulting met with the board to give an update on the discussions with the school staff as the list of projects is narrowed down for the athletic complex, parking lots, and ECFE playground. She said that she will meet with the staff on Jan. 31.

Indihar reported that representatives from nine schools in the area came to the Moose Lake School on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for an inservice.

“We heard good comments about the building,” he said. “We are looking at how all of the schools can work together. There are less and less kids. We need to share common sense things.”

In the Agenda items, the board voted to move $70,000 of the funds from the sale of the Family Center to the General Fund.

Indihar explained that $170,000 had been received from the sale of the building but the amount to be moved to the General Fund had been recommended by the Finance Committee.

The next meeting of the Moose Lake School Board was set for Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m.

The board will meet with ICS Consulting on Monday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m.


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