Lancaster School Board Proceedings June 19, 26 and 27, 2019 meetings

LANCASTER SCHOOL BOARD PROCEEDINGS
The Lancaster School Board met in regular session on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. in the district office. The following members were present: Diamond, Homstad, Langerud, Lupien, Nordin and Peterson. Also present were Supt. Shannon Hunstad, Teacher Rep. Cory Waling, and Mendy Coffield.
Chairperson Diamond called the meeting to order and took roll call. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance.
Chairperson Diamond called for Visitor’s Comments. Langerud provided an email from Tiffany Sjostrand, a member of the Lancaster Education Association Negotiations Team. Sjostrand’s email is as follows:
June 14, 2019
Dear Mr. Langerud, Mr. Diamond, & Mr. Peterson:
Our intention was to be at the school board meeting to present these facts about our negotiation process. However, because of family commitments, we are not able to attend. We are requesting that you please share this at the meeting. It is important that this information is documented in the School Board minutes.
We feel there needs to be some clarification with the Personnel Team, the rest of the School Board, and Superintendent Hunstad, from our last meeting with you on May 15. When we gave you our packet of information, we did not intend it to be a formal counter-offer. Our purpose was to respond to your offers, and to share with you the many ideas we have been discussing around our contract.
In reading the minutes from the May meeting, it seems as though that is how the Personnel Team presented it to the rest of the board as well. Following is an excerpt from those minutes:
“The Personnel Team met with the Teacher Negotiations Team prior to the board meeting. This was their second meeting. The teacher’s brought back their responses from the board’s first proposal. Another meeting will not be held until the audit is finalized.”
It does not state that we had a “counter-offer”. This openness may be different from the past, but we believe in change and know that we don’t have to do things “the way they’ve always been done”. We were very shocked when it was presented to the community that the teachers had a large counter-offer that would increase the deficit spending by $58,000. The gasps in the crowd and the shock on the teachers’ faces were powerful. Mostly, we were surprised because, like we previously stated, we didn’t supply a counter-offer. But also because there was so much information left out of that number.
We would like to briefly defend ourselves. In your first offer, we were asked to increase our contracted minutes by 6.67%, and it was proposed to take away $838 of our health insurance benefits per year (this year, more in future years). Then we were offered a 2% raise. That “raise” does not even cover the extra contracted minutes that were proposed. That offer is actually a pay cut.
We look forward to proceeding in this negotiation process. We truly feel that we can work together to continue the solid educational foundation that Lancaster Public School has been providing for nearly 100 years. Thank you for sharing this at the meeting and for your time and consideration of this issue.
Together in education,
Tiffany Sjostrand, Andrea Sele & Jamie Winterland
Lancaster Education Association Negotiations Team
Discussion was held on the email. Supt. Hunstad commented that he had used board’s first proposal and the salary schedule that was in the Teacher packet to merely show where the budget could end up to be. He also noted that he stated in the special meeting that the settlement would likely be in the middle somewhere. Teacher Rep. Cory Waling expanded on the email noting that this was the beginning of the negotiations discussions, the pay scale in the packet was not intended to be a counter-offer, rather a discussion point. The Teacher Negotiations Team is all new members who have not done this process before.
Negotiations Team member Langerud pointed out that two of the Board Negotiators are also new. He thanked Waling for his comments. Langerud noted that the Teams will meet again once the audit is finalized.
The agenda was approved on a motion by Langerud, second by Homstad. UC.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Nordin, the consent agenda was approved as presented.  UC.
Items included:
• The minutes of the May 15, 2019, regular meeting and May 30, 2019, special meeting were approved.
• Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) in the amount of $171,883.03.  Payroll EFTs in the amount of $245,477.24 (includes summer payroll for teachers), and monthly bills in the amount of $50,033.19. Check numbers 40020-40061.
• The Budget Comparison and Treasurer’s reports were reviewed.
• The current revenue totals by fund were reviewed.
