Minster BOE approves levy for November election

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

MINSTER – The Minster School Board of Education approved a resolution to proceed to put a five-year, .2 mill replacement recreation levy on the November general election ballot. The action was taken during the board’s regular meeting, Monday, July 16.

For a $150,000 home, treasurer Laura Klosterman estimated the additional millage would cost an extra $7 per year and raise an additional $18,000 annually. Funds from the levy maintain school facilities such as the football stadium and playgrounds.

In an update of the $10.3 million junior/senior high school renovation project, Brad Garmann of architectural firm Garmann/Miller said Phase 1 of the project was 56 percent completed with the “heavy lifting” work of the project was being completed. This included the installation of all in-ground pipe, masonry work, and painting. Superintendent Brenda Boeke said occupancy of the high school offices was expected in mid-August and completion of Phase 1 in time for the school year.

Technology Coordinator Doug Axe reported on ongoing technology improvements which included replacing Smart Boards with interactive TV’s and replacing the 16-year-old elementary school phone system. He also said they are switching the school’s student iPads with Chromebooks. He said currently the district has 711Chromebooks, 136 iPads, 322 desktop computers, and 40 laptop computers. . Axe said the use of Chromebooks over iPads allows earlier key boarding experience for elementary students.

Elementary Principal Leann Keller said 58 students had been invited to participate in the school’s summer reading program, to be held Aug. 6-10 and Aug. 13-17.

In new business the board approved the 2018/2019 Strategic Plan which listed the objectives of providing effective curriculum and assessments, develop specific strategies to ensure high quality student learning, and implement data-informed systems to guide improvements. The plan said key indicators of success are an 85 percent or higher proficiency for high school students and 90 percent or higher scores for elementary students. Boeke thanked all those who worked on completing this project.

The board also approved adoption of new 2018-19 textbooks, approved bus route plans, elementary, junior and senior high fees, student handbooks, and athletic ticket prices. Also approved was a new junior/senior high schedule that consists of a seven period day, with a one hour intervention time. Principal Dr. Jason Spencer said this one hour intervention period allows students to receive extended contact with teachers and other resources. Also adopted were new definitions of truancy and excessive absences, and changes in dress codes.

The board also approved Superintendent Brenda Boeke’s personnel recommendations. Boeke did say that there is still an opening for a long-term substitute Spanish teacher.

The next Board of Education meeting was set for Monday, Aug. 27, at 8 pm.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News