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Frazee School Board agrees to look into policy

The Frazee-Vergas School Board saw an array of topics Monday night at its first meeting of the year, including the organizational portion, with officers being approved.

Parent asks for change in policy

Weston Fletcher spoke before the board Monday evening, asking for a change in policy regarding grades.

He said that earlier this winter, his teenage son was supposed to participate in a Christmas choir concert at the high school. At the last minute though, he was called in to work at his job at the Frazee Care Center. He chose to skip the concert and work instead.

Fletcher said that his son was given the option of writing a paper, singing the concert by himself for the teacher, or taking a failing grade.

“He is being punished for being responsible. What kind of message is this sending kids for being responsible,” he said.

Before the concert, his son was informed that the concert was a part of the final grade for the class. Fletcher argued that other classes like math and English don’t require afterhours tests, so why should an evening choir concert be included as part of the grade? He said the concert is for the enjoyment of the parents.

“Don’t make something afterhours a part of the final grade,” he said.

School board member Kenny Fett said that the arts like choir and band are different than math and English and shouldn’t be compared. No roomful of parents wants to come and watch a group of kids take a math test. He also pointed out that Fletcher’s son was given the opportunity to make up the grade for the class.

Fletcher said that while that’s true, he thinks there should be a change in policy regarding requirements for choir concerts.

Board Chair Matt Bauer asked Superintendent Terry Karger to have administration look into what other schools have in their policy and report back to the board.

Election of officers

Monday was also the first meeting of the year, and election of officers took place.

Bauer was renamed chairman of the board, Rich Ziegler was also renamed vice chairman of the board, and Kenny Fett was renamed clerk for the board. Member Tammie Nunn was named treasurer of the board.

Compensation rates for the board, whether it be for travel, board meetings, etc., stayed the same as last year. Mileage is to follow federal guidelines.

Compensation raises

After comparing substitute staff compensation rates with surrounding districts, the board approved a hike in Frazee’s substitute rates.

Karger compared rates with Perham and Detroit Lakes districts, and the board agreed to increase compensation to align with Perham’s numbers — the lower of the two districts — to stay competitive.

Custodian substitutes will increase from $9.30 an hour to $10 an hour, secretaries from $9.25 an hour to $10 an hour, food service and paraprofessional from $8.60 an hour to $10 an hour, and nursing assistant from $8.60 to $10.

The increase in pay is retroactive to Jan. 1.

Trap Shooting Club

Seven Frazee-Vergas students have signed up to participate in the newly formed trap shooting club. Though it hasn’t been determined which area club the Frazee group will join, the district has given its blessing that the kids will be supported — though not financially.

The school does not provide transportation to the club practices or events, and the coach or advisor for the club is a volunteer. All costs for the club sport will fall on the student and parents.

Though the board supported the activity, several made a point that this is separate from school and students should know that no shotguns can be brought on school grounds — not even if left in vehicles for afterschool use.

“Yeah, we’re not bringing this to school,” Karger said. “We do not want this on our grounds.”

This spring will be the first for the club, and then Activities Director Nick Courneya will review how it went and report back to the board.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.