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Chisago Lakes Schools

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September 26, 2022

9/16/2022 12:39:00 PM
North Branch School Board hears start-of-school went smoothly, substitute teacher pay increased

The start of the 2022-2023 school year went well in North Branch, according to the superintendent report to the School Board last week.

The Board, minus Kevin Bollman, had to act on a levy before the county mailed tax statements get printed.  

Chisago County elected officers accept a preliminary levy before October, and also act on setting a taxation public information meeting, which North Branch Schools will hold  December 8.  The hard copy tax statements you receive later this fall will have estimates of property taxes using these early levy actions, based on the valuation of your property and any other special assessments that are applied onto your parcel.

At this time no specific sums were enacted, but the School Board approved using the maximum possible based on the state’s formula.  
The actual levy is presented at the December meeting.  

Superintendent Sara Paul also shared that  efforts went down to the wire, but the district’s staffing needs are being met,  including 10 new staff brought on at Sunrise Elementary School alone.  

The district is experiencing growth (enrollment statistics will be announced October 1) and this brings adjustments in class assignments and restructuring of some administrative duties; such as Erica Bjerketvedt and Brett Carlson now “co-directors” for the work of running North Branch  Community  Education/Early Learning Center.

There’s a new lead principal Clint Link and assistant principal Andrea Thiner, at the high school as well.

Superintendent Sara Paul said interest in activities has returned post-covid, as strong as ever.  High School sports participation is at 30 for girls tennis, 32 for boys soccer, 31 girls soccer, football has 79 signed up and volletball has 48, with 23 students in cross country.
Homecoming week is September 19 to 23.

Supt. Paul stressed the availability of senior citizen passes for free attendance at home events.  Contact the district office or see the website www.isd138.org for details to get a pass.

The substitute teacher pay was also upped unanimously.  

Last year it went from $130 daily to $145 and last week the action brought it to $160 daily.  Finance Director Dr. Todd Tetzlaff explained this is necessary to keep North Branch “competitive” compared to other districts that pull from the same substitute pool.  North Branch also rewards the build-up of knowledge of the district brought by longterm, repeat instructors and boosts the daily pay by $5, after an individual hits 50 days of subbing.

Board member Heather Naegele abstained as she works as a substitute instructor.

Per state compulsory intruction laws— districts are refreshing and reviewing language of attendance guidelines and North Branch is no exception.  

The policy adopted last week requires parents or legal guardians to verify in writing or by phone,  any absence, within two days.  If not it won’t be an “excused absence.”  

Any special attendance requests for family situations, etc should be directed to your child’s principal.

Accumulating unexcused absences can affect a student academic grade, or result in detention or suspension.  Students participating in activities can not do so if they had an unexcused absence from any class that day.

Tardy is within 10 minutes of the bell and “absent” happens after 10 minutes late.

Habitually absent or “truant” pupils become part of a  formal system of response and corrections. Parents and guardians can be subject to criminal prosecution.  Truant students are under age 17 who are absent for seven days (elementary) or for one or more class periods on seven days per school year and who have not lawfully withdrawn from school.

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