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Northland Pines Board approves facilities improvements

Katie Thoresen

Facility improvements to Northland Pines schools were approved by the school board following recommendations by the school finance committee.

Solar panels at St. Germain have been installed except to finish wiring and batteries. Dave Bohnen indicated new panels have generating capacity on both sides.

The electrical project for outdoor fields was approved with Eagle River utility estimating the cost at $43,5 67 with final cost to be determined when the project is complete. Camera upgrades and replacements costing $33,785 were approved.

The fitness center floor project was modified from the original cost of $55,000 to $63,000 and approved by the full board. According to district administrator Scott Foster there was a slight confusion on different floors. The costs will be covered due to a private donation and student fund raising.

New tables and chairs were approved for SOAR high school and the large group instruction room costing $28,661.

The board approved purchase of Newsela contract provider for teachers costing $29,000. Ice hockey fees were not finalized with the recommendation to have a percentage increase from the $24,500 rather that a flat fee.

Other actions

In other actions, the school board approved a fall Washington D.C. trip from Nov.3-7 for up to 16 8th graders plus two chaperons. They will use this trip to determine if a spring trip would be appropriate.

Foster reported enrollment at this time was 1,380 compared to 1,351 at this time last year. There have been seven in under open enrollment and one out.

Foster also reported Carol Pluedeman was recognized by the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association for her work on the school forest facilities particularly deer browsing impacts.

Random drug testing report was done three tines with one positive due to a prescribed prescription.

Six students are randomly selected, with two alternates, for those who have signed up with parents approval. Slightly more that 50% of students were on the testing list.

Carrie Brock reported about 200 students were signed up for and attending Eagle Camp (summer school) which she felt was a record.

Finally, Margo Sherran of St. Germain again addressed the board on critical race theory (CRT) and again administrator Foster indicated Pines staff have never been trained in CRT and it is not part of the Pines curriculum.