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New York Mills School Board sets 2011 levy

The New York Mills School Board set the 2011 levy and approved the advertising for a full-time elementary teacher at last Tuesday night's regular meeting.

The meeting was rescheduled from Monday because of inclement winter weather.

The board unanimously approved the levy, which is set at an 18.42 percent increase. Superintendent Todd Cameron pointed out that the levy is such a large increase from the past year mostly because of the $425 per student referendum that was passed in November's election. The referendum replaced the $200 per student levy that had already been in place.

The total levy increase from 2010 to 2011 is $159,048.74.

Cameron also told the board that he does not expect to receive any additional funding from the state, and that such a pattern could continue for another four years.

In other business, the board passed several staffing requests for extra paraprofessional hours to assist with eighth grade students and transportation issues.

The board also approved, after much discussion, a request to advertise for a full-time elementary teacher to work with fourth and fifth grade students in math and science.

Board member Josie Hendrickx was the lone dissenter, explaining that though the new teacher would serve struggling fourth and fifth grade students, she wanted to see more goals for also measuring the improvement of successful students.

Other board members pointed out that if the new position can focus on the struggling students, successful students would have more one-on-one time with their teachers, helping their performance in the classroom.

Cameron explained to the board that enrollment projections for the school appear to be increasing or remaining steady, after a decrease in enrollment from 2007 to 2009.

The board also approved the appointment of Greg Esala as assistant girls basketball coach, and the resignations of paraprofessionals JoClaire Pederson and Julie Ekren.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2011 at 6 p.m.