NUPS positions cut due to funds ending

NEW ULM — Due to ESSER funds no longer being usable, New Ulm School Board chose to cut two positions at their meeting Thursday.

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds were approved by the US government to help combat potential shortfalls and issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The last round of these funds gave $122 billion to schools across America.

Those funds are no longer usable September 2024. One School Nurse and the Community School Engagement Director positions have been cut as a result.

Superintendent Sean Koster said it is always disheartening to cut positions due to funding stoppage. He said they have known about this for a while and have taken steps to transition the roles of these positions.

One school nurse will bounce around all four buildings, while three nurse-paras will stay at their respective buildings. Koster said this system was used by New Ulm Public before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The nurse carries the license and the para works underneath that license,” he said. “The nurse is certified in the state of Minnesota to work in schools. The paras are working underneath the directive of the nurse.”

Koster said the Community School Engagement Director was tasked with helping families that needed more support connect with organizations outside of the school district that could help. He said the counselors will now take on those responsibilities.

Current Dean of Students Adam Neubarth will see his position change to NUHS Co-Assistant Principal/Student Services/Activities Director. Board member Jonathan Schiro said the board should keep an eye out to not overload the Activities Director position.

“I worry that sometimes we put too much on the AD position,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of AD’s come through our school and that’s not good for our athletic programs. It’s cautioned that we look at how much we put on and if we have to back some of that off in the future.”

Koster said he agreed with the philosophy behind Schiro’s comment.

“Making sure we have a good athletic program,” he said. “Making sure that our Activities Director isn’t overloaded and the program runs smoothly. If you put things like Assistant Principal on top of Activities Director, some things might need to be removed.”

Schiro made the motion to approve the cuts and changes in positions, with Board member Christie Dewanz seconding. The motion passed with unanimous approval.


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