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District 518 approves preliminary levy

WORTHINGTON -- The District 518 Board of Education approved the proposed 2011 levy at its regular board meeting Tuesday.

The proposed levy limitation is $5,133,468.  This figure represents a 20 percent increase from the previous year.

"We have to remember that last year, we reduced our levy by $1 million," said the district's director of management services Dave Skog. "Last year, rather than incurring an 8 percent increase, we ended up with about a 13 percent decrease."

The proposed 20 percent increase is the amount that the district can reduce but not exceed.

District Superintendent John Landgaard stressed the increase in the levy is primarily due to the $1 million reduction from last year because "we felt that the fund balance was large enough and the fact that it was the board's wish to make sure that taxpayers were given that break."

In an unrelated matter, board members authorized the decision to upgrade the school district's website, which has lacked regular updates in recent years.

The cost of a new website is $7,500, with a monthly recurring cost ranging from $80 to $155, Landgaard said.

"It's a good start on how we are going to maintain it and keep it up to date," he added. "There are some automatic tools with the new website that would allow that to happen."

Board member Steve Schnieder was concerned with the users' navigation on the new site.

"Unless there is a big advantage where it will be easier for people to find things," Schnieder added.

"We want to keep the same type of structure to some extent," Landgaard explained. "Some of the structure could change, but with more links there will be greater accessibility."

In other business, board members:

* Approved termination of Holly Raak as ABE teacher with Community Education.

* Approved resignation of Roberto Vargas Cortes as Service Learning Leader with NCIC, Tracy Kelley as special education paraprofessional at WMS, Naw Play Say as Karen/Burmese community connector with Community Education, Kari Voss-Drost as ECFE teacher with Community Education, and Randine Smith as ABE teacher with Community Education.

* Approved employment of Ben DeRynck as assistant football coach at WHS, Delma Gonzalas as dishwasher at WHS, Vicki Selberg as cook at WHS, Juan Gomez as assistant boys soccer coach at WHS, Gloria Alatorre as temporary graduation coach with NCIC, Doreen Berger as temporary special education paraprofessional at WMS, Mary Reemts as transportation paraprofessional with special education, Terri Spartz as early childhood screening secretary with Community Education, Anne Raetz as assistant girls soccer coach at WHS, Katy Johnson as temporary special education paraprofessional at WMS, Ashley Haken as .9 FTE ABE teacher with Community Education, John Singler as assistant all school play coach at WHS, Julie Krommendyk as long term dishwasher substitute, Natali Ramirez, Apoman Abella, Tony Singsaath, Rosibel Majia Calderon, Matt Sorenson and Amber Taarud as program aides with EDGE program, Janaki Tunuguntla as activity instructor with EDGE program, and Tracy Remme as enrichment teacher with EDGE program.

* Approved increase assignment for Pat Dagget from 7.0 FTE to 7.5 FTE as head cook at Prairie Elementary and Margie Riemersma from 6.0 FTE to 6.5 FTE as cook at Prairie Elementary.

* Approved change in classification for Lisa Strand from Class II to Class * paraprofessional at Prairie Elementary and Donne Reimer from Class I to Class II paraprofessional at Prairie Elementary.

* Approved an overload of assignment of .333 for Mary Brown as special education teacher at WHS

* Approved acceptance of donations from Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, Prairie Parent Group, and Dean Foods.

* Approved a behavior analyst contract agreement for eight days of service a year for $5,000.

* Approved after school EDGE program employees -- Jose Florez as EDGE ESL assistant at WMS; Kayla Jensen, Cindy Godinez, Nancy Andera, Joyce Lohr, Shari VanderVeen, Teri Reller, Kathy Solt, Matt Sorenson and Ingrid Langaeth as EDGE educational assistants at Prairie Elementary; Laurie Dahlquist, Julia Le, Rachel Bell, Pam Deuel, Julia Ailts, Megan Erickson, Becky Deuhn, Jolene Calvin, Kerri Oltmans, Sara Zins, Lindsey McGraw, Josh Langseth, Deb Marquardt, Mike Marquardt, Joan Vande Kamp, Anne Bruns, Beth Rabenberg, Merilyn Nieland, Shannon Schmitz, Teresa Johnson, Sue Hagen and Melissa Jensen as EDGE teachers at Prairie Elementary; Julie Bauman, Darren Larsen, Joe Krivarchka, Laurie Pass, Kathy Craun, Jody Madsen, Paula Wolyniec, Rich Besel, Corey Barfknecht, Elizabeth Iverson, Scott Burns, Camilla Aker, Carissa Franken,  Derek Schmitz, Abbey Fischbach, Lonnie Myron, Paula Stock, Rose Spillers, Sara Ricker, and Kelly Moon and EDGE teachers at WMS.

* Approved adding a .75 FTE Reading Interventionist at Prairie Elementary.