School board tackles personnel and policy needs

By Emily Bialkowski

Caledonia Argus


In addition to tackling budget gaps and late start Wednesdays, the Caledonia school board addressed several  housekeeping matters when it met March 18.



The board agreed (one absent) to terminate the employment of Tara Dodson effective Feb. 11.

The board accepted the resignation of Dianne Stevens as Hand in Hand Preschool teacher effective at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

The board adopted a resolution discontinuing and reducing educational programs and positions, including:

• Subtract .2278 middle and high school business

• Subtract .3432 high school English

• Subtract .2574 middle and high school PE/health

• Subtract .1716 high school science

• Subtract 1 elementary K-1 position

• Subtract .1716 elementary PE

These measures are a direct result of declining student enrollment and a projected loss of 40 students for the 2013-14 school year.


Snow make up day

The board eliminated a teacher training day on Monday, March 25 to accommodate hours lost to snow days. Students reported to school March 25 as if it were a normal day.

Superintendent Ben Barton made the recommendation, which was fully supported.

“No matter what we come up with someone is not going to be happy. We’d have issues any day,” Barton said.

The alternative dates were Monday, April 1 or June 3.

March 25 was supposed to be a half day of training for teachers and the other half used to prepare grades. Barton said teachers will need to find time to complete grading obligations and can make up the other four hours during a summer technology training summit set to take place mid June.


Warrior Pride

As is tradition at each school board meeting, several groups and individuals were extended a thank you for helping make the Caledonia School District  something to be proud of.

Congratulations were extended to the cast and crew of the middle school/high school musical “Calamity Jane” for a fine performance.

Thanks was extended to student Cara Stemper for singing the National Anthem at the sectional final wrestling tournament.

Thanks was extended to Heather Myhre of Houston County Public Health for her contributions to secure a grant to enhance inside recess days and the Farm to School Program.


Assessment season approaching

In the administrative report section of the meeting, middle school/high school principal Paul DeMorett said assessment season is approaching.

Students in grades 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11 will participate in two-days of  testing, while ninth graders will have one day of testing. Seniors in high school are the lucky winners of no tests.

DeMorett said next year will be different story because the state is moving away from paper and pencil tests to online testing. “We don’t have enough computers to test all our students in one day,” he said.

Also coming through the high school pipeline is a project with the Caledonia Area Chamber of Commerce, who is looking to have students in business classes design their website.

And finally, in the next two weeks high school students will be presented a list of classes that will be available next year. Students have already expressed their first round of preferences but will need to streamline their choices now that participation numbers are better solidified.



A long list of policies were adopted as presented and included:

• Legal status of the school board policy

• School board officers policy

• Operation of the school board – governing rules policy

• School board procedures; rules of order policy

• Order of the regular school board meeting policy

• School board meeting agenda policy

• Consent agendas policy

• School board meeting minutes policy

• Open meetings and closed meetings policy

The board was also introduced to policies they will consider for adoption at their next meeting. Those include:

• Public participation in school board meetings/complaints about persons at school board meetings and data privacy considerations policy

• Public hearings policy

• Development, adoption and implementation of policies

• Conflict of interest – school board members policy

• Criminal or civil action against school district, school board member, employee or student policy

• School board member development policy

• School board committees policy

• Out-of-state travel by school board members policy