The Laporte School Board met Oct. 14 for the final time before the district’s capital referendum levy and board election vote Nov. 5
The meeting lasted just over 30 minutes with the biggest item concerning the large class sizes in both the first- and second-grades, and what can be done to help out the teachers.
Laporte’s staff has come up with a partial solution that involves moving high school staff to the elementary to help out and alleviate hardships. The board also discussed hiring a paraprofessional who can float around the school for the remainder of the year. The board will discuss it further at the November meeting, which was moved from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14, because Veteran’s Day falls on the second Monday of the month.
“Something has to be done, and we are working on this. The problem is not being ignored,” said Chair John Seegmiller. “We encourage the growth, but we need it to benefit the students.”
Enrollment has gone up since school began and it is currently at 326 students.
Later in the meeting Superintendent Kim Goodwin talker about the student survey that takes place every three years for fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders. The questions concern smoking, drinking, sexual activity, bullying, feeling safe at the school and other activities.
Goodwin said they are going to take the 2016 results and compare them to the latest survey see if there are any trends, then put it all together to make a report.
In other school business, the board:
Approved keeping Business Manager and Clerk Karri Kampfer at four, 10-hour days with Friday off. Goodwin said production has been “amazing,” as Kampfer starts her day at 6 a.m. and has no interruptions for eight hours each week.
The schedule is flexible, so if something comes up Kampfer can switch out days and work Friday if necessary.
Accepted several monetary donations over the last few months that include $850 from the Laporte Education Endowment Fund for the music program, $500 for the HOBY Youth Leadership and $100 for the literacy program; $5,000 from Walker Legion Post 134 to the school; $2,000 from the Garfield Lake Ice Racers for the lunch angel fund, $1,900 to the athletic department and $267.16 for baseball bats for community education; $536 from the Tonia Johannsen Memorial Fund to the softball program; $500 from Lindy’s Plumbing to the baseball program in honor of Arnold Smith; $300 from the Laporte-Benedict Lions Club to purchase meals for students during away games; $150 from Robyn Christopher for summer reading program T-shirts; $50 from Lisa Fisher in memory of her mother, Lois Caldwell, a 1945 graduate; and $900 from Beltrami Electric’s Operation Round Up for the Preschool Rebuild for 3 and 4 year olds.
There were also some items donated by individuals.
Approved the Stellher Agreement.
Hired Stacey Lathrop as assistant cook and Megan Weinmann as a para-professional.
Approved extra-curricular hires that include AJ Dombeck as assistant varsity baseball coach, Mary Hegna as sophomore class advisor and Sylvia Johannes and Collin Shinabargar as Student Council advisors.
Approved the Hubbard County Collaborative, which is something that is done every year for the three schools in the county. The district will get $10,000 for answering a series of questions concerning special needs.