The following resolution was moved by: Nordin  and seconded by: Homstad:
WHEREAS, Minnesota Statute 123B.02, Subd. 6 provides: “The board may receive, for the benefit of the district, bequests, donations, or gifts for any proper purpose and apply the same to the purpose designated. In that behalf, the board may act as trustee of any trust created for the benefit of the district, or for the benefit of the district, or for the benefit of pupils thereof, including trusts created to provide pupils of the district with advanced education after completion of high school, in the advancement of education.”; and
WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes 465.03 provides: “Any city, county, school district or town may accept a grant or devise of real or personal property to maintain such property for the benefit of its citizens in accordance with the terms prescribed by the donor. Nothing herein shall authorize such acceptance or use for religious or sectarian purposes. Every such acceptance shall be by resolution of the governing body adopted by a two-thirds majority of its members, expressing such terms in full.”; and
WHEREAS, every such acceptance shall be by resolution of the governing body adopted by a two-thirds majority of its members, expressing such terms in full;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the School Board of Lancaster Public School, ISD 356, gratefully accepts the following donations as identified below:
Donor    Item    Designated Purpose (if any)
Susan May     $50.00    Art Program
(Anne Dalbey’s sister-in-law)
The vote on adoption of the Resolution was as follows:
Aye: Diamond, Homstad, Langerud, Lupien, Nordin and Peterson
Nay: None
Absent: None
Whereupon, said Resolution was declared duly adopted.
On a motion by Homstad, second by Langerud and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, adopts the tentative budget for the 2019/20 school year as stated below:                         Expenditures     Revenues
General    $  2,865,963    $   2,886,041
Food Service    $     133,630        $      133,630
Community Education    $       83,592     $        83,592
Total Budget:    $   3,083,185    $  3,103,263
Surplus: $20,078
On a motion by Langerud, second by Nordin and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves that effective July 1, 2019, the fund balance and the specific purposes for which they are committed are as follows:
Fund    Specific Purpose    Amount
General    Severance Pay    $40,000
General    Bus Payments    $62,000
General    Technology    $35,000
On a motion by Diamond, second by Peterson and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the School Health Service Agreement with the Kittson Memorial Home Healthcare Service in the amount of $6,941.03 for the 2019/20 school year.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Homstad and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, agrees to call for milk bids for the 2019/20 school year.
Supt. Hunstad presented information on FirstNet. This is an emergency cell provider that works with law enforcements, 911 centers, fire, ambulance and provides them with a specialized cellular service that will bump them to “the front of the line”. This service came about following 911 when the phone lines were bogged down with so many users that emergency personnel could not get through. The cost is $40 per month per phone. FirstNet also met with Kittson Central, Tri-County and the Sheriff’s Department when they were in Kittson County. More research is needed as it is unclear how well the service in our area is at this time.
Supt. Hunstad notified the Board that we were, once again, awarded Pathways II Early Learning Scholarship funds: $15,000 for 2019/20 and $15,000 for 2020/2021. These funds must be used for preschool. They do allow us to pay for salaries with these funds, which is what we do.
In past years in June, the Board has set performance goals for the Superintendent. Last summer, they opted not to do this. Supt. Hunstad inquired if there were any goals for him for 2019/20. Chairperson Diamond explained that he felt in the first two years, Supt. Hunstad exceeded the goals and they were no longer necessary. The board will not add any goals for 2019/20.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Lupien and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, effective July 1, 2019, approves the MDE External User List and also approves the IoWA designation as presented by Supt. Hunstad.
Designation of Identified Official with Authority (IOWA) for the MDE External User Access Recertification System
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) requires that school districts, charter schools or other organizations annually designate an Identified Official with Authority to comply with State Access Control Security Standard 1.0 which states that all user access rights to Minnesota state systems must be reviewed and recertified at least annually. The Identified Official with Authority will assign job duties and authorize external user’s access to MDE secure systems for their local education agency (LEA) or organization. The Superintendent/Director recommends the Board or equivalent governing board authorize Shannon Hunstad to be the Primary IoWA and Melinda Coffield will be the IoWA with the authority to preapprove and remove names for Lancaster Public School District #356-01.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Langerud and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, hires Sandie Nelson as Yearbook Advisor for the 2019/20 school year.
Supt. Hunstad read Jody Peterson’s resignation letter aloud.
On a motion by Homstad, second by Lupien and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, accepts the resignation of Jody Peterson as Senior High Play Director effective immediately.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Langerud and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, hires Jacob Maier as Senior High Play Director for the 2019/20 school year.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Langerud and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, hires Emily Webster as Concessions Advisor for the 2019/20 school year.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Peterson and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the sick leave donations from Kris Heine to Debbie Groves, Samantha Alme, and Mallory Bernstrom as presented by Supt. Hunstad.
