The Milbank School District Board of Education met in regular session Monday, September 11. They approved a cooperative agreement with Ortonville to form a gymnastics coop.
“Ortonville has not been able to secure a coach,” explained Superintendent Tim Graf. “Ortonville recently held an interest meeting where 11 girls in grades 7-12 attended. The actual numbers may be less once they begin the season, but the board gave approval of this cooperative.”
The coop team will compete as the Milbank Area Bulldogs and follow the same schedule. Expenses will be shared on a pro-rata basis. Practice begins October 30 and the first competition is scheduled for November 27.
Approval was given by the board for several staffing changes. Cheryl Elsberry was hired to join the custodian staff. Rita Louisiana was hired as a part-time paraprofessional. She will assume Carrie Novy’s duties two days per week as Carrie is now transporting a transition student.
A supplemental contract was approved for Kelli Hoff to assume the C team girls basketball coaching duties. An amended contract was approved for Eric Townsend. He will move from the C team girls basketball coach to the Junior Varsity girls basketball coach. Supplemental contracts were also approved for Stacey Weinkauf and Karla DeVaal as assistant gymnastics coaches. Weinkauf will assume 75% of the coaching duties, and DeVaal 25% as the assistant coach.
Staff were approved for the Milbank Out of School Time Program (OST). Returning for the 2017-2018 school year are: Lorrie Hardy, Karen Vaudrey, Jayne Paysen, Karen Loeschke, Devon Balling, and Isaac Fischer. Brittany Preller was hired as a new employee for the program.
The board also approved the FY18 Budget. “There were several changes from the July budget hearing,” stated Graf. “Among the changes were revenue adjustments due to increased enrollment and a change in district valuation.” Milbank has a total enrollment of 961 students, which includes five tuition students from Big Stone City. “With the increased enrollment and the one-time money from Grant-Deuel for $650,000, we are now projecting a surplus of $612,000. If we spend close to the historical average of 98% of budgeted expenditures, we will end up with a surplus of over $700,000. This is a major change, as we had previously expected to run at a deficit this year.” Graf also added that the district has some concerns regarding the Special Education budget for the coming year, but expects to utilize most of the reserves to balance it.
The board also reviewed the 5-year capital outlay projection. Graf explained the increased valuation has helped the district to generate funds and also benefits the taxpayer. “While we have been addressing facility needs at the middle school and high school building the past several years, we have several needs at Koch School that have not been addressed.”
The 5-year plan allots $100,000 for roofing repairs at Koch School for the 2018-2019 school year. An additional $100,000 for each of the three budget years after 2019 is also included. He added the roof is leaking in certain areas and the geothermal units used for heating and cooling of the facility are at the end of their life spans. Additional concerns include the age of the pipes under the building.
Another concern is the lack of space at the elementary location. Graf explained special education and other current programs were not in existence when the building was constructed. Finding space for these programs and others has been a challenge. The board agreed to research options for a facility feasibility study or a facility audit on Koch School before proceeding.
Additional agenda items were the approval of school lunch policies, out of state travel for debate and the National FFA Convention, open enrollment applications for 10 students, tuition agreements for five students from Big Stone City, a lane change for Christine Townsend, approval of Dick Schwandt as board representative for ASBSD Delegate Assembly, and the declaration of surplus property.
The next regular meeting of the Milbank Board of Education is Wednesday, October 11, at 7 p.m.