The St. Michael – Albertville School Board met discuss ways to give recognition to participants in various activities, to welcome a new principal and approve insurance agreements.

HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

High School Activities Director Keith Cornell asked the School Board to give him some guidance in responding to groups wishing to add to the activities recognized by the STMA High School.

Students want to have their activities recognized by the high school so that they can receive letters in the high school and have it listed on their records when they apply to college. Generally these activities are paid for by the participants but the Activities Office needs to keep the records. The informal procedure has been for an activity to be set up as a club for three years and then, if enough interest is shown, it is becomes a recognized activity.

Recent examples are robotics and fishing which are still clubs. Bowling and Clay Target were recognized in 2011. Recent requests have included dancing, equestrian competition and figure skating.

Cornell outlined three options. First they can keep the current programs without adding more. Second they can “allow the Activities Director to review these requests on an individual basis and allow ones that meet established criteria.” The third option would be for every request to come to the School Board to make their case.

Several parents addressed the Board advocating for the equestrian program for students competing in horsemanship and for the Unified Club which allows students of all abilities to interact as equals. The students involved in equestrian will compete as individuals, not wearing a team uniform and the school district will not be involved in staging competitions, coaching or transporting student competitors. Currently there is a Unified Club at Middle School West which is also open to students at Middle School East and STMA High School. Other districts also have clubs for elementary students.

School Board member Tim Lewis spoke in favor of adding activities. He has been involved with the fishing club and said the three year process has been valuable. The program has been growing to over 50 members and has six teams competing in the state tournament this summer.

Lewis said, “We started it to increase student engagement. Eighty-five percent of the kids in this program do not play in another sport. That is huge!” After additional discussion Scherber asked Foucault and Cornell to make a recommendation that the School Board can consider at a future meeting. He suggested that they look at what other districts are including in their activities.

They will bring their proposal back at a future meeting.

BIG WOODS PRINCIPAL

In other news, School Board Chairperson Drew Scherber began the meeting by welcoming the new principal for Big Woods Elementary, Jesse Peterson.

Peterson has been a principal in Aitkin but has taught in North St. Paul and Becker and he and his family are glad to be back in this area.

Lee Brown, who has been principal at Big Woods, will be partnering with him to smooth the transition until her retirement at the end of September.

INSURANCE POLICIES

The board also reviewed insurance quotes for Worker’s Compensation, Property and Liability, and Volunteer Accidents.

Superintendent Ann-Marie Foucault explained that bids are taken every four years for policies needed by the district. The Worker’s Compensation bid went up by a little more than a thousand dollars.

Foucault said that she was “pleased with the modest increase” and credits the district’s safety programs. The Property and Liability Insurance coverage costs rose because it will now cover terrorism insurance and the umbrella coverage has been raised. Volunteer Accident insurance covers injuries to people serving as volunteers with school programs and also covers any injuries those volunteers might cause.

This is the second year that the district will have this insurance.

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