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Hancock enrollment numbers for next year prompt staffing discussions

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news Morris, 56267
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

Staffing and curriculum needs were part of the focus of the April meeting of the Hancock School Board. Some of the discussion centered around the projected enrollment numbers for next year at the elementary level and there was also some discussion about curriculum that could be added in the future at the high school level.

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Principal Tim Pahl presented the board members with the projected enrollment numbers in grade pre-K through six for next year. The numbers are leaving the board members with some possible big decisions this summer about splitting classes and acquiring more staff.

The numbers presented are approximate, and more class members could be added or deleted before the first day of school. Pahl estimates the following:

Pre-K - 25

Kindergarten - 21

First grade - 32

Second grade - 28

Third grade - 32

Fourth grade - 21

Fifth grade - 26

Sixth grade - 29

With these numbers, first and third grades, which currently have two sections, will once again need two sections. There is also a possibility that second grade and sixth grade will need to be split. The administration and teachers will need to look at the special needs of students in these grades before making that decision. Also, any additional students coming into the district for those grades could prompt the split.

Currently Hannah Plattner and Jayna Ruprecht teach the second sections of grades two and kindergarten. Their positions may need to be moved to a different grade level due to the splits. Kathy Brenny works as a part-time teacher at the fifth grade level and a part-time para. Her position may need to be changed to full-time at a different grade level.

Amy Dougherty presented a possible list of technology recommendations from the technology committee and told the board that they had also discussed the future of her position as the technology coordinator.

Dougherty will be adding some computer classes this fall and will have less time for the technology work. However, she stressed that she really enjoys that work and would like to continue to do as much of it as possible.

Some suggestions were to hire a part-time technology person or perhaps fill staff positions with a person who has technology experience. There were a couple of courses board members felt should be looked at to offer in the future. These included additional math classes and a career planning/placement course for seniors. However, in order to offer these, times would need to be found in the class schedule that would allow students to enroll in them.

After a closed session for the evaluations of fifteen teachers, the board approved going with the recommended renewals.

Other business

• Students will not be making up the three additional snow days. Staff will come in two days after school and document that they’ve made up the other days.

• FFA Adviser Jill Steiner informed board members that she will be taking 23 FFAers to the state convention next week. Several of them will be competing in teams and some will be participating in the FFA band and choir.

• Pahl gave the board members an update on areas that still need to be completed after the construction. The district is withholding some of the funds from the contractor until these are wrapped up. He also gave a list of some possible summer work projects. These include some updates in the 1999 addition hallways and classrooms. There will also need to be kitchen cabinets replaced with stainless steal, required after a recent inspection.

• Hancock Education Association presented a request from the board to allow them to give some of their unused sick leave days to Chad Christianson. This is a result of Mr. Christianson’s health and that of his father who passed away this week. The board allowed Christiansen to use up to ten days this school year from his fellow teachers.

• The board accepted with thanks, the resignations of two staff members. Tara Thielke resigned as special ed para, head volleyball coach and JV basketball coach. Jewell Feucht  resigned as janitor but will remain as a cook.

• The board discussed the 45 percent increase in health insurance premiums for employees and will look to get estimates from other areas.

• An unrequested leave hearing was set for April 24 at 10 a.m. requested by Adam Steege.

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