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NR school board approves more staff for Tiger Pack

During its Nov. 27 regular board meeting, the New Richmond School Board approved the addition of one Tiger Pack staff member at both Paperjack and Starr elementaries in order to assure the program meets the new compliance rules set by the Department of Children and Families. The new compliance rules were put in place to allow the DCF to monitor school age care programs run under a school district.

"The one thing that I will outline is that the state has been working on various rules for programs like this, and daycares for school districts. And the big number there is the 18-to-1 staff-to-student ratio. We are very close to that, but these are new guidelines that were developed and that we have to fall under," said District Administrator Patrick Olson. "To be able to fall under that ratio — which can be a moving target — we have to add this recommendation."

The new positions would be from 7-8 a.m., Monday through Thursday for the morning sessions of Tiger Pack. Tiger Pack has been maintaining a positive balance since the 2016-2017 school year to supplement additional staff. The numbers for morning attendance are growing steadily at each site, averaging between 45 and 55 students per school each morning.

Along with the approval for Tiger Pack staff, the school board approved the retirement of Community Education Supervisor Cheryl Emerson. Emerson has been director of New Richmond Community Education for the last 16-plus years.

The school board also approved the addition of a 35 hours per week paraprofessional position at the elementary level to help work with three transfer-in students with significant needs and required support minutes in IEP who recently moved to the district.

The board heard reports from middle school and high school activities directors Michele Wood and Casey Eckardt. The pair presented information about their respective schools, including numbers, new clubs and the accomplishments of their students. One topic brought up for further discussion in the near future was that of high school and middle school activities fees and how the board felt about them.

The final approvals of the night were given to the purchase of a one ton truck replacement for the maintenance department and the purchase of a new Combi oven at the middle school.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 19, which is a change from the normal meeting schedule.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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