In its Monday, May 18, meeting, the Pequot Lakes School Board approved a memorandum of understanding that the district will assign senior-most early childhood teachers April Kinney and Jessica Mudgett to its two unfilled interventionist teaching positions for 2020-21 to avoid placing them on an unrequested leave of absence if early childhood enrollment is low in the fall.

“Essentially, this is us trying to treat two of our teachers, who have been here a long time, the right way … if enrollment comes in low,” Superintendent Chris Lindholm said. “The unknown factor here is what is going to happen with our early childhood enrollment, and we just don't feel like we can predict this year as well as we predicted others.”

Lindholm informed the board that a decision on the necessity of assigning the two likely will not come until August, when the district has a clearer idea of enrollment numbers.

In other action Monday, the board:

  • Approved a memorandum of understanding between the district and Education Minnesota Pequot Lakes that the two agree on an Alternative Career Pathway program for teachers.

  • Adopted a resolution adopting bond authority.

  • Agreed to the non-renewal of the district’s least senior non-essential staff members for the 2020-21 school year. Lindholm said this action has not been necessary the past few years due to enrollment growth, but is “pretty routine.”

  • Accepted eight donations to the district totaling $7,640.94, and six donations to the student activity fund account totaling $2,320.

  • Recognized the district’s 11 retiring employees - Cindy Anderson, Jan Belanger, Jackie Duoos, Marc Helmrichs, Kim Johnson, Vicki Palmer, Kathy Saxvold, Bret Sergent, Monica Sergent, Sue Sergent and Steve Stoxen. Lindholm said the retirees have 332 combined years in the district.

As part of its consent agenda, the board approved the resignations of head girls basketball and middle-level volleyball coach Katrina Moody, middle-level girls basketball coach Dawn Kaelke and middle-level football coach Preston Peters, as well as the termination of MARSS/Assessment secretary Cassandra Berg and a leave of absence for custodian Mark Rieschl.

It also approved the hiring of middle-level tennis coach Sage Stengel, physical education/health teacher Matthew Casperson, high school Spanish teacher Alexander Diaz, high school special education teacher Stacey Wentzel, elementary teachers Cassandra Brodin, Kole Kristenson and Emilee Timothy, business teacher Scott Ebnet and head girls basketball coach Brian Lempola.

Lindholm said that the district is able to continue providing meals for students until June 30, when the district’s meals waiver runs out.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.