MINSTER – The Minster Board of Education met in regular session Monday evening, Nov. 16, hearing about a Fair School Funding Plan. They also took a moment to honor a recently deceased teacher.
Superintendent Brenda Boeke said legislators need to be urged to pass the “Fair School Funding Plan, which is based on HB 305 and its companion bill SB 376. She said this plan bases state school funding on what students actually need to succeed. Boeke said a fair funding model plan is long overdue.
Board President Connie Meiring honored long time kindergarten teacher Lisa Piening. who lost her battle with cancer on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Meiring read a statement and invited those in attendance to honor Piening with a moment of silence.
The Board then accepted donations of 20 “Wonder” books for the fifth-grade Language Arts Department from Matt and Annette Quinter and a 55 gallon drum of Zep Spirit Disinfectant from an anonymous donor.
Elementary Principal Leanne Keller’s elementary report updated the board on the Spirit Stick recipient, Joanna Topp and also on the YET card “Table of Honor” students. Approximately 350 YET cards have been earned by students so far this school year. Keller also updated the board on the initial phases of honoring Piening with something on the playground. She also shared how the Parent Teacher Conference will be held this year with all conferences planned via phone, google meet or via email.
Junior/Senior Principal Austin Kaylor’s reported recognition of student athletes and new National Honor Society members. He also updated the board on the “virtual” conferences held earlier this month.
Kaylor commended the school coaches for being flexible and determined to see their fall season to completion. Finally, he thanked members of the Veteran’s Day Committee, for creating a virtual Veteran’s Day program.
School Treasurer Laura Klosterman’s reported that all employees have met the deadline for enrolling in health insurance. The board also learned of the permanent improvements planned for this coming year. Klosterman’s also shared updates to her 5 year forecast, which appears expenses exceed revenue in 2026.
Additionally, based on current increased valuations, she said Minster School District will be close to reducing millage down to the 20 mill floor. Klosterman said she anticipates the school district will benefit from any increase in valuations in 2024.
As far as expenditures, salaries and benefits make up 77% of expenses, with purchased services at 12%, Bond Payment and Debt at 8% with capital outlay and supplies making up the final 3%. of school costs. Additionally the board approved the minutes, the financial report, the payment of bills, increased permanent improvement appropriations by $50,000 and approved the five-year forecast as presented.
Boeke commended all fall sport athletes and coaches on post season play.
In new business the board approved the Tri-Star Advisory Board referral for the purchase of a meter kit to be used in both the automotive and ag mechanics classrooms. Funds will be taken from the reserve capital fund to pay for the meter kit.
The board also approved 15 policies related to employment and evaluation of administrators, nondiscrimination, investments, school fees, procurement, and religious patriotic ceremonies and observances. The Board also approved a memorandum of understanding with the Minster Teachers Association regarding a flex spending account for employees reaching age 65 and Medicare eligible. In personnel action, the board approved Jacob Circle as a substitute custodian, approved the addition of an elementary yearbook advisor position, and approved Nann Stechschulte as HS girls varsity basketball assistant and JJ Woehrmyer and Grant Klosterman as basketball volunteers.
The board then went into executive session. Upon reconvening the board approved the pay for a substitute health aid to be the zero step on the salary schedule for the school health aid and also approved a position of technology support on an as needed basis at the rate of .002 of the technology coordinator’s first year salary.
The next regular board of education meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.