School Board Minutes
Red Rock Central District No. 2884
Monday, November 16, 2015
A special meeting of the Board of Education, District No. 2884 was held in the Gymnasium at Jeffers on Monday, November 16, 2015. Members present were: Bierl, Clarke, Hansen, Kelsey, Rasmussen, Rogotzke, and Stavnes. Others in attendance: Superintendent Olson, Principal Goetstouwers, Doreen Kronback, staff and residents of the Red Rock Central School District.
Chairman Rogotzke called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Superintendent Olson welcomed the audience, introduced the Board of Education and apologized for the meeting information not being published in the newspaper.
Superintendent Olson and Principal Goetstouwers presented RRC future planning. The presentation included goals of the evening including presenting information, making rational decisions from the information regarding the district, being transparent in what is presented and allowing for a question answer time.
Superintendent Olson presented the following information: Positives of the School District – academic excellence, vibrant extra-curricular activities with high participation, FAB LAB, low taxes in comparison to neighboring districts and fostering outreach efforts to bring students to the district; Current situation – buildings, district size, bus routes, late route, van routes and lack of efficiency; Budget concerns – declining enrollment, Affordable Care Act implications and day to day cost increases; Explore options – SWWC Service Co-op interest, Close down part of the building and try to use the remainder (gym space), is there a desire to increase and enhance the space available in the Lamberton building.
Principal Goetstouwers presented the following information: Questions being pondered about 1 building district – what is gained or lost, savings substantial enough to justify closing a building, how is staff affected, become more efficient in staffing, curriculum and learning; and is there enough space; Scheduling – current and future, lunch and recess, recess and playground, classroom space and Gym and Auditorium space; Administration and Adult presence – lead teacher in elementary, difficult for lead teacher to administrate and teach ECSE, Mrs. Altermatt is retiring at the end of school year and currently only two males in the elementary; Additional Foreseeable Plans – Kids teaching kids program, older students reading to younger students, big buddy program, continued character development programs, lyceums, book fair, mobile testing on state wide tests and a high school student assistant teaching program.
Superintendent Olson summarized that a lot of information had been presented and that there are decisions to be made that will keep RRC a strong district based on: Significant estimated drop in fund balance in 5 years if there is no change and the many positives to a one-building district.
November 16, 2015 – page 2
Questions and concerns from the audience: Cost of moving staff and students from Jeffers to Lamberton; What is in the move for Jeffers community; What happens if the Jeffers building doesn’t sell, city residents not ready to pay additional taxes to maintain the building, District will keep liability on it with no maintenance as the building is now a liability instead of an asset; If there is more open enrollment the district will lose more funding; A greater effort needs to be made to keep students living in the district; District has no control over parents decisions to open enroll for personal reasons; Need to sell the district residents on the need for change; Enough space in Lamberton building for the elementary classes and Special Education classes on the first floor; Class size in the elementary and teachers’ aides in the classroom; Costs not included on information presented – playground equipment, moving costs, remodeling costs if any to Lamberton building, loss of students to Home Schooling and the funds lost for students taking the post-secondary option; Explanation of overload costs and teacher travel time costs; Uncertainty of there being an elementary library and playground equipment; Possibility of tax increase; Appearance of the Lamberton building to the public; Discussion about a new gymnasium, not willing to support after a building closure; Has closure decision already been made before special meeting; What is the time line for building closure; Has thought been given further out than 5 years; Board wants input before making decision so they can be proactive and not reactive; The Board’s job is to put Districts tax dollars to the best use for education; A District divided will fall apart, we are RRC not individual towns and we need to do what is best for the RRC district.
Resident acknowledged the elementary staff for their dedication to the District; Mr. Hubley was recognized for his retirement and the District losing his bus repair work and the board was recognized for their efforts in making thoughtful thoroughly discussed decisions.
Chairman Rogotzke thanked the audience for their attendance and adjourned the meeting at 8:28 p.m.
Alan J. Clarke, Clerk Doreen Kronback, Reporter