On a motion by Diamond, second by Homstad and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, Justin Peterson rescinds his motion to hire Jared Olson as Jared is his first cousin.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Lupien and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, hires Jared Olson as Summer Rec. Assistant beginning June 3, 2019.
On a motion by Langerud, second by Nordin and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, hires Tori Younggren as Junior High KCC Volleyball Coach for the 2019/20 school year.
On a motion by Langerud, second by Homstad and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the 2019/20 High School Class Schedule as presented by Supt. Hunstad.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Peterson and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, reviews the fundraising reports for Concessions and Yearbook as required by the State of Minnesota.
The following resolution was moved by Langerud and seconded by Nordin:
WHEREAS, Laws 2019, First Special Session, chapter 11, article 1, section 5 requires changes in the accounting for student activity funds and provides that school boards must take charge of and control all student activities of the public schools in the district, that all money received or expended for extracurricular activities shall be recorded in the same manner as other revenues and expenditure of the district and that the district must reserve revenue raised for extracurricular activities and must spend that revenue only for extracurricular activities;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the School Board of Independent School District No. 356, Lancaster School, directs the district’s administration to implement the requirements of Laws 2019, First Special Session, chapter 11, article 1, section 5.
The vote on adoption of the Resolution was as follows:
Aye: Diamond, Homstad, Langerud, Lupien, Nordin and Peterson
Nay: None
Absent: None
Whereupon, said Resolution was declared duly adopted.
On a motion by Peterson, second by Nordin and carried:  Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, acknowledges that the Lead In Water Samples were satisfactory as they resulted in being below the 15 ppb threshold. No further action is required at this time.
Radon testing will take place during the winter of 2019/20.
Supt. Hunstad presented the Administrative Report:
1. The summer maintenance plan was discussed.
2. The Safe Schools Levy for 2019/20 will be $6,397. Estimates for panic buttons, cameras and keyless entry were reviewed. Safe Schools money can only be used for items such as this. It cannot be used for regular operating items.
3. The East Gym is almost complete. It is being painted now and then will be waxed over the weekend. It is on schedule to cure next week, be cleaned the following week, and be operational July 8th.
4. The new MSBA recommended language for Unrequested Leave of Absences was distributed to the Board Negotiators to use in their Negotiations meetings. This update is required by legislation.
Upcoming meetings: Special Meeting: Hearing request: Krystal Peterson June 26th at 5:00pm. Special Meeting: Review and approve the written decision and order pertaining to Hearing request June 27th 4:00pm.
District Audit: July 9th.
The next regular board meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 17th at 8:00 pm.
Diamond adjourned the meeting at 9:04 p.m.
James Diamond, Chairperson                       Lacey Lupien, Clerk
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LANCASTER SCHOOL BOARD PROCEEDINGS
The Lancaster School Board met in special session for the hearing request of Krystal Peterson on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. in the cafeteria. The following members were present: Diamond, Homstad, Langerud, Lupien, Nordin and Peterson. Also present were Supt. Shannon Hunstad, District Attorney George Hanson, Mendy Coffield, Ed Minnesota Rep. Kevin Young, Ed Minnesota Attorney Debra Corhouse, Court Reporter Joy Filipski, Krystal Peterson, Michael Peterson, Lisa Rynning, Tiffany Sjostrand, Samantha Alme, Justina Pietruszewski, Margie Holmgren, Ken Peterson, and Whitney Carr.
Chairperson Diamond called the meeting to order at 5:10pm and took roll call. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance.
Based on the information presented by Corhouse to Hanson, Chairperson Diamond called to close the meeting at 5:15 p.m.
The Board meeting was closed and the Board reviewed the information Corhouse presented to Hanson in the Supt. Office. The meeting was recorded per statute.
Chairperson Diamond reconvened the hearing meeting at 6:59 p.m. in the cafeteria.
District Attorney Hanson introduced the Court Reporter: Joy Filipski. Hanson provided the protocol for the hearing (all verbal responses; no nods).
Chairperson Diamond continued the meeting requesting to proceed on the record, for the hearing requested by Krystal Peterson, regarding her proposed placement on an Unrequested Leave of Absence.
