When Swanville Elementary students return to school this fall, they’ll discover a new playground has been installed.

    Supt. Gene Harthan said that a new, used playground was purchased by the school to replace the old, wooden playground. It made more sense to invest the money that would have been spent on repairing the old playground into buying something new.

    “The old playground was getting to the point that it needs a lot of work. A lot of work has already been done to it,” he said.

    Harthan said the new, large commercial playground is 11years old and is in really good condition. It was purchased from an individual who had it in their backyard.

    “Their kids were getting too old for it, so they were getting rid of it,” he said.

    The playground was purchased for $9,900. Harthan said he estimates the playground to have cost about $25,000 when it was brand new.

Swanville School Board Briefs

    In other business Wednesday, the Swanville School Board:

    • Heard from High School Principal Sheryl Johnson that the school is in need of finding a Spanish teacher. Previously the school used a Spanish teacher from Upsala High School. However, she is leaving on maternity leave for a minimum of four months, but will likely be away for the whole year. The Board discussed options and decided to keep looking for one;

    • Heard from Johnson that the state of Minnesota requires all students to have physical education and health at some point during grades 9-12. For how long is decided by the School Board. Johnson recommended to require one semester of physical education for those who want to participate in band and college classes to make sure they meet the requirement. As of now the school requires at least one year of physical education. No decision was made;

    • Heard from Johnson that she applied for a $2,000 grant from the Initiative Foundation. The money would be used to purchase iPads and cases. Johnson also plans to apply for a $2,500 grant from Sourcewell to build a total lab of 30 iPads. As both grants would need to be matched, Johnson said she anticipates it would cost the district about $3,000;

    • Approved funding the replacement of Apple laptops for teachers through Apple Financial Services. The total financed amount will be $34,972 with an annual payment of $12,138. After the three-year lease term is up, the school has the option to purchase the laptops for $1 each;

    • Adopted a resolution according to 2019 Minnesota session law to let the School Board take charge of and control all students activities and student activity funds and to record all money received or spent for extracurricular activities to be recorded in the same manner as other revenues and expenditures of the district;

    • Was informed that grades 4-6 will be going to Deep Portage Learning Center in Hackensack, Oct. 30 - Nov. 1;

    • Heard from Harthan that Libby Wimmer won the bike and Zach Gapinski won two tickets for canoe or kayak rental at the end-of-the-year drawing for those who were recognized for PAWSitive behavior during the year;

    • Discussed whether or not alcohol should be sold at Junior Victory League baseball games. The Board tabled the matter;

    • Approved Art teacher Kerry Osberg as the new Student Council co-adviser;

    • Approved fifth grade teacher Thomas Pollreis as junior high volleyball coach;

    •Approved a leave of absence for second grade teacher Tracy Hannah;

    • Approved a one-year contract naming Harthan as superintendent; and

    • Approved holding a referendum vote to renew its current operating levy to $760 per pupil, a $47.03 increase from the current $712.97. The date of vote has yet not been set.

    The Swanville School Board’s next regular meeting will be Wednesday July 17, at 7 p.m. in the high school library.


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