Miller School Board reorganizes for coming year

Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:00 am

The board of education of the Miller School District reorganized for the 2013-14 school year at their July 8 meeting.

After opening agenda items, a public hearing was held for the proposed 2013-14 school budget.

Superintendent Mike Ruth said the budget is not final, and the board has until September 30 to adopt it.

The proposed budget presented July 8 has $2,875,717 for the general fund, which Ruth said is $110,000 less than budgeted last year, which mostly reflects staffing changes/reductions.

The estimated fund balance, designated to help finance the upcoming budget, is $230,070.

The reorganization of the board for the coming year followed the budget hearing. Kurt Pfeifle was recognized for his years of service to the district as a board member, and was presented a mantle clock by the district.

Oath of office was administered to new board member, Jonathon Hurd, and to Connie Schroeder, who was re-elected in the April election.

David Fremark was again elected board president, and Schroeder vice-president.

Members on each of the seven school board committees will be finalized at the August meeting. Transportation and Bad Weather committees were combined.

Principal reports were given.
Junior-senior principal Steve Schumacher discussed some handbook changes, and his proposed mentoring program for new teachers. The program would team a new teacher with an experienced teacher on staff, with the goal being to improve skill and retention of new teachers.

Elementary principal Tammy Caffee reported more than 320 persons toured the new elementary school July 5, and she heard only positive comments. She also presented handbook changes, with all changes to be confirmed in August.

One of the additions will be “School Conduct: Disturbance of school as a misdemeanor.” The legal reference is SDCL 13-32-6, and covers actions that would be considered a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Superintendent Ruth reported on the upcoming Associated School Boards of South Dakota/School Administrators of South Dakota convention in Sioux Falls August 7-9.

He reported the $5.7 million in the capital projects fund for the elementary school has been spent, and some funds from capital outlay will need to be transferred to pay current bills.

Discussion items included the wrestling room renovation. Ruth said the hope had been to expand the room and update it, but cost projections are much more than anticipated and the project cannot be done during the school year, so it will be considered at a later date.

An invitation to bid for site concrete work (sidewalks/curb/gutter) has been published, and sealed bids will be opened July 16.

The possibility of purchasing Governor’s Houses was discussed, and Ruth said any purchase will be postponed until perhaps next spring, so the houses would be available when prospective staff would be interviewed.

Kevin Watts has approached the school about holding a golf tourney fundraiser, with proceeds to go to the school golf program. Modern Woodmen would provide matching funds. The board would not be required to take any action, Ruth said, as the district would not be involved in the fundraising effort.

As part of the reorganization process, the following items were acted upon:

• Designated The Miller Press as the official newspaper for Miller School District 29-4;

• Designated American Bank & Trust and Quoin Financial Bank as the official depositories for the district;

• Voted to enter the statement of non-discrimination in to the official minutes of the Board of Education. Inquiries regarding Affirmative Action, Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX of the Education Act of 1973, Section 504, Title II, the Age Discrimination Act and the Boy Scouts Act may be referred to Superintendent Mike Ruth;

• Established the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the elementary school library as the regular meeting time and place for the board meeting;

• Authorized the superintendent and business manager to sign revolving and activity fund checks, and to authorize the board chair and business manager to sign district warrants;

• Designated the superintendent as official representative of the district for all Federal programs and as official purchasing agent for the district;

• Set the salary for the school board members at $50 for regular meetings and $30 for committee meetings, with mileage paid to board members living more than five miles outside the City of Miller;

• Authorized the superintendent to close school in emergency situations, and set a change of command in the event the superintendent is absent;

• Designated Natalie Bertsch as voting delegate and Connie Schroeder as alternate for the 2013 Delegate Assembly in November, and declared Mike Runge as board member legislative chair.

• Set fees for school lunch and breakfast as follows, per CBM Management recommendations: K-4 $2.25 lunch, $1.35 breakfast; 5-8, $2.35 lunch, $1.45 breakfast; 9-12, $2.45 lunch, $1.45 breakfast; adults, $3.00.

• Gym user fees were set at $60 family, $35 adults, $20 students, $25 senior citizen, and $5 per day. Activity admission was set at $3 students, $5 adults, football parking $60, no fee for junior high activities—all same as previous year.

• Voted to offer activity punch tickets for regular home sports activities – 20 punch adult, $90, student $50, senior citizen $70; 10 punch adult, $47.50, student $27.50, senior citizen $37.50—all same as previous year.

• Voted to continue the policy of bids and quotes for fuel oil, propane and gasoline;

• Approved membership in the South Dakota United Schools Association and pay dues of $600.

• Approved technology support and services contract for the Miller School District special education department, for $7,552.20.

In other action, the board voted to surplus numerous items for purpose of disposal or sale at the City/County auction.

Board members also voted to surplus the three modular trailers located on the grounds of the former elementary school, for the purpose of accepting sealed bids.

Payment application #14 was approved for the elementary school project, in the amount of $145,894.25, payable to numerous contractors.

Following an executive session the board approved the negotiated agreement with the Miller Education Association for the coming year, and approved an operating transfer from the capital outlay fund to the capital projects fund in the amount of $561,962.49.

The next school board meeting will be held Monday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. in the new elementary library.