School board approves collaboration with Minnetonka for online academy – Albert Lea Tribune


The Albert Lea School Board on Monday approved collaboration with Tonka Online, Minnetonka’s online learning academy, for online learning for Albert Lea students in grades 6-12 for the year next.

Board member Dennis Dieser said it’s important for people to understand that the district will pay for a different e-learning program to run its program.

“But now, because of what I believe is state law – said (online schools) had to operate through a school – Minnetonka is one of the best doing it right now,” a- he declared. “Our students are still Albert Lea students, but we have to pay Minnetonka a percentage to do it.”

According to John Double, associate director of the district’s online academy, the arrangement includes partial state funding to travel to Minnetonka to pay teachers.

Neal Skaar, the chairman of the board, said Albert Lea District simply doesn’t have the staff in all areas to do it.

Double said students will be given iPads.

“Minnetonka has been doing this for a while, before the pandemic,” new Superintendent Ron Wagner said. “So they set up this process. It was pretty solid, it worked at the time.

He also noted that other districts have tried to replicate the program but have been unable due to declining enrollment.

According to Double, students in grades six through eight will have fixed lesson times, while high school students can do their work anytime as long as they complete their weekly work.

In another action, the board approved Paul Durbahn’s application for Minnesota State High School League membership endorsement for 28 activities. Durbahn is the District Activities Director.

According to Durbahn, the cost of membership is just under $8,000, although he said he had not received an invoice at the time of the meeting.

They also approved off-hour hourly wages for part-time employees, including after-school academy members, project exploration staff, interpreters, hall monitors, and lunch supervisors. They also agreed to a change in the pay scale for event workers and staff at sporting events.

Kathy Niebuhr, executive director of administrative services, said the district has a one-year success coach work agreement. The agreement represents a 2% increase over last year. The board passed the operation.

They have also signed an agreement for educational assistants, format-employees who work mainly in elementary schools between morning, breakfast and lunch.

“They help in our schools doing a wide variety of things for our elementary buildings,” she said.

Board members passed a Community Education Services Staff Agreement and adopted the District Framework Agreement 2022-24.

In points of consent, board members adopted ticket prices for school-wide events. For athletics, employees, students and seniors (62 and over) can enter for free. For adults at the gate, a ticket will cost $8, while a visiting student or visiting senior will be charged $6. A 10-shot adult pass is $60, while a year-long adult pass is $120 and a couple’s pass (two adult passes) will cost $185. Music events will be free for employees and students, while seniors will be charged $6. At the gate, a ticket will cost $8 for adults and $6 for students and visiting seniors. A family music pass will cost $40. For fine arts events (the Fall Musical, One Act Play, Choral Show, and Spring Play), a ticket is $8 per adult, $6 per student, and $6 per senior.

The base fees for athletics are: $150 for high school, $75 for college, and $50 for fine arts and other non-MSHL activities.

The board recognized Heidi Skophammer, Curriculum Administrative Assistant, as the employee of the month for June.

The district spent $3.405 million from June 21 to July 18, of which more than $2.46 million was used for the general fund. The district also accepted $2,954.57 in donations.

In district business, the board agreed to hire Lindsey Chapman, Say Rober, Madeline Kohlbeck, Lisa Myran, Mackenzie Oldfather, Day Paphree, Thomas Delano, Andrea Garcia Torres, Whitney Erickson, Beatriz Olivera, Andrew Marinic, Ariana Bell, Brenda Sorenson, Carmen Uzlik, Kalia Bergstad, Summer Swensrud, Brittani Zuniga and Casondra Ciavarelli. They agreed to a leave of absence for Molly Appicelli. The board accepted the retirement of Ruth Tennis and the resignations of La Shee, Justine Daane, Emma Nesset and Kristina Kenis.

President Skaar also announced there would be a reception on October 13 at Wedgewood Cove for the Albert Lea Education Foundation, an event he called “quite the program” that will recognize distinguished alumni, who in turn will speak to the students the next day.

“The goal is for students to hear from Albert Lea High School alumni, and these four people give them insight into practical advice they could adopt to succeed in the rest of their lives,” he said. declared.

The next board meeting will be at 5:00 p.m. on August 1.


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