Chairperson Diamond called Supt. Shannon Hunstad, representing Lancaster School, to present evidence to sustain the grounds for discharge that were provided at the May 30th special board meeting. Supt. Hunstad was sworn in by Chairperson Diamond.
Supt. Hunstad provided the following:
• 2018/19 projected budget deficit -$52,637. It appears we will be close to this at year end.
• 2019/20 preliminary budget was approved at the June Board meeting with Krystal Peterson’s salary removed +$20,078. This replaces the preliminary budget from the May 30th meeting.
o This does not include any Teacher Negotiations. The board proposed 2%, which would add $18,996 to the budget.
o Supt. Hunstad clarified that the Teacher Counteroffer information he presented at the May 30th meeting was not a Counteroffer, rather the pay scale they provided was merely a discussion point. Teacher Negotiations Rep. Tiffany Sjostrand had emailed Board Member Jason Langerud on June 19th with this information. Supt. Hunstad apologized for the misunderstanding.
• This school has had program reductions in the past: 2010 to the Business Ed. program.
• Lancaster School has the highest operating referendum tax rate in the state of Minnesota per MREA.
• Renewal of existing $1,675 referendum in 2020.
• Supt. Hunstad reviewed the Class Registration Timeline:
o March 29th        Staff schedule discussions began
o April 9th – 11th    Mock scheduling for grades 7-12
o May 1st        Final registrations for grades 7-12
• In the following weeks, there were student meetings and parent conversations about the schedules.
• After meeting with the students, there were only four students in Krystal’s FCS/Bus. Education’s five elective courses (one of which was duplicated so three students total).
• CTE Funds will be lost for grades 9-12.
• On May 30th, Supt. Hunstad recommended to the board to consider eliminating the FCS/Bus. Ed programs.
• Reviewing the Timeline:
o December Board Meeting: ULA resolution was passed.
o May 17th: Meeting with Krystal Peterson and her Union Reps. Hunstad stated at the close of that meeting, he would need to consult with the board on how to proceed. He would get back to her in a week.
o May 24th: An email and certified letter were sent to Krystal notifying her of the special board meeting on May 30th. This included Supt. Hunstad’s recommendation to the board to eliminate the FCS/Bus Ed programs and positions.
• Supt. Hunstad referred to the Master Agreement and Statute 122A.40, which required notice to be given by June 1st.
o May 31st: An email and certified letter were sent to Krystal notifying her of the board’s decision, and that this was to be considered her Unrequested Leave of Absence Notice.
o June 3rd: Phone conversation with Kevin Young, Ed Mn. Rep. requesting a hearing. Supt. Hunstad agreed to the hearing.
o June 13th: Krystal Peterson presented a letter to Supt. Hunstad requesting a hearing.
o This brings us to today’s hearing.
Attorney Hanson had no questions at this time of Supt. Hunstad.
Ed Minnesota Attorney Debra Corhouse cross-examined Supt. Hunstad regarding his testimony. She reviewed the letters above, the motions presented at the meeting, and emails between Supt. Hunstad, Krystal Peterson and her Ed Minnesota Reps. Corhouse also inquired about the receipt of the May 31st letter. Supt. Hunstad commented it was returned to the school as Krystal never picked it up. The Post Office attempted twice and after fourteen days the item is returned to the sender. Supt. Hunstad noted that her husband did come in and pick up the letter later from school. Corhouse asked Supt. Hunstad questions in regards to timelines and the June 1st / July 1st notice dates.
Corhouse continued with questions regarding the hearing request, Krystal Peterson not waiving her right to challenge the timeline, the special meeting set for June 27th and who was writing the written decision.
Corhouse then distributed binders to each board member, Hanson and Hunstad. In total, Corhouse had 10 exhibits she reviewed and asked various questions of Hunstad. (Exhibits 1-10 are on file in the District Office).
Attorney Hanson then examined Supt. Hunstad and asked if he had provided notice to Mrs. Peterson about the May 31st meeting date. Hunstad states yes, and that Mrs. Peterson was present at the meeting, but did not participate.
Attorney Hanson continued with questions about the notice being provided by June 1st, the May 31st email/certified mail and the fact it was not resent to anyone prior to this meeting, Statute 122A.40, the July 1st deadline, and the necessity to rapidly schedule this hearing in order to accommodate these  required special meetings. Also difficulty in coordinating multiple schedules, and a court reporter. Supt. Hunstad responded, “Without question.”
