By Jordan Gerard

Editor, The Caledonia Argus

It was a relatively short meeting for the Caledonia School Board at its regular March meeting on the 15th.

In action items, the board approved the 2020-21 revised budget, with finance director Barb Meyer explaining the district should be cautious with funds this year, due to the pandemic and uncertainty of congressional sessions.

She added there will likely be hiring positions for next school year, as those positions were not filled, again due to the pandemic.

Spring sport coaching contracts were approved and are as follows: baseball head coach Brad Augedahl, Brandon Meiners, assistant coach; Zach Hauser, junior high coach; softball head coach Chad Augedahl, Kari Rusert, assistant coach, Jennifer Classon, junior high; boys and girls golf coaches Jeremy Leis, Robbie Sobczak, respectively; boys track head coach Carl Fruechte, girls track head coach Reese Wait, and Ryan Pitts, assistant boys and girls track coach.  

In consent agenda items, the board accepted the resignation of Pamela Schieber, special education paraprofessional, with thanks to her five years of service; Jay Tolleson, high school social studies teacher, with thanks for his 21 years of service; and resignation/retirement of Priscilla Jacobson, special education paraprofessional, with thanks to her 33 years of service. 

The board approved two terminations and non-renewals of two contracts, for Samantha Steele Kruse and Daneka Romportl. 

Board reports

Elementary principal Susan Link reported the elementary school hosted the annual book fair with the help of Lorene Reining, her husband Ben and Alex Studenski. Elementary kids also had a drive-by birthday celebration for Bill Wooley. 

The elementary school is also hosting a Club Choice fundraiser that will raise funds for field trips and special projects. 

Targeted services will be offered to elementary grades in preparation for the MCA test. PACE also laid plans for the 5th grade promotion celebration, and some type of recording will be available to the public. 

Link added her appreciation for students, parents, staff, colleagues, school board members and community members for their unrelenting support and adaptability. 

Middle school/high school principal Nathan Boler said all students grades 6-12 are back in school, full time. Students and teachers were excited to be back in the classroom, nearly a year after they went into distance learning. He was hopeful the school could remain in this learning model until the end of the year. 

Planning for prom and graduation are ongoing. Further guidance is expected from the state. A survey to seniors revealed two key wants from the future graduates: a ceremony where most people can attend and to have a senior send-off. 

The school received a grant for a certified nursing assistant program course for next year, in which nine students have shown interest. More information will be available soon. 

Ella Hoscheit and Luther Frauenkron represented Caledonia at the Regional Spelling Bee, and both came close to advancing to the next round. 

Community Education Director Gretchen Juan said they have screened about 40 children for early childhood screening and will do another half day on March 26. Registrations for summer school-age care are open and fall Surround Care at the preschool registration.

Superintendet Craig Ihrke thanked everyone for their patience while getting students back in school. He congratulated the Variety Show cast members and participants on a great performance, and wished luck to the wrestling team, gymnastics and both basketball teams as they head into play offs season. 

Ihrke has also been working on a superintendent program that will earn him a national certificate. Several area schools’ superintendents have received certification in the same program. 

Next meeting

The next meeting will be held April 19, at 6 p.m. in Room 106 at the elementary school.

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