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Verndale school district hires Estabrooks-Anderson

Susan Estabrooks-Anderson has been hired on a part-time basis to fill a parent educator position in Verndale.

Estabrooks-Anderson, who will work out of the Verndale school four hours every week, will oversee the school readiness coordinator and has 36 students enrolled with another 10-15 students expected to enroll. She will also be Verndale's new parent educator.

Becky Ludovissie will be the school readiness teacher.

The Verndale School Board also hired Becky Richter for a part-time teaching assistant position.

Coca-Cola's bid for supplying District 818 with soft drinks during the school year was accepted. Pepsi also submitted a bid.

The school board approved the Marco copier contract on the condition that Superintendent Paul Brownlow could obtain a 36-month lease agreement.

Brownlow informed the board that Verndale's student enrollment should see another increase when school begins in September. He plans to have exact numbers for the board in September.

The board approved a cooperative sponsorship with Staples-Motley in girls' tennis. Verndale does not offer tennis as a fall sport.

Principal Justin Sperling has come up with a revised cell phone policy for the school. The board had concerns about cell phone use at school because of litigation issues that have cropped up in other districts around the country. Some cell phones can also be used to take pictures.

Cell phones are also useful tools for educational purposes and absolute restriction of their use was not favored.

The policy Verndale will adopt will strictly prohibit taking pictures and/or recording video clips with cell-based devices.

Verndale students will be allowed to have cell phones at school and use them on a limited basis before school, between classes, on the noon hour and after school. Classroom use is prohibited unless the instructor gives permission to use them for academic purposes.

Brownlow will be reviewing the district's cash flow needs for the current school year with Judy Clare of Central Minnesota Educational Research and Development Council. Under the state's shift program, which delays financial aid, Verndale is slated to have $719,480 withheld until May 30, 2011.

District 818 is one of the districts helping the state wrestle with the problem of educational funding. District 818 had a cash balance in July of $1,282,156.