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LP-A teacher contract settled

After several long months of negotiations, a settlement has been reached between representatives of the Lake Park-Audubon School Board and Education Minnesota-LPA on a new two-year master teaching contract.

The new contract was approved unanimously by the school board at their regular meeting Tuesday night in Lake Park.

The negotiated package includes a 4 percent increase in the base salary for all teachers in fiscal year 2014, and another 4 percent base salary increase in fiscal year 2015.

The package also includes an increase in the 403(b) lifetime contribution from $15,000 to $20,000, as well as provisions for a formal progressive discipline policy, according to negotiations committee member Bryan Anderson.

“It (the contract negotiation) was a long process this time around,” said LP-A Superintendent Dale Hogie.

In other business Tuesday, the board accepted several retirement resignations, to become effective at the end of the school year, including those of special education teacher Carol Nustad; speech and language pathologist Donna Ronken; fifth grade teacher Bonnie Iverson; kindergarten teacher Joan Lunde; and food service head cook Vinita Carlson.

This comes on the heels of the resignation of transportation director Keith Zachariason, which was accepted at the January board meeting.

Multiple renovation projects at the elementary building were also approved at the meeting, including a computer memory upgrade ($4,986); network upgrade ($14,897); exterior door repair on three sets of doors at the north end of the building ($8,680); and the purchase of eight new lunchroom tables (8,808).

In addition, the board approved a proposal to begin the planning process for renovations of instructional space at the elementary building to accommodate a third section of fourth grade and an additional Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) classroom.

However, as Hogie pointed out, “This is a temporary solution only.”

Enrollment projections currently show that the district will need to expand to three sections in the fifth and sixth grades in the next few years — and the current space available in the elementary building simply won’t allow for that, even with the renovations, Hogie said.

The additional ECFE classroom will become necessary next fall because the board also approved a proposal to expand the ECFE program to provide half-day classes, five days a week, starting in the 2014-15 school year.

The expansion of the program will be funded through an increase in state funding for all-day kindergarten programming.

In one other item of business, the board voted to allow the Cormorant Sportsman’s Club to sponsor a new Minnesota State High School League-sanctioned clay target (i.e., trap shooting) league for LP-A students, with costs to be funded by the sportsman’s club and participation fees paid by the students.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454