By Peg Craig
The St. Michael–Albertville School Board met to hear about the first day of school, to present Board member Hollee Saville with a Leadership Development Certificate, to accept a policy on unpaid leave for school staff, and to welcome Heather Sroka who is the new secretary to the School Board.
Superintendent Ann-Marie Foucault reported that the first day of school went well. The schools had planned ways to greet incoming students and help them find their classes.
Older students mentored new students. A total of 334 students who live in Albertville, but not in the STMA district, filled four bus loads and cut down on the number of cars dropping students off.
The participants in this test program pay for the service which picks up students near their homes and brings them into district schools. District enrollment was slightly higher than predicted but was spread evenly throughout the schools so that class sizes remain at expected levels.
The enrollment at the STMA High School reached capacity with 2,009 students registered. Additional classrooms will be built at the high school before next fall.
New school board members in Minnesota are expected to take classes on being effective participants offered by the Minnesota School Board Association.
Board member Hollee Saville, who was elected last fall, has completed the courses and received a certificate from the MSBA.
After discussions with representatives of the union for school service and custodial maintenance employees, the School District and Union 284 signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding unpaid leave.
It will be a pilot program for the 2017-2018 school year and is not tied to the current contract. The decision to grant unpaid leave for extraordinary circumstances is at the discretion of the School District. An employee requesting leave must have worked for the District for at least a year and must have used up all paid time off. A maximum of five days may be given in any two year period.
Previously unpaid leave has been granted on a case by case basis with no written guidelines and the School Board members hope that this pilot program will reduce unpaid leave.
The School Board welcomed Heather Sroka. She has been hired as administrative assistant to Superintendent Foucault and will serve as secretary to the school board. She will be sending out the agendas and accompanying materials and will write up the notes of their meetings.