The regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 was held in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School. Chair Natalie Knutson called the meeting to order at 7:15 am. The following members were present: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy (Melissa) Hermes, Natalie Knutson, and Matthew Lemke. Stephen Vigesaa was absent. Jeff Drake, Superintendent, Renae Macheledt, Finance Director, and Elaine Jahnke, HR Director, were also present. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all present. 

Missy Hermes, clerk, established a quorum. 

Melanie Cole made a motion to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and carried unanimously. 

Matthew Lemke offered the resolution of acknowledgements for the following and moved for its adoption:

Thank you to Jon & Thea Fransen for their donation of a bass to the Kennedy Secondary School Music Department.  

The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and upon roll call vote being taken, the following voted in favor thereof: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, and Matthew Lemke;

and the following voted against same: 

None. 

Whereupon said motion was declared duly passed and the resolution adopted.  

Reports were presented by: 

  • Deb Sutor, Kendal Hanson and Clara Stefal: France ‘24 Trip

Stephen Vigesaa entered the meeting at 7:19 am

 

(Reports continued) 

  • Mary Matteson, Community Ed Director
  • Jeff Drake, Superintendent

 

General Consent Items

The following consent agenda was presented for approval: 

  1. Minutes from the regular School Board meeting held on June 10, 2024 
  2. Bills (June 11 - 24, 2024)
  3. Personnel

Certified Staff Leave of Absence Request:

  • Ciara Rose Walls (iQ elementary/social studies teacher), one (1) year leave of absence request; effective 2024-25 school year

 

Certified Staff Hires:

  • Baylee McKinney, business/technology teacher @ KSS (.4920 FTE); effective 8/26/2024
  • Scott Meldahl, FCS teacher @ KSS (1 FTE); effective 8/26/2024
  • Heather Piekarski, special education teacher @ KSS (1 FTE); effective 8/26/2024

 

     Certified Staff Resignations:

  • Dane Froiland, HS choir teacher; effective 6/20/2024
  • Mickaela Pasch, HS band teacher; effective 6/20/2024

 

  1. Individual Contracts between ISD 544 and the following:

Effective July 1, 2025-June 30, 2026:

  • Assistant Director of Special Education (Domino)

 

Effective July 1, 2024-June 30, 2026:

  • Human Resources Director (Jahnke)

 

  1. 2024-2026 Contract agreement between ISD 544 and the Fergus Falls Foods Service Association

 

Missy Hermes moved to approve the consent agenda. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously. 

 

Old Business: 

None

 

New Business: 

  1. Matthew Lemke moved to approve the 2024-25 Health and Safety Executive Summary of Written Plans. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously.

 

  1. Kirby Anderson moved to award the FY25 Milk Bid to Cass Clay Creamery in the amount of $116,159. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Melanie Cole moved to award the FY25 Bread Bid to Pan-O-Gold in the amount of $19,247. The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Matthew Lemke offered the following resolution and moved for its adoption:

RESOLUTION URGING LEGISLATURE TO REQUIRE MSHSL TO PROVIDE TRANSPARENCY WITH MEETINGS AND  BUSINESS RELATED MATERIALS

 

  BE IT RESOLVED, MSBA urges the legislature to require that the Minnesota State High School   League (MSHSL) record and livestreaming all Board of Director meetings, and provide agendas and supporting materials be made available to members of the public through electronic means.

 

The motion was seconded by Missy Hermes and upon roll call vote being taken, the following voted in favor thereof: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa;

and the following voted against same: 

None. 

Whereupon said motion was declared duly passed and the resolution adopted.  

 

  1. Melanie Cole moved to approve the Letter of Engagement with Eide Bailly for FY24 financial audit services. The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and carried unanimously. 

 

  1. Matthew Lemke offered the following resolution and moved for its adoption:

Resolution Adopting the Fiscal Year (FY) 26 Long-Term Facilities Maintenance (LTFM) Ten-Year Plan

 

WHEREAS, to qualify for Long-Term Facilities Maintenance revenue, Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 123B.595, subd. 4 states a school district or intermediate district must annually adopt and approve a ten-year LTFM facilities plan by July 31 for commissioner approval.

WHEREAS, the school district has developed a ten-year Long-Term Facilities Maintenance plan consistent with this law. 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the School Board of Independent School District No. 544 approves and adopts the attached ten-year Long-Term Facilities Maintenance plan for FY25 on the 24th day of June, 2024.

 

The motion was seconded by Kirby Anderson and upon roll call vote being taken, the following voted in favor thereof: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa;

and the following voted against same: 

None. 

Whereupon said motion was declared duly passed and the resolution adopted.  

 

  1. Stephen Vigesaa offered the following resolution and moved for its adoption:

RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT OF THE PRAIRIE WETLANDS LEARNING CENTER

 

WHEREAS, for the first time in its 25-year history, there are no U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

education staff employed in Fergus Falls at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center and,

WHEREAS, positions have not all been filled following staff retirements for the reason that

the U. S. Congress is failing to fund the United States Fish and Wildlife Services at a level to keep up with inflation and,

 

WHEREAS, while federal funding has been able to maintain the facilities, the budget is inadequate to pay for employees and utilities and,

 

WHEREAS, not replacing retiring staff members has led to greatly reduced hours for both the visitor center and the Bluestem Store, the termination of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff-led educational programming for preschool through college level classes visiting the center and no longer offering preschool through 6th grade summer nature programs, residential experiences for upper elementary students, the Jr. Friends of the Prairie and numerous special events for the public and,

 

WHEREAS, as of April of 2024 there will only be a maintenance staff member at the Prairie

Wetlands Learning Center and,

 

WHEREAS, there is a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to provide staffing in written form with the City of Fergus Falls who owns the buildings and with the Fergus Falls Public Schools for the partnership of Prairie Science school for 4th and 5th graders,

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Fergus Falls Public School District, I.S.D. #544, to adopt a resolution of support for the full funding of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center staff members and to preserve this regional community asset.

