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NY Mills school board discusses emergency procedures

Emergency procedures and the 2011-2012 budget were discussed at the regular New York Mills School Board meeting held on March 28.

A concerned parent asked the board for clarification on the school's response to not evacuate the school when its neighboring business, Lund Boats, was under a bomb threat three weeks ago. The parent felt like communication between the parents, school and kids was lacking and wanted the safety strategies reviewed.

Superintendent Todd Cameron and Chief of Police Jim Van Schaick both defended the decision to not evacuate the school.

Both mentioned the emergency procedure guide, put together by the Health and Safety Committee in 2007. The emergency procedure guide is a flip chart, color-coded book that hangs by classroom doors. The book is designed so teachers can quickly flip through various emergency situations and make a quick decision.

Cameron admitted that a bomb threat outside of the school was not a situation in the book, and therefore they looked to professional emergency responders like firemen and chief of police in helping to make their decision.

In other business, Travis Hensch, dean of students and athletic director, reported working with Sanford Health to obtain another automated external defibrillator stimulator machine to go in an emergency preparation kit that would go on busses for away games.

Hensch also reported that when comparing athlete counts in fall, winter and spring sports from last year to current, NY Mills athletes have increased by 54 kids.

The 2011-2012 budget was also discussed although no decisions were made. In order to get the fund balance at a higher level, the school will have to initiate various cuts. Some of the suggested reduction considerations were reducing teachers in elective classes with low enrollment, reducing maintenance supplies and limiting field trips for all classes. The board asked Cameron to put together detailed charts showing specific reductions and their effects. A special meeting will be held on April 11 to further discuss the budget.

In other business:

-One hundred percent of seniors passed the Minnesota High School GRAD tests.

-Because of the snow day on March 23, school will be held on April 25, the Monday after Easter.

-Based on mandatory federal guidelines, the school will increase their school lunch by five cents for the 2011-2012 school year.

-Finally, the board approved the purchase of a new suburban from Nereson Chevrolet for $32,208. The current suburban cannot be used for students after March. The current suburban will be advertised and sold to the highest bidder.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on April 25 at 6 p.m.