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

By Bethany Helwig
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Willow River school prepares for 2019-20 year


At the regular meeting of the Willow River School Board on June 18, the board approved the budget for the 2019-20 school year. The budget incorporates $2,000 for the playground for additional items not covered by the long term facility maintenance (LTFM) bond money. Capital funds were also budgeted to start replacing cafeteria tables, purchase a washer and dryer, kitchen range, water fountain, textbooks, fitness equipment for the weight room, and the technology fund.

Superintendent Bill Peel said the custodians are in the midst of summer cleanup and are resurfacing the cabinets in each classroom. Vendors for the summer renovation have also performed walk-throughs to prepare for the upcoming work. A volunteer had also looked at how to remove all the old playground equipment.

The board approved payment of the adjusted architect fee for the summer renovation to account for the total project estimate increasing to $575,000. Superintendent Peel said it is a more accurate figure of what the work will cost.

The board accepted the resignations of Dylan Reed-Fuglestad, High School Band/Choir Director, and Mary Wiegand, ECFE Parent Educator. Those positions have been temporarily filled pending board approval and background checks, said Superintendent Peel. The board also approved the termination of Shawnda Jibben, who was a probationary special education teacher.

High school summer school has been scheduled for July 8-26 from 10 am - 2 pm.

Superintendent Peel reported that the final enrollment at the end of the year was 417 students. There were 56 instances of students joining or leaving the student body; some of those instances being the same student coming and going multiple times.

“That’s roughly around a 13-14% turnover rate,” said Peel. This was the first year that figure was being tracked so the school does not have any historical records to compare it to.

A resolution was passed in accordance with new Minnesota law that requires school boards to take charge and control of expenditures for extracurricular activities. Those expenditures must now be recorded in the same manner as the other revenues and expenditures of the district.

In other business, the board accepted a $1,000 donation from Rick Bothwell for the playground and a $270 donation from the Rebels Quarterback End Zone Club for the Gatorade Performance Package.

The board renewed the school’s membership with the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL); accepted the contract with Arrowhead Regional Computing Consortium (ARCC) which provides financial support and data processing for the district; approved the Master Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding with Education Minnesota-Willow River Education Support Professionals (ESP); and passed a resolution renewing the board’s referendum authority of $300 per adjusted pupil unit for another five years.

The board wanted to thank Lance Wittnebel, Jessica Engleson, and everyone else who helped make the elementary track and field day a big success; the PTO for providing root beer floats during moving day; the entire staff for another successful school year; and everyone that responded to the school survey.

New lights for the football field have been installed.

The board adopted the following policies with revisions: Establishment & Adoption of Budget (701) and Acceptance of Gifts (706). The following policies were adopted as written: Modification of Budget (701.1), Accounting (702), and Annual Audit (703).

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for July 16 at 6 pm.


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