Corhouse then re-examined Supt. Hunstad in regards to page 20 of the Teacher Contract asking if Supt. Hunstad saw anywhere that the LEA had waived their right to their hearing prior to placement on ULA. Hunstad responded “No.”
Corhouse and Hanson had no further questions of Supt. Hunstad.
Chairperson Diamond then proceeded with the agenda item: Hearing Request: Krystal Peterson.
Corhouse objected for the record that the District failed to hire a Hearing Officer.
Corhouse wanted opening remarks entered into the record that the District failed to provide proper ULA procedure to Krystal Peterson.  The process was complete by June 1st, and Krystal cannot be placed on ULA without a hearing. Corhouse continued by reviewing the exhibits provided to the Board and going over the June 1st / July 1st deadlines.
Corhouse called Kevin Young as witness. Young was sworn in by Chairperson Diamond.
Young stated he was the Field Rep for Ed Minnesota, and he assists teachers with layoff hearings. Corhouse examined Young about Krystal contacting him, the letters from the District dated May 24th and May 31st, timelines, and June 3rd phone conversation with Supt. Hunstad about the hearing.
Attorney Hanson cross-examined Young referring to Page 19 of the Teacher Contract, Exhibit 3 ULA process Subd. 10 and 11, June 1st / July 1st dates, Statute 122A.40.
Corhouse re-examined Young inquiring how could they place Krystal on ULA by June 1st if they didn’t act until July 1st. Young: “Not possible”.
Corhouse and Hanson had no further questions of Young.
Corhouse stated no further witnesses at this time.
Chairperson Diamond continued the meeting with Board Deliberation.
Homstad commented that he was still shocked by enrollment numbers. He realizes that student numbers are down, but still those few kids across two curriculum lines was alarming to him.
Diamond noted that this decision has been difficult, cutting programs is not what the Board wants to do. Budget decisions needed to be made, and this was one move they decided to look at.
Chairperson Diamond inquired of the Board of any more questions. Hearing none, he proceeded with a call for a motion to affirm or retract the May 30th resolution to eliminate the Family Consumer Science and Business Ed programs effective June 30th, 2019. Nordin made a motion to affirm; Langerud seconded. UC.
Chairperson Diamond called for a motion to affirm or retract the May 30th resolution to eliminate the Family Consumer Science and Business Ed position and placement of Krystal Peterson on an Unrequested Leave of Absence effective June 30, 2019. Lupien made the motion to affirm; Homstad seconded. Diamond noted the motion would to be taken by roll call vote: Brad Homstad Yay, Justin Peterson abstained due to family ties, Jason Langerud Yay, Matt Nordin Yay, Lacey Lupien Yay, James Diamond Yay. Pursuant to the vote, motion carried.
Chairperson Diamond called for a motion to instruct Supt. Hunstad to prepare a proposed written decision and order in conformity with the findings and actions taken tonight. Langerud made the motion; Nordin seconded. UC.
Chairperson Diamond stated “this will conclude the hearing portion of this meeting.”  He then informed Filipski that we will now go off the record.
Diamond noted the 4:00 p.m. special board meeting set for tomorrow, to review the proposed findings, will be held in the Supt. Office.
Nordin motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m.; Homstad seconded it.
James Diamond, Chairperson                       Lacey Lupien, Clerk
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LANCASTER SCHOOL BOARD PROCEEDINGS
The Lancaster School Board met in special session on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. in the district office. The following members were present: Diamond, Homstad, Langerud, Lupien, Nordin and Peterson. Also present were District Attorney George Hanson, Mendy Coffield, Krystal Peterson, Michael Peterson, and Margie Holmgren.
Chairperson Diamond called the meeting to order at 4:00pm and took roll call.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance.
Chairperson Diamond called for a review of the written decision and order stemming from the June 26th hearing for Krystal Peterson. A complete copy of the Decision and Order are on file in the district office.
On a motion by Nordin, second by Langerud and carried: Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education of Independent School District 356, approves the Decision and Order as presented, and orders that Krystal Peterson be placed on an unrequested leave of absence effective at the end of the 2018/2019 school year on June 30th, 2019. UC.
Homstad motioned to adjourn the meeting at 4:04 p.m.; Nordin seconded it.
James Diamond, Chairperson                                                        Lacey Lupien, Clerk
(July 17, 2019)
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