Combined administrative position will save local school district $60,000

By Clay Schuldt
Special for the Argus

The Caledonia Area School District plans to consolidate two administrative positions into one. By doing so, the district will save an estimated $60,000 a year in salary expenses.

Following the recent resignations of Supt. Bruce Thomas and Elementary Principal Connie Hesse the school board  decided last month they would be seeking a single person to fill both the superintendent and elementary principal positions.

At the Jan. 17 board meeting, the directors developed that position further. The board intends to advertise the position as 80 percent superintendent and 20 percent elementary principal.  This division of responsibility mainly serves as a method on how to administer salary.

Interim Superintendent Marcia Love commented that it was impossible to determine an accurate breakdown of the proposed position on a day to day basis.  The board acknowledged that percentage could be adjusted in the future if deemed necessary.

The board intends to have the new superintendent/elementary principal start in July of 2012.  The application deadline for the position is Feb. 20.

Administrative reports

Middle/High School Principal Paul DeMorett announced the beginning of the class registration process for the middle school and high school students. A credit awarding proposal must be decided upon before registration can start.

Since September the board has discussed creating a policy to have a single grading scale for the entire high school.  The concern was that high school grading scales could vary as much as 20 percent.

DeMorett recently presented high school teachers with a survey of potential grading scales. An overwhelming majority were in favor of a single grading scale. The new scale will be implemented at the start of the second semester.

DeMorett is finishing up the revised Crisis Plan made in 2006.  The revision includes amendments to contact information.


Board member John Klug inquired into tracking the purchasing of applications for teacher iPads.  Currently Caledonia teachers are given gift cards to purchase any applications through Best Buy. As the various iPad applications range in price the gift cards are the easiest way to budget purchases.

DeMorett informed the board that all portable technologies, such as laptops, iPads, and projectors have serial numbers recorded to allow the school to monitor use, as well as to perform an end of the year inventory.

In related issue, the board discussed supplying portable technology to students for a small rental fee. A workshop presented by Stewartville and Dover-Eyota in the Twin Cities demonstrated methods to bring laptop and iPad technologies into their schools without adding additional costs to their district or cutting programs.

“We as a district are sitting in a much better position thanks to the One-Day Bond,” said Boardmember Scott Longhorn.

Another benefit of supplying students with laptop/netbooks is it eliminates the need for parents to purchase or rent hundred dollar graphic calculators for math classes as these features are already available on the netbook.

A contract was ratified to hire Eric Jerviss as the full-time network technician for the 2011-2012 school year.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday Feb. 21.

Coaching staff

The board approved the spring sports coaching contracts.

Under baseball, Dave Konz will serve as head coach, Tom Schultz as assistant coach and Zach Hauser as junior high coach.

Carl Fruechte will be the head coach of boys’ track and Jim Westland will serve as girls’ head track coach.  Reese Wait will be the assistant track coach for both boys and girls track.

Under golf, Jeremy Leis will serve as head boys’ coach. The position of head girls’ golf coach has yet to be filled. The position originally belonged to Ken Van Den Boom, who stepped down a few months earlier. Van Den Boom and Mitch Mullins will not serve as co-assistant boys and girls golf coaches.