 

The motion was seconded by Matthew Lemke and upon roll call vote being taken, the following voted in favor thereof: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa;

and the following voted against same: 

None. 

Whereupon said motion was declared duly passed and the resolution adopted.  

 

  1. Missy Hermes offered the following resolution and moved for its adoption:

 

RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING DATES  FOR FILING AFFIDAVITS OF CANDIDACY

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of Independent School District No. 0544 State of Minnesota, as follows:

 

  1. The period for filing affidavits of candidacy for the office of school board member of Independent School District No. 0544 shall begin on Tuesday, July 30, 2024 and shall close on Tuesday, August 13, 2024. An affidavit of candidacy must be filed in the office of the school district clerk and the $2 filing fee paid prior to 5:00 o’clock p.m. on Tuesday, August 13, 2024 hereby authorized and directed to cause notice of said filing dates to be published in the official newspaper of the district, at least two (2) weeks prior to the first day to file affidavits of candidacy.
  2. The clerk is hereby authorized and directed to cause notice of said filing dates to be posted at the administrative offices of the school district at least ten (10) days prior to the first day to file affidavits of candidacy.
  3. The notice of said filing dates shall be in substantially the following form:

 

NOTICE OF FILING DATES FOR ELECTION TO THE  

SCHOOL BOARD INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 0544

FERGUS FALLS PUBLIC SCHOOLS

STATE OF MINNESOTA

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the period for filing affidavits of candidacy for the office of school board member of Independent School District No. 0544 shall begin on Tuesday, July 30, 2024, and shall close at 5:00 o’clock p.m. on Tuesday, August 13, 2024.

The general election shall be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2024. At that election, three (3) members will be elected to the School Board for terms of four (4) years each.

Affidavits of Candidacy are available from the school district clerk, District Office/Kennedy Secondary School, 601 Randolph Ave., Fergus Falls Minnesota. The filing fee for this office is $2. A candidate for this office must be an eligible voter, must be 21 years of age or more on assuming office, must have been a resident of the school district from which the candidate seeks election for thirty (30) days before the general election, and must have no other affidavit on file for any other office at the same primary or next ensuing general election.

The affidavits of candidacy must be filed in the office of the school district clerk and the filing fee paid prior to 5:00 o’clock p.m. on Tuesday, August 13, 2024.

BY ORDER OF THE SCHOOL BOARD

/s/ Missy Hermes, School District Clerk

 

The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and upon roll call vote being taken, the following voted in favor thereof: Kirby Anderson, Melanie Cole, Missy Hermes, Natalie Knutson, Matthew Lemke, and Stephen Vigesaa;

and the following voted against same: 

None. 

Whereupon said motion was declared duly passed and the resolution adopted.  



The next regular School Board meeting will be held at 7:15 am Monday, July 15, 2024 in the Otter Community Room at the Kennedy Secondary School; followed by a School Board Retreat at the Lincoln School’s conference room.

 

Stephen Vigesaa made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 am. The motion was seconded by Melanie Cole and carried unanimously. 

 

A work session followed the regular board meeting.

 

_________________________________________

Melissa Hermes, Clerk

 

_________________________________________

 Approval Date

 

 

 

Greetings!

On behalf of the Fergus Falls Public School District, I extend a warm welcome.  We are honored that you have entrusted us with the care and education of your child. 

The Fergus Falls Public School District is a special place.  Our mission statement outlines our commitment to each and every child:  “The mission of the Fergus Falls Public Schools is to prepare productive and engaged members of society by creating an environment where all students reach their full potential.”

What will your child’s experience be as a member of our school community?  Children will be surrounded by adults who care about them.  We will provide the necessary support to help ensure that each child is successful.  Children will be challenged.  That’s how new skills are developed and how learning, confidence and leadership is fostered. 

In providing a robust 21st century learning environment - we emphasize the five “Cs” - Core Knowledge, Creative Problem Solving, Communication, Contributing Citizen and Character.  These core competencies ensure that our students will be well-positioned for success wherever their dreams take them.

We pride ourselves on providing a rigorous academic curriculum with a diverse selection of electives.  We support our students with a 1:1 technology initiative to augment instruction, we have strong vocational programs and excellent participation among our students in the arts.  A large percentage of our students are involved in co-curricular activities and our programs are highly respected and competitive.  In summary, we offer the family atmosphere of a small rural school combined with the opportunities typically only found in much larger districts. 

Through the process of discovering and developing their talents, interests and skills, our students are going to make great memories, grow in confidence, become leaders in our school and community and form lifelong friendships.  Once an Otter, always an Otter!

Warmest Regards,

Jeff Drake

Superintendent