School Board discusses use of federal funding

The Haakon School Board met for their regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 14th with all board members present.
The Board reviewed a transportation claim submitted after the deadline. After some discussion was held, the Board approved the claim, noting that the deadline is clearly stated on the form that is given out at the beginning of the year.
Personnel Action was next on the agenda, with approval for the following: Ella Smith, Head Volleyball Coach; Mandie Menzel, Assistant Volleyball Coach and Cheyenne Pinney, Special Ed Paraprofessional. The Board also regretfully accepted the resignation of Paraprofessional Lacy Puhlman.
The Board reviewed three open enrollment applications. Superintendent Jeffrey Rieckman stated each student is doing well so far this year.
High School Principal Mandie Menzel notified the Board that there will be 47 laptops being surplused for disposal. Menzel stated that they will be surplused to Hometown Computer Services like they have done in the past.
The Board reviewed a list of students participating in the school to work program. The Board acknowledged that there were a good number of kids. Superintendent Rieckman was in agreement, saying it is good to see, considering it was unknown if there would be a program at the start of the school year.
The Board reviewed policy updates regarding Board Officers, Voting Method and Minutes.
The Board unsealed and reviewed three bids that were received for the VoAg Building Project. The first bid was received from Great Plains Builders out of New Underwood, S.D. for $51,700. The second bid was received from Ian Moriarty for $78,283. The third bid was received from Custom Environments, Inc. out of Wall, S.D. for $21,435.60. The Board approved the bid from Custom Environments, Inc.
Business Manager, Britni Ross presented a review of the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the final 2020-2021 budget proposal and a resolution for a levy request to the Board. Ross stated that the Board may need to have future discussions on some of the budget items, as federal funding has been received. Ross explained that there are two “pots” of funding. The first pot, requires funds to be spent, then funding would need to be requested by the district. This pot carries the ability to use funds more freely than the second and the district has until September 2021 to allocate the funds. The second pot, Ross stated is essentially for COVID-19 related expenses and will be deposited into the school’s account in October. Ross said she is working to determine exactly what expenses are covered. Ross stated the issue lies with the funds, estimated at $142,000, needing to be spent by December 31, 2020. The Board held some discussion about potential ways to allocate the second pot of funds, determining that future discussions will be had once Ross figures out where the funding can be applied.
Coddy Gartner provided the maintenance report. Gartner stated that all but four lights are fixed in the fine arts building and the fence on the north side of the school is in the process of being worked on. Gartner also informed the Board that the gutters have come in at Moses Building Center and he would work on getting those installed. Gartner informed the Board that he was in the initial stages of a possible grant proposal with TC Energy. Gartner stated he has had some discussion with the Philip City Office and will seek their assistance for drafting a proposal and any additional paperwork needed. Gartner stated he would like to use the grant, if approved, to install a sprinkler system on the practice field just north of the school and work on some drainage in that area as well.

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