District 88 Board OKs contract for aid in strategic planning, development

NEW ULM – The District 88 Board of Education on Thursday approved a $6,810 contract with Bruce Miles of Big River Group Consulting, to provide the district with assistance in strategic planning and development.

At a study session earlier this month, Superintendent Jeff Bertrang presented the board with three programs that could help the board with strategic planning.

The board reached a consensus to work with Miles to see what he has as available dates and what he can do to gather community and staff input.

The first meeting with Miles will be Monday, Aug. 12.

The program under consideration would include two three-hour sessions with the board, online surveys for the community and staff to provide input, and a package for the board to work on with their strategic planning.

The board also approved:

The same goals for the school district for next year as the 2012-13 goals, on Bertrang’s recommendation.

Next year’s contracts with the Minnesota Valley Action Council for the Head Start program.

The district will provide Head Start with classroom space at Washington School. Head Start anticipates 17 students in the morning session and another 17 in the afternoon. They will pay $575 per month.

A contract with the New Ulm Area Soccer Association for the high school soccer program.

It is the same contract as last year, with a few minor language changes. The soccer association will pay the district up to $15,000 for the cost of the program for the year.

A contract with Brown County for a family facilitator program.

It is the same contract as New Ulm has had in previous years, with half the cost picked up by the county and the remaining half by the school. There are two full-time equivalents of social workers that work for New Ulm schools. The total cost to the district is $67,781, minus reimbursable special education costs that are calculated at the end of the fiscal year.

The board renewed its membership in the Minnesota School Board Association program of services, at a cost of $6,280.

In a new development, the board approved the resignation of Technology Director Eric Simmons who took a job at Princeton. The vacancy is posted.

The board is also expected to approve various student and staff handbooks and reviewed several policies.

Changes in handbooks include but are not limited to: allowing high school students to use cell phones before the start of the first school period; decreasing the period for final assessments at the high school from 90 to 56 minutes; and adding a section that defines what constitutes bullying in the high school student handbook.

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