9/4/2020 1:59:00 PM Northland School Board: Northland staff voice concerns to Board
By Kyndra Johnson of the Press-Citizen
Northland board members held a special meeting on Thurs., Aug. 20 at 5:25 p.m. before their scheduled work session to approve the hire of Renee Bettenberg as Health Paraprofessional, effective Aug. 31.
The regular scheduled board meeting held Thurs., Sept. 3 at the Northland High School was well attended with numerous staff filling out audience comment cards. Vice Chair Bill Wake began the meeting and requested that all correspondence be limited to three minutes or less. Most of the comments heard were requests to either approve the mask policy as recommended from administration or to allow staff additional time for planning as there are numerous students who have chosen the option of distance learning. It was noted that teachers are being asked to perform two jobs by planning for both in-person learning and distance learning and they are requesting the board to either allow them to have all students attend one day a week by distance learning or shorten all school days during the week to allow them to reach out to distance learners. Carol Procopio, Northland Remer Education Minnesota Membership (NREM) President, stated that with a total of 91 students opting to learn distantly the teachers need to follow the schools mission statement of "Educate and inspire all learners to reach their full potential" with her emphasizing the word all. She appreciated the negotiation meeting held the previous evening with two board members and looked forward to the future meetings to come to an agreement. She also stated that these negotiations where not just about receiving extra compensation but being allowed to have proper time for preparation.
Business manager, Ellie Hill reported to the board that this year there will be some financial challenges. Northland currently has 30 students that have left the district to attend another school, but there have been 15 new students register. Therefore, the district will lose approximately $12,000 per pupil in revenue for the school year. Hill did mention that there is a hold harmless policy, which would still allow the school to receive money for students that have left, but this would be something that the legislature would have to approve.
In other Board action:
Approved setting the proposed levy limitation and certification 2020 payable 2021 levy at the maximum.
Approved a face mask policy with a change being made to include the policy ending when executive order 20-18 ends.
Set the date and time for the Truth in Taxation meeting for Mon., Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in room C-113 at Northland High School.
The board has scheduled the following meetings: a work session, Thurs., August 20 at 5:30 p.m., associate negotiations committee meeting, Aug. 25 and 27 both at 3:30 p.m. and the regular meeting, Thurs., Sept. 3, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. all meetings are held at Northland High School.