NEW ULM - The District 88 Board of Education on Monday approved advertising for two licensed elementary teachers, preferably with a concentration in reading or math.
One teacher would be assigned to Jefferson Elementary School, and one to Washington School.
The teachers will "float" among classrooms, helping students who need help and providing some general student assistance, especially in larger class sections, said Superintendent Harold Remme.
The action results from a confirmation by the state Department of Education that the district is eligible for state literacy aid, a new funding category approved by the Legislature, late into its last session.
The aid formula is based on a proficiency rating, as determined by the performance of third-graders on MCA tests, and a growth rating, determined by the performance of fourth-graders, explained Remme.
The money awarded to the District 88 for this year totals $112,044.
Hiring two teachers for the remainder of the year will not use up the entire amount, but the remainder can be carried over, Remme also said.
Remme noted that in light of how late into the year the funds would arrive, hiring literacy coaches makes the most sense.
Board member Patricia Hoffman noted that if it is determined that this is a stable funding source, the school board should consider options in a more strategic light, including some different student groupings or enrichment options.
In another action, the board approved a fee structure for community education classes beginning with the winter/spring of 2013. According to the action, 20 percent of the fee will be credited to Community Education to recover advertising and other costs, and 80 percent will be paid to the class instructor. If there is no charge for the instructor, the minimum fee for a class will be $12.
The board also approved the hire of Nan Huffman as mental health coordinator, subject to her release from her contract at River Bend Education District.
The action resulted from the August resignation of Lori Aaron-Brass.
Huffman, a licensed social worker, was one of two candidates interviewed.
Due to revising the job description, it is no longer necessary to have a licensed mental health therapist to fill the position, which was the case in the past, said Remme.
Huffman's salary was set at $21,408.40 (pro-rated to reflect 104 days).
In addition, the board approved the purchase of a maintenance vehicle to replace a 2000 one-ton, four-wheel drive dump truck. The board accepted a $32,175.30 bid from Chuck Spaeth Ford, after reviewing three local bids.
The vehicle will be used for snow removal and other purposes, said Remme. The cost of the replacement was included in the 2012-13 budget.
The board moved closer to selling the former middle school, by scheduling a closed meeting Dec. 6 to discuss a draft agreement with Eagle Development Group, a prospective buyer. The agreement for the sale could be approved at the Dec. 20 regular board meeting, projected Remme.