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Pequot Lakes School Board approves substitute rate change

Consultant identifies nearly $7 million in "high priority" improvement projects that he thought should be done in the next few years.

Pequot Lakes School.jpg
Pequot Lakes School.
PineandLakes Echo Journal file photo
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PEQUOT LAKES — In a special meeting Monday, Aug. 29, the Pequot Lakes School Board voted to approve a change in pay rates for substitute staff.

Under the new measure, substitute teachers will receive $140 per day, while nonlicensed substitute staff will be paid $14 per hour. Substitute teacher bonuses are going away.

“Last year, this board, on recommendation from administration, changed the sub-pay and did an incentive which gave every sub $125 a day, and after five days they would get an extra $100 bonus,” Superintendent Kurt Stumpf said. “We did some research with other school districts, and this is in line with pretty much every school district around our area.”

Because she is a frequent substitute teacher in the district, board member Dena Moody abstained from voting on the measure.

During his report to the board, Stumpf outlined the district’s “Safe Return to Learning” plan regarding COVID-19.

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Families are to screen for symptoms of COVID-19 at home, stay home when they are sick and contact the school nurse to report a positive case.

Those who test positive should isolate themselves for five full days since the onset of symptoms, or since the date of the positive test if an individual is asymptomatic, and should wear a well-fitted mask for days 6-10.

Otherwise, face coverings are optional in the district and are available from the district. Families can also contact their child’s school main office for a free at-home test while supplies last.

Close contacts and those living with someone who tests positive are not required to isolate.

Facilities needs

The board also heard a presentation from Eric Anderson, of ATSR in Minneapolis, regarding short- and long-term improvement needs in district facilities. Anderson identified nearly $7 million in "high priority" improvement projects that he thought should be done in the next few years.

In outlining the costs per facility to the board, Anderson left a dollar amount of zero for the former Echo Journal building, which the district purchased in 2020.

"We evaluated what it would take to turn that into a safe, usable learning environment," Anderson said. "The replacement costs and the cost to bring that building up to code and to make it a good-quality learning environment - that option just isn't there."

Anderson said it was "still a good piece of property" and recommended the district continue to use it for storage, or for additional parking.

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Board chair Susan Mathison-Young was not in attendance. Vice chair Derrek Johnson led the meeting.

Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, 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.

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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