District 88 Board to hold organizational meeting

NEW ULM – The District 88 Board of Education will hold its annual organizational meeting and a study session Thursday, Jan. 10.

Newly-elected board members Sharon Gieseke, Jill Hulke and Matt Ringhofer will take the oath of office. The board will also elect officers for this year and assign board members to various committees; approve compensation for board members; designate official depositories, newspaper and legal counsel; and approve a mileage rate. Compensation for board members is slated to remain unchanged from $1,200 annually, plus $35 per committee meeting and $70 for a full-day training session. The mileage rate is expected to conform to the IRS guideline of 56.5 cents per mile.

In addition:

– The board will consider hiring two literacy coaches, Cynthia Jakel at Jefferson Elementary School and Barbara Jensen at Washington Elementary School.

The teachers are being hired to help improve literacy skills, with state literacy aid approved late in the past legislative session. They will circulate among classrooms. The literacy coaches are being hired for the balance of the school year.

– The board will approve a revised contract with Brown County for providing nursing services to non-public schools.

The contract is for a total of $53,022 combined, for services to area Catholic and Lutheran schools. It is funded with state aid that “flows through” the public district.

The contract is being amended at mid-year to reflect actual, versus projected, enrollments.

During the study session which will follow the organizational meeting, the board will address the following three general topics:

– Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards, required state testing and state graduation requirements

– The administrative recruitment process. Two key administrators will be recruited for next year: a superintendent to replace retiring Superintendent Harold Remme and a principal at Washington Elementary School to replace interim principal Les Koppendrayer.

– A referendum revenue prioritization process. This item concerns the allocation of the funds generated by a local levy of $575 per pupil per year approved by voters last November.

The board meets at 5 p.m. Thursday in the District Administrative Center at North State Street.

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