School agrees on $5.96M budget

New school board member Adam Wiese signs paperwork during his oath of office on July 12 at the school board meeting, while Stacey VanBeek, school business manager, congratulates him.

The Flandreau School Board approved its 2021-2022 budget, discussed safety procedures that will be in place for COVID-19 next fall and swore in one new board member at its July 12 meeting.
Without debate, the board approved a $5.96 million general budget, a $1.77 million capital outlay budget and a $1.27 million special education budget. The special education budget includes an additional teacher last year and this coming fall. The general budget compares with a $5.37 million budget for the 2020-2021 school year.
Within the general fund budget, $1.29 million is for the elementary, $906,642 will be spent in the middle school and $924,525 is allocated to the high school.
The approved general budget lowers the tax levy, which is multiplied by a property’s equalized value to determine taxes. If a person’s property value stayed the same, with these levies, the taxes should go down. However, property values have been rising across the state and in Moody County.
For agriculture land, the levy is 1.409 per thousand dollars of value. That number increases to 3.153 per thousand for non-ag, owner occupied and 6.525 per thousand for non-ag, other.
•School will start next year with a presumption that all students will return to in-person instruction.
Plexiglass and desk shields will be down in classrooms and common spaces, masks will be recommended instead of required and lunch, physical education and music classes will be back to normal. There will be open attendance at activities.
The board has not decided how it will handle someone who is a close contact and has yet to decide what alternative there will be for someone who cannot attend school in person.
Board member Kari Burggraff also said the district should have a plan in place on what will happen in the event of a breakout of cases.
The board will meet in a special session at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1, to discuss the remainder of the policy before school registration on Aug. 3-5. Classes begin Aug. 19.
•Adam Wiese was sworn in as a new board member, along with Kevin Christenson and Brian “Pedro” Johnson, who have been serving on the board. Christenson will serve one year, while Wiese and Johnson will serve three years.
Board members chose Tom Stenger to continue as the board president and Kevin Christenson as board vice president.
In other business,
•Some middle school students were unable to complete their coursework during summer school and will be promoted to the next grade. The students did show progress. “We will do what we can as they move into the next grade level,” said middle school Principal Brian Relf.
About half of the summer students in grades JrK-5 saw measured growth in reading and math. In grades 6-12, individual students completed 28 courses.
•The board recognized Jamie Hemmer, outgoing board member who served since 2018.
•The board accepted the resignation of Abby Hawks, a third-grade teacher, and Josh Cleveland as a junior high track coach. The board hired Emma Peters as a school social worker and Kathryn Brakke as the elementary secretary.
•Pay for certified subs increased from $100 to $110 a day. Classified sub positions will be paid $12 an hour, compared to $11.50.

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