With the boys basketball team at the semi-finals on Wednesday, Mar. 15, the regular board meeting saw low attendance with some staff and two board members attending the game. Therefore, Board Clerk Linda Knox filled in as board chair.

   Most reports were submitted in writing and Knox asked if anyone wanted to discuss any of the reports. Acting Business Manager Lori Backlund, with Arrowhead Regional Computing Consortium, joined on-line and informed the board that the budget is on track with the way the State funds schools. Backlund also informed the board that the finance committee had their first meeting with all departments bringing their “wish lists” of what they would like funded. It was noted a lot of work needed to be done before a final balanced budget could be brought back to the board.

   Principal Mark Motherway informed the board of a Women in the Workforce field trip the tenth to twelfth grade girls attended, and mentioned a lot of the girls came back with positive feedback. Motherway also mentioned a preliminary core scheduled for the 2023-24 school year has been drafted and students are going to tentatively choose their class schedule next week. After that, staff will finalize the schedule based on demand from the students with students finalizing their schedules next month.

   The spring band concert will be held April 17 at 7 p.m. in the Elementary Gym, Motherway stated, with a pizza dinner for students needing to stay after school. Band instructor Tristen Heller is planning on having sixth grade band students also perform at this concert. Motherway also told the board that Heller is creating a lot of excitement and interest with elementary students to join band, therefore the band program is needing donations from anyone that may have an instrument lying around as currently the school tries to supply the younger students with instruments. 

   Superintendent Mary Yakibchuk shared the status of possibly moving sport banners from the elementary gym and painting of the high school gym. It is felt the school would be better off to just purchase new banners, so that the elementary gym is not completely stripped. An estimated cost of $7,000 was given to the board, which includes paint, rental of equipment, other supplies needed and labor for staff to perform the tasks. The cost would go down if the school has volunteers come in and perform the painting and hanging of the banners. Yakibchuk mentioned currently they are looking at the calendar to see if there is a weekend or two that this can be done due to the elementary gym being unavailable all summer for any programs or camps. Knox also mentioned approaching local businesses to donate some of the supplies or see if they would sell them to the school at cost to help reduce the expense.

   In other Board action:

   • Discussed needing to redesign the area between the drive lane and the parking lot in the front of the school as numerous people drive through what is supposed to be grass and turning it into a muddy mess.

   • Accepted donations from Outing Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $500 and Crow Wing Power in the amount of $100 for the Senior Class Trip.

   •    Heard a report from Knox with a summary of what was discussed at a recent Community Education committee meeting and informed the board a subcommittee was being formed to discuss some needs and updates for the school fitness center.  

   • Approved a tuition reimbursement in the amount of $5,000 per year to Izabella Bishop to complete the Masters of Curriculum and Instruction program with a total of $16,500 to be distributed.

   • Approved the hire of Izabella Bishop as Assistant Volleyball Coach, Jeremy Schwarz as Hill City/Northland Storm Head Football Coach for Fall 2023 season and Jacob Trimble as full-time custodian. Concern by board member Tyler Seifert regarding close dates or lack of a close date on a job posting was addressed during the approval of these positions. It was questioned if the position says “until filled” do they just hire the first person to apply, as it seems unfair for other applicants to know when a deadline is and if it is too late to apply.

   • Discussed and rescheduled the May 3 work session to Apr. 26 due to a conflict with the Sourcewell Recognition Banquet.

   • Accepted the resignation of Frank Peterson as full-time custodian effective Feb. 16.

   • Approved the discontinuation of the cleaner position.

   The board has scheduled the following meetings: A policy committee meeting, Mon., April 3 at 3:15 p.m.; a work session, Wed., April 26 at 5:30 p.m. and the regular meeting, Wed., April 19 at 5:30 p.m. and all meetings are held at Northland High School.