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District 2155 could see 2-2 general fund formula

Wadena-Deer Creek Principal Louis Rutten made an ENVoY Gem presentation to WDC Kindergarten Teacher Angie Moats Monday evening at the April meeting of the WDC school board. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal

The Wadena School Board was fed a dose of what has the potential to be very good news Monday evening from Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Lee Westrum.

Westrum, who traveled to St. Paul to check on education matters in the State Legislature two weeks ago, has heard Minnesota schools will be receiving a two percent raise over the next two years in the general fund formula.

While the 2-2 formula would help District 2155's budget picture, Westrum is still keeping his feet on the floor. The WDC administration based their preliminary budget for the coming school year on a one percent increase.

"Right now it's the governor that is saying it," Westrum said Tuesday morning.

The state legislature is not expected to give schools a definite number until the end of May. If the legislature needs to hold a special session, that timetable will be pushed into June.

"We've got to have a budget adopted by June 30," Westrum said. "We'll approve a budget at that point. We'll go with our best guess and if we have to we'll amend it. It's kind of tough to not know until the end of May."

The annual budget of the district is around $11 million according to Westrum.

WDC Elementary Principal Louis Rutten made an ENVoY Gem Presentation to Kindergarten Teacher Angie Moats. ENVoY is a program that shows teachers how to use influence rather than power to manage in the classroom.

The board approved a 2017-2018 school calendar. The first day of school will be Tuesday, Sept. 5. Students and faculty will have at least one day off each month from September through May. The Christmas vacation will begin Dec. 22 and run through Jan. 1. The final day of school for students will be May 31. The final day for teachers will be June 1.

The board approved resolutions for a grant application to support a grant application for a National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) Early Prevention Program by Verndale Kindergarten Teacher Jennifer Veronen. The board also approved a resolution, along with Staples and Verndale, to support an application for NJPA Innovation Funding for Central Minnesota.

Land O' Lakes and Bimbo Bakeries received the board's approval for their milk and bread bids.

District 2155 will be losing three long-time members of the staff at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

Headed for retirement are Head Outdoor Custodian Mike Kenney (32 years), Transportation Director Tim Wohlert (23 years) and English Teacher/Drama Advisor Jay Patterson (37 years).

The Wadena-Deer Creek school board accepted the resignations at their monthly meeting Monday in the Robertson Theatre. Superintendent Lee Westrum told the board the administration is already looking for another English teacher to fill Patterson's position. Patterson, who started his association with WDC at Deer Creek, was recently identified as the senior member of the faculty.

The board approved the hiring of four long-term substitute paraprofessionals - Laurie Christianson, Joyce Price, Becky Matthiesen and Jennifer Steinke.