STMA likes community garden proposal

Would be located at high school

The St. Michael-Albertville School Board was favorable to a proposed community garden at the high school.

The board also heard an update about property and liability carrier insurance, and took action on other issues.



High school principal Bob Driver told the school board about the idea of creating a school-sponsored community garden at the high school. He said the idea started last year but didn’t materialize as funding became an obstacle.

Then the district won a $10,000 Minnesota Toyota “Drive for Education” grant. Driver said the garden would be more than just fruits and vegetables but include flowers, paths, sculptured art and benches.

He said the idea is to have as many school disciplines involved in the project as possible. For example, students in the technology and arts departments would provide the sculptures and outdoor furniture. Science and consumer science students would work on planting and food preparation.

Driver also noted the many benefits that would be attained by creating a garden, including providing produce to area community members, studying the growth cycle, working with senior citizens, mentoring neighboring elementary students, and understanding the importance of working in collaboration to accomplish a goal.

Board members Drew Scherber, Jeanne Holland, Gayle Weber, Doug Birk, Carol Steffen and Jeff Lindquist commended Driver on the proposal.



In further matters, Supt. Jim Behle updated the board about action on property and liability carrier insurance and agent process.

Behle said he and finance director Ginny Verbrugge attended an informational risk pool meeting at Arthur J. Gallagher, Risk Management Services. He said the advantages of joining a pool are insurance at a lower cost through economy of scale, and the negotiation of power of a large group.

He said disadvantages include a three-year commitment from the original pool district, and that the district would bear the cost of a local agent. He recommended moving forward with soliciting bids from four different insurance carriers through two local agents.

The superintendent will work with Verbrugge on specifications, with the goal to have bids by July 15. He also recommended obtaining a quote from Gallagher Risk Management for cost and coverage comparison.

In other action, the board:

HEARD a report from principal Lee Brown about Big Woods Elementary School, highlighting how the school addresses the district’s strategic plan.

HEARD that community outreach correspondence items addressing school funding and property tax equalization have been prepared. The information will be sent out to parents through the auto dialer program.

APPROVED a Senior Recognition Day Friday, May 24, allowing the senior class to be excused.