Dist. 88 Board to hear superintendent profile report

NEW ULM – During a work session at 4 p.m. in the District Administrative Center Thursday, the District 88 Board of Education will hear a superintendent profile report, to be presented by consultant Butch Hanson.

The report is an outcome of polling community members about the qualities they would like to see in a new superintendent.

Hanson, along with Ed Waltman from the South Central Service Co-op, was recruited to help the search for a new superintendent, after long-serving Superintendent Harold Remme announced his plan to retire at the end of the school year.

Fair share fee structure

The board will also discuss a co-op activity fair share fee structure, instituted this year to help shore up the budget.

The new fair share system charges higher fees to schools other than New Ulm Public who participate in cooperative activities with District 88 than the fees charged to New Ulm Public students. The coop school is billed for the excess cost per participant. How the coop school chooses to cover the excess cost/participant is up to that coop school.

District 88 subsidizes activity costs, and the system was intended to bring fees more into line with actual costs. The justification was that the district does not receive state “funding formula” money for students from other schools, and should not have to pay the same rate for their participation as it does for its own students.

Opponents of the change have argued that the parents of students from local parochial schools pay taxes just like New Ulm Public parents. Concerns have also centered around the higher fees being a deterrent to participation in cooperative agreements.

Six-period day

The board will hear a report from High School Co-Principals Mark Bergmann and Steve Weber about the impact of a six-period day. The change from the traditional seven-period day started this school year.

Supporters of the change say the six-period day schedule has been a vehicle for other changes, such as increasing instructional time in core academic areas and providing more opportunities to individualize instruction.

Opponents have expressed fears of the change limiting students’ choices of courses.

The report will examine both the academic and co-curricular impacts of the schedule change.

Other issues

Other issues to be discussed at the work session include a consideration of an early retirement incentive for 2013 and long-range facility considerations. Remme is expected to share ideas about the future of the former middle school and potential changes in other parts of the campus.

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