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

By Jack McFarlane
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Barnum School Board sets annual levy


December 26, 2019

The school levy is going up about $57,000 this year, as approved at the Barnum School Board meeting on December 17, and for a school district Barnum’s size, the levy is unusually small.

Student representative to the school board and student council president Kyle Baker has spent time in the community over the past couple months asking questions of staff, students, and local residents to find out what the community values about Barnum Public Schools, especially in light of upcoming cuts in the schools.

Although receiving a wide variety of answers, Baker mentioned how many of the responses centered around the positive “staff and student relationships.” Both sides of the aisle (teacher, student) frequently brought up the relationships they form with each other as one of the most important and positive aspects of their Barnum school experience. Many responses mentioned in one variation or another that students trust the teachers and in turn the staff talked about how highly they think of the students and the community they share.

“The big question remains, what does the board value?” Baker asked, as he handed each board member a set of questions crafted from those responses from the community, and asked that the members of the board answer them before the next meeting.

Board meetings will now easily be available to watch as the recorded meetings will be posted online for people to access. Superintendent Mike McNulty noted, “Starting in January we’re gonna have a little link on the [school] website under the board stuff where you can click on that link.” Anyone will be able to view the meetings and access meetings going back a year. To view a meeting older than a year, a simple request can be made.

The board approved donations from Barnum Area Community Club in the amount of $600 for Robotics and $300 for the Elementary School Patrol.

A contract between the Barnum Junior Class and Northland Country Club in Duluth for the 2019 Prom venue was also approved. The board unanimously approved the hires of Sherri Swanson effective November 4, 2019, as well as Natasha Johnson-Boschee effective December 4, 2019. Both hires filled open positions.

The final 2021 levy for $790,508.41 was approved by the board.

The board approved Superintendent McNulty to start setting up the Barnum-Moose Lake transportation cooperative.

Enrollment for grades 7-12 from last November to this November is around the same with a slight decrease of 3 students this year. Grades K-6 however, are up 15 students in that same time frame.

The Reorganizational Meeting of the School Board is January 7, 2020 at 6:15 p.m.; the Working Meeting is January 7, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.; and the Regular Meeting is January 21, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. All meetings are in the boardroom.


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