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JANUARY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

 

I must be getting older, but it is hard to believe the calendar is changing from 2016 to 2017.  Each year seems to roll faster than the last and we are already at the point to change calendars again. 

I would like to take time, this week, to highlight items for the upcoming school board agenda as well as a few other notes about the district.

 

BOARD CHANGE

As a School District, the change of the calendar means that we have an adjustment to the membership on the school board.  Mike Austreng and Nadine Schnettler’s terms on the board have expired and we welcome Shannon Humbert and Sunny Hesse to their seats on the board.

At the start of the January 9 School Board meeting, Shannon and Sunny will be officially sworn into their positions.  We have established a practice of having a brief time in which the new board members are confirmed with a public recitation of the oath of office.

We also have each board member officially sign the oath of office and have those on display in the school board meeting room.  We think the formality of the oath of office and display of the signed oaths serve as great reminders of the public role of school board members.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES

Another key part of the first meeting in January is to complete some organizational activities within the board.  Leadership roles within the board are determined as well as committee assignments. 

The School Board has four formal leadership roles.  The positions include the Chair of the Board, Vice Chair, Clerk and Treasurer.  As would be expected with these roles, the Chair oversees the board meetings and is often called upon for information or other decisions. 

The Vice Chair serves in the absence of the Chair.  The Clerk is the board member responsible for the official records of the board and district.  The Treasurer has financial reporting and monitoring duties.  Many of these duties are carried out within the district office but the information, from the board perspective, are monitored and overseen by the board members.

The ROCORI District uses committee processes to accomplish a great deal of the work of the board.  There are a number of committee and representative assignments that are determined within the organizational meeting.

 

BUDGET PROCESS

Although the budget development process within the district takes a considerable amount of time, the process will begin with a review of budget assumptions and parameters at the next meeting. 

A main item in the work session will be for School Board members to set the broad expectations for the development of the budget.  The assumptions include a series of questions that we ask board members to offer their best expectations and insight.  These help to project factors like enrollment, legislative action, major program direction, expected program adjustments, and other direction—all of which influence the budget framework.

There is a great deal of work that will unfold over the course of the spring, but the assumptions get us started on the process. 

 

ROCORI ENGAGEMENT IN COMMUNITY

Although I don’t have enough space in this week’s article to highlight everything that has happened recently, there have been a large number of school activities that have been focused on sharing back in the community.  In an upcoming article, I will take more time to highlight items, but I do want to share a few things!

Prior to our holiday break, the Student Senates across the district were very actively engaged in giving back to the community.  The RMS Student Senate had some activities to donate to the food shelf.  Their goal was to donate food items or money to raise 6,000 meals—they raised more than 8,000 meals during the competition!

The RHS Student Senate has been busy with a number of activities through the fall including a blood drive, clothing drive and other activities.  Prior to the holiday break the Senior High experienced their annual “penny wars” with donations going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Nearly $300 was raised through the event.

The Richmond PTC worked to pack ROCORI Action Pack backpacks and made a donation to the organization.  The JCE staff raised funds to support the ROCORI Action Packs program while second grade students completed a six-year goal of collecting 1 million pop tops to donate to the Ronald McDonald house.

It is a privilege to see the work and donations of the student and staff groups as they give back to the community!  I will share additional details on other activities of the ROCORI District in another article.