“There are a lot of good things happening,” stated Board Chairman Justin Cronen at the Hancock School Board meeting on March 20. One of those good things is that former Hancock music teacher Paul Hartmann has asked to return to his position in Hancock.
Hartmann resigned over a year ago and the district struggled to get any applicants for the position. Fortunately retired music teacher Kris Miller agreed to fill in until someone could be hired. The Hancock School Board heartily thanked Kris for doing this and doing a very nice job.
Hartmann left Hancock to take a job in Osakis. However, last month he placed a call to Hancock Principal Tim Pahl and asked if he might be able to return. Pahl stated that he was excited to have him back pending board approval. He explained that Hartmann decided that Hancock is where he wants to be because of the community support for the music program.
After the board approval, Pahl also thanked Miller for doing a great job this past year.
This will help for the safety of students. The same company that put cameras inside the buses will do the installation of the stop arm cameras. The cameras will go on five route buses and plus two extra route buses used when needed.
After hearing a budget proposal and extensive discussion of rates and other options, the school board members approved investing $500,000 into a three-month US Treasury Bond. The goal is to take advantage of the current higher interest rates on Treasury Bonds compared to CD’s. This will be reviewed again prior to the three-month renewal date.
Hancock students and faculty will not see a change to the school calendar due to snow days. The school has had 10 days of canceled classes due to snow and will use two scheduled make-up days for two of them.
Principal Pahl said that teachers are using class time efficiently and teaching from bell to bell. The administration has limited staff to only one field trip between now and the end of the year. Elementary staff have met for professional development activities outside of the school day. The staff is also meeting with groups of students during recess.
All these things help add to the total student instruction time mandated by the state. The district is in compliance with the required minimum number of hours for student contact time which for Hancock is 164 days for the school year. This time does vary in each school district, which again, is determined by minimum hours established in State Statute for students in grades 7-12, elementary and Kindergarten.
Supt. Paul Carlson reviewed some of the Legislative proposals that can affect school districts. He stated that even if more money is allowed for the school, some of the new legislation will cost the schools more money. These include the free meals (free meals will not cost the district but will be a cost savings for families), the Family & Medical Leave proposal and Earned Safe & Sick Time. There are also proposed mandates about unemployment insurance, health insurance, prep time and support staff. He asked board members to contact the legislators about these issues.
And in one final piece of ‘good news’, the board learned that Wes Anderson, the shop instructor, was awarded a $12,250 grant through Lakes Country Service Cooperative and Perkin’s funding to purchase a Power Wave 300C Advanced EDU One Welder.
The school was also awarded one full-time preschool literacy tutor and one full-time K-3 literacy tutor for the 2023-2024 school year from Reading Corps.