At their second meeting in seven days, the Hayward Community School Board Monday, Sept. 13, approved a preliminary budget for 2021-22.

The budget will be published as a legal notice in the Sawyer County Record and explained in detail at the school district's annual meeting Monday, Sept. 27.

Key assumptions include no increase in student enrollment, a 5% increase in district property value and a beginning fund balance (July 1, 2021) of $17,944,704. District Finance Administrator Jennifer Frank said the end-of-year fund balance as of June 30, 2021, increased by $736,047 over the previous year.

The forecast General Fund (Fund 10) expenditures are $28,288,055 and revenues are anticipated to be $27,110,816. The fund balance is expected to decrease by $1,177,239 as of June 30, 2022. This is due to the purchase of land from the Hayward Sports Center, new playground equipment ($230,000) at the Primary School and onetime expenditures of $225,000 for technology and maintenance needs.

Frank said the district paid $685,000 to the Hayward Sports Center to purchase 13.5 acres of land.

The final steps before the board approves the tax levy in October will be the final student enrollment numbers (counted on Sept. 17), certification of property valuation from the Departments of Revenue and Public Instruction (Oct. 1), and general state aid certification (Oct. 15).

Frank said the anticipated Open Enrollment of students coming in from outside the Hayward school district is 260, including students in the HACIL charter school and Northern Waters Environmental School.

Frank said she anticipates federal COVID-19 relief revenue (ESSR 2) of $2,209,793. The district has until Sept. 30, 2023, to use those funds. Some is being used to pay the salaries of 10 district teachers, and some for the June 2022 summer school (Canes Camp) and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Frank added that Tier 3 of ESSR funding is expected to be announced in November. The estimated revenue to the Hayward School District is $4,975,000. The district will have to spend this by September 2024.

Supt. Craig Olson said the amount of ESSR funding to the Hayward district is determined by the number of children eligible for free and reduced-price meals, and Title I student numbers, schools in which children from low-income families make up at least 40% of the total enrollment.

In other actions Sept. 13, the board:

• Extended the COVID-19 staff leave policy to Dec. 31, 2021.

• Hired Joe Stark as girls basketball C team coach; and hired Cathy Larson and Kelly Warwick as junior class advisers.

• Received the resignation of Sarah Walport as mental health navigator.

• Received the annual seclusion and restraint report for 2020-21, which indicated one student was restrained.

Special meeting Sept. 7

At a special board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7, District Facilities and Grounds Manager Duane Bemis said staff are using the same COVID-19 cleaning procedures as last year, including high touch areas during the day and deep cleaning at night.

Olson said that COVID-19 social distancing, close-contact, quarantine and mitigation procedures "haven't changed" from last year.

"We're ready for whatever scenario is thrown our way. Our goal as administrators is to keep as many kids in school as we can," Olson added.

During a curriculum committee meeting, parent Aaron Halberg thanked the board and staff for "making the curriculum more transparent and the cooperation I've had so far. There are things happening outside the school district that make me and other parents more concerned than in the past," he added. "I trust our teachers, but I'm more aware there are other things going on."

Halberg said teachers gave him the books that his kids would be reading this year and he looked at them all and read some of them.

"That kind of transparency from a customer service standpoint is awesome," Halberg said. "Mr. Olson has been awesome responding to my questions. We're operating in a different time, and we need to involve our parents in curriculum choices. I encourage you to be pro-active as possible."

Perceptions survey

In actions at their Sept. 7 meeting, the board:

• Approved a School Perceptions Survey to be sent to staff Sept. 20 and mailed/emailed to parents and the community at large the week of Sept. 27.

The survey is part of the school district Envisioning Task Force process regarding the current state of school facilities, deferred maintenance needs and future possibilities such as a community center.

Consultant William Foster of School Perceptions said they will report back to the board Nov. 15 on the survey results. The board then would consider a facilities referendum at its December meeting, and vote whether to approve the facilities referendum at its December or January meeting. The referendum ballot then would go to school district voters on April 5, 2022.

"I have faith in our community that they can get past their differences and look at this long-term," Olson said. "This is looking at the big picture for the next 40 years."

• Approved the resignations of Mike Lewandowski, third grade special education teacher; Emily Tippett, high school special education teacher; and junior class advisers Kelly Egger and Diana Wymer.

• Approved the hiring of Mary Hohlfeld as adviser for the Hayward High School Chapter of Future Community and Career Leaders of America (FCCLA); Kayless Chalmers as high school English teacher; Brian Mansheim Sr., Craig Schlapper and Kevin Clifford as assistant middle school football coaches; and Sam Yoder as assistant high school boys basketball coach.

(Copyright © 2022 APG Media)

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