School district approves new master contract with HEA
By Chad Koenen
The Henning School District and Henning Education Association have come to terms on a new two year master contract that will go from 2021-23. As part of the contract the district will give a 2.5 percent increase in steps and lanes for each of the next two years.
The new master contract was officially approved by the school board during its regularly scheduled meeting last Monday night.
As part of the new contract there will be no increase in insurance for the first year, and a $400 increase in insurance in the second year and a new longevity stipend was added to teachers who have completed their 15th year of continuous teaching in Henning.
In addition to the new contract, the Henning School Board heard an update about the second annual Halloween parade for elementary students. Henning Principal Thomas Williams said the parade was started last year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as opposed to having conventional classroom Halloween parties at the school.
Due to its popularity with the community, students and staff members, the district is hosting another Halloween parade on Friday afternoon from 2-3 p.m. The parade map can be found on page 2 of this week’s Citizen’s Advocate and those who want to line the streets to check out all of the costumes can do so as well.
Businesses and individuals can also hand out candy to the students, but are being asked to provide a bag to each teacher with candy for the entire class that can then be distributed at the school. The hope was to keep the flow of the parade going and make it easier for the teachers to distribute the candy.
Each class size can be found on the school district’s Facebook page.
Williams said the parade was one of the good things that came out of last year’s COVID-19 restrictions as it provides the students and school another opportunity to get into the community.
In other news
• Approved an overload payment for Dana Damm and Ida Rogers-Ferguson for teaching an overload schedule this fall.
• Approved the hiring of bus driver Eugene Hollatz and the hiring of Rachel Mathias as junior high volleyball coach.
• Approved the leave request for Kayla Lueders as fifth grade teacher beginning around the first of the year.
• Approved the creation of a District Advisory Committee/Learning Recovery. The committee will assist with things like the World’s Best Workforce plan, as well as serve to help generate ideas that would best meet the learning recovery needs of students. The team will be made up of school board members, staff members, parents and students.
• Heard that the November school board meeting will be changed to Monday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. due to a conflict with the MREA conference.
• Received the activities report from athletic director Randy Misegades who stated the fall musical is set for November 19-21, girls basketball practice will begin November 15 and the wrestling and boys basketball practice will begin November 22. He also reported that the basketball shot clock appears to be picking up steam, pending approval by the Minnesota State High School League, and could be implemented in the next few years. A preliminary quote would be a cost of $4,980 to install a shot clock in the high school gym.
• Heard from Williams, who credited staff members at Henning School, for continuing to step in and fill needs within the district. He reported the district currently has four substitutes and two substitute paraprofessionals, while other team members have continued to fill in for open classes as well.
• Heard the school district’s K-12 enrollment is 347 students and the prek-12 enrollment is 393 students.
• Heard from Sparks that the district cumulatively had three positive COVID-19 cases from staff members and 12 from students so far this year. She said the data indicates that COVID-19 is spreading among siblings and within households and it does not appear to be spreading within classrooms or grades at this time.
• Heard that a Lakes Country Playground inspector inspected the school playground on July 19 and the main safety concerns have already been addressed by the custodial staff at the school. However, Sparks suggested the district look at potentially using some ESSERS III money for the replacement or upgrade of some of the playground equipment for the safety of students.