The Langdon Area School District (LASD) held their monthly meeting.
By Lisa Nowatzki
Kensi Eisenzimmer gave the financial report. The deficit for the 2016-2017 budget was a little over $6,400 from the $5.3 million budget for the school year.
The board heard from LASD Superintendent Daren Christianson. He gave an update on the summer repairs and touch-ups that are nearly completed. Everyone is rushing to complete the last of the projects before school starts. The doors were painted by Stein Auto Body, and the elementary school carpet was cleaned by Hoffarth Steam Clean. The elementary school has all of the new storage cabinets installed.
Todd Hetler and Christianson are expecting a large kindergarten class this school year with 38 students taught by two teachers. Superintendent Christianson recommended one teacher’s aide be assigned to both classes and later, if another is needed, he thinks another aide position should be added then.
The board also recognized that the local daycare will not be taking children in the morning. In the past, the school has not allowed children in the building until 8 a.m. Typically, students are either allowed in the breakfast line or on the recess grounds. To help parents who have to be at work at 8 a.m., the board voted to allow students in the school fifteen minutes early. Two aides will come in at 7:45 a.m. rather than 8 a.m. to assist. Parents are asked NOT to drop off children prior to 7:45 a.m.
Hetler stated that he spoke with the Cavalier County Sheriff’s department about the best options to make the school drop-off zones safer. Suggestions were made to make the drop-off area a one-way street, with students being let out on the side closest to the school.
High School Principal Daryl Timian noted that the high school staff is in place and schedules are finalized and ready for the first day of school. The elementary schedules are finished, also. Hetler notified the board that the Title budget has been closed out, and the 2017-2018 title budget is done. The budgets were discussed and what is expected in the following year. Hetler wanted to focus on diagnosing individual student needs and then creating an action plan to help struggling students.
The school budget was gone over by the board. The total budget is up $50,000 from last year. Christianson reminded the board that the school must maintain above 60 mills or face losing funding from the state. Since the school budget can only be increased by a maximum of twelve percent, Christianson suggested tabling the issue until next meeting when a firmer budget number could be established with the additional aide contract.
The board discussed raising the tax amount so the school district will have to have a tax meeting providing information to the public on why the increase is needed and where the funds will go. The meeting is slated for Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
The previous music teacher that had been approved by LASD pending release from her contract with her current employer was not released. Christianson was able to find a new music teacher for this school year. The school district will allow the new teacher to continue her private lessons using the school facilities. She will only be teaching part time in the elementary while Curt Kram, the current band instructor, will be taking over the high school choir for the year. The board approved their contracts as well as the para-professional contract changes.
School board compensation was also discussed by the board. No new adjustments have been made to board compensations for over fifteen years. Currently, board members receive $125 a month to cover two meetings. Sub-committee meetings are not covered. The board suggested increasing the base pay by $10 and provide additional compensation for $2 per year of experience on the board. This increase is retroactive to July 1, since the board is paid every six months.
The activities committee met with Munich School District and Edmore Public school to discuss the sports co-ops. The meeting held discussion on creating a set participation fee to help offset expenses such as equipment. The percentage was discussed but turned down due to previous experience with it not working out when leaving the co-op.
The committee decided finally on having a flat fee. Uniforms and transportation is a large expense for the co-op. The suggestion was for a flat participation fee of $5,000 each for Munich and Edmore. LASD covers the majority of the expenses since most games are played at the LASD facility and the other two cover the cost of an additional third coach if needed. Christianson explained how the billing works out and how it benefits each school. Each school activity committee will present the idea to their boards.
In Other Business
• The board approved the bus driver list; one new driver was added to the list.
• The pledge of securities was approved by the board as well as new signatures cards at all the financial institutions used by the LASD. The new replacement cards will have the president, vice president and business manager signatures.
• Eisenzimmer informed the board that the administration would like to begin bringing hot lunches and activities expenses to the board for review and approval.