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High school to get new roof this summer

The Somerset High School will get a long overdue new roof this summer.

The Somerset Board of Education voted unanimously at Monday night’s meeting to hire John A. Alsin & Son of Minneapolis to complete the high school roof project not to exceed $442,300.

Dalsin was the second-lowest bidder and recommended by Kraus Anderson, the construction management company overseeing the roof and referendum projects. The lowest bidder did not meet insulation specifications.

Work is expected to begin June 15 and be completed by Aug. 15. The new roof will be of the same specifications as the newly installed roof areas on the high school referendum project additions. The new roof comes with a 20-year warranty.

The new roof will not increase costs for taxpayers, according to the business services committee minutes. The committee recommended and the board approved using $330,000 from the State Trust Fund with a payment plan using operational funds over a five-year period. The remaining balance of roughly $109,000 would be funded with operational dollars from the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Also, if the 2013-14 operational and/or referendum funds are available, those would be used in part as well.

Board member Bob Gunther said the roof is long overdue and has more than surpassed its 10-year warranty. The age of the roof is going on 18 or 19 years old.

“The roof condition has been nickel and diming the district as far as maintenance and repair bills go,” Gunther said.

Priority One 2014-15 staffing plan

The board voted unanimously to pass the Priority One 2014-15 staffing plan with an increase in an overall staff budget of $83,000.

The administrative team has worked on the plan since January. It outlines decisions based on student enrollment needs per grade levels and subject areas.

The plan also details grade level and/or subject transfer opportunities, decreases and increases in staffing. Staff members have the opportunity to transfer to other positions if their positions have been eliminated or decreased.

Decreases in positions are based on student needs for programming and/or classes, district administrator Randy Rosburg wrote in a memo.

“Administrators held conversations with teachers last week whose contract may be reduced for the 2014-15 school year,” Rosburg wrote. “These teachers anticipated this and were not surprised.”

The district is decreasing in the areas of English language learner, speech/journalism, art and business education.

Increases are coming in the areas of English, social studies and French. Another increase includes one of the three maintenance personnel moving into a district-wide maintenance manager position, which will coordinate and oversee district grounds, operations and facilities.

In a closed special session meeting held April 7, the board approved to make preliminary notice of non-renewal of teaching contracts for the following staff members:

  •  Mary Perizzo-Peterson (art), from 0.85 to 0.3 for the 2014-15 school year
  •  Jeanne Germain (speech/journalism), from 1.0 to 0.8 for the 2014-15 school year
  •  Gwen Hennessey (business and marketing education), from 1.0 to 0.6 for the 2014-15 school year
  •  Christine Scheid (ESL, bilingual), from 1.0 to 0.6 for the 2014-15 school year

The board also approved hiring Michelle Mahler as the transportation secretary at the April 7 meeting.

Phy ed exemption

The board unanimously approved a physical education exemption, which provided students the opportunity to meet the physical education requirements and take additional classes during their junior or senior years.

The exemption is available for student who participate in a WIAA-approved activity and meet other defined requirements.

This allows students to use time that would have been spent in a phy ed class to take other classes, such as English, math, science, social studies or health education.

In other business

  •  The board approved hiring Scott Peterson as an elementary short-term substitute teacher. He will fill in for Andrea Forrest as she goes on maternity leave in May.
  •  The board approved early graduation requests for Gaelin Elmore, Jake Engels, Perla Hernandez, Carly Niska, Ethan Pike, Brittany Robertson and Baylee Tahedl at the end of Term 3 of the 2013-14 school year.
  •  The board approved updated 2013-14 spring coaching/advising assignments.
  •  The board approved hiring Jeanne Germain for 0.6 Gifted and Talented Teacher for 2014-15 school year.
  •  Board members Gunther and Marie Colbeth were sworn into office. They both were re-elected at the April 1 election. Gunther garnered 345 votes, Colbeth 404. Challenger Nancy Dressel received 329 votes. There were three write-in votes.
  •  Pupil Services Director Shannon Donnelly announced that 230 people attended the Disabilities Awareness Committee’s Family Fun Friday at Somerset Elementary School Friday, April 11. Attendance numbers are up from 170 last year.
  •  Board member Mike Connor reported the governance committee has been looking at streamlining school board agendas. Board members receive their packets on Wednesdays now, instead of Fridays before meetings.
Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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