School Board sets up for school year

NEW ULM — The District 88 School Board took care of business in preparation for the coming school year, approving changes in student and teacher handbooks for the various schools, approving contracts and memberships for the coming year and approving the 10 year strategic action plan for the district, and the 10 year maintenance plan as required by the Minnesota Department of Education.

In his report to the board, Superintendet Jeff Bertrang metioned that the City of New Ulm has approached the district seeking its participation in a tax abatement project as an economic development tool. Bertrang said that while the district see the value in economic development, that is not part of the district’s core mission, and he would tell the city the district will not be participating.

Bertrang also discussed the $25 million school safety funds that the state legislature approved last session. Half of the money is targeted to metro schools and half to outstate schools. School districts are invited to apply for funding on a first-come, first serve basis. High priority projects are things like building secure entrances, while things like security cameras are low priority. Since New Ulm installed high security entrances in all of its buildings during the recent school building project, the district will apply for lower priority items like security cameras. Bertrang said it was unlikely the district would get any funding, but he would put in the requests.

The board approved changes in several of the student handbooks for various schools in the district. Most of the changes are to clear up language, change dates and incorporate regulare practices into the handbooks, he said.

The board approved the 2018-2019 contract to provide food service for the River Bend Education District, with the amount of the contract increasing from $60,000 to $70,000. It also approved it annual contract with Head Start, and with the New Ulm Police Department for a school resource officer.

Bertrang also announced that the filing period for school district candidates will open on July 31 and runs through Aug. 14. Candidates can file at the District 88 Superintendent’s Office.