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01-20-04: Minster parents will be polled on their interest in all-day kindergarten


MINSTER — Parents coming to register children for kindergarten in the coming months will be taking part in a survey to determine their interest in a proposed all-day format.
Minster Elementary School Principal Brenda Boeke handed out information packets to Minster board of education members Monday night outlining various scenarios.
Boeke has found only positive research regarding daylong kindergarten. Generally, the decision comes down to parental preference.
“Research shows kids are less stressed out in all-day kindergarten,” she said. “It’s go-go-go during the 21⁄2 hours of half-day sessions.”
The school district is required by the state to offer half-day sessions. If the all-day format is approved, one section would be added. The remaining sections would continue on the half-day format.
The program would be explained during parent meetings in March, and Boeke would conduct the actual survey during April assessments
Superintendent Halver Belcher indicated no decision would be made until the board takes action on the school’s five-year plan.
Board members listened as Treasurer Laura Klosterman reviewed permanent appropriations for fiscal year 2004. Her report, which produced no satisfied smiles, could be labeled hot off the copy machine as it was completed just two hours before the 7:30 p.m. session.
“We’re going to pull the purse strings as tight as possible,” she said. “Hopefully, we won’t have to borrow to get through.”
Klosterman is anticipating general fund appropriations totaling $6,741,744.23 as compared to $6,303,363 in fiscal year 2003. Projected carryover is $60,000 at this point.
The treasurer noted tax delinquencies have increased during the past three years, labeling it a sign of a troubled economy on the local scene.
“Times are tough and sometimes the tax bill gets pushed back,” she added. “This used to be minimal but the numbers continue to climb.”
In other business, the board:
• Approved long-range projects including technology upgrades for the large group room at the middle school, restroom upgrades at the high school, an air conditioner for the elementary teacher lounge, new signage and playground upgrades. No action was taken on window or window panel replacement at the elementary building. Additional input will be sought before a decision is made.
• Postponed taking action on the five-year forecast until the next meeting to allow school officials to revisit the document with updated numbers.
• Discussed proposed concession stand/pressbox/restroom upgrades at the Melcher Street athletic field used for high school baseball games. The athletic boosters have expressed a desire in the project. No action was taken.
• Approved a change for pupil activity supervisor certification. Although all faculty and staff must take first aid and CPR training, only those with supplemental contracts are required to obtain the $21 certification.
• Received an update on Wright State University teacher education students who are working in the district. They include Kyleen Seitz, Katie Eilerman, Andrea Householder and Tressa Prasuhn.
• Reviewed progress in regard to the district’s Continuous Improvement Plan.
• Hired Thomas Ruane as assistant junior high school girls track coach as well as Margie Beckman and Linda Osterloh as substitute cafeteria workers on an as-needed basis.
• Met in executive session for the purpose of personnel evaluations. No action was taken.
• Set 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 as the time and date for the February meeting.


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