MPS reports $300,000 general fund turnaround

MARSHALL — One of the three action items approved at the Marshall Public School board meeting on Monday showed a turnaround of nearly $300,000 in the general fund balance, according to numbers presented in the 2017-18 revised budget.

In the preliminary 2017-18 budget, the general fund balance showed a deficit of $139,453. Now, the revised budget reveals an excess of $159,848.

“We inputed all the most current budget information — enrollment and results from the 16-17 school year, especially in the expenditure side — in making this revised budget,” MPS business director Bruce Lamprecht said. “Really, the net result, as you can see on the screen there, is a change from the preliminary or original budget of having a deficit of about $140,000 — and again this is in the general fund only — to having a surplus of about $160,000 with the revised budget, so that’s good news.”

Lamprecht said that while there are “a lot of factors that come into play in making a revised budget or a final budget,” the positive revenue numbers are good news for the school district.

The audit report presented by Hoffman & Brobst at the previous board meeting was also approved.

“I’m just amazed at how thorough they are,” board chair Jeff Chapman said. “It’s also a credit to our staff, which does a good job as well.”

Lamprecht agreed with Chapman’s assessment of the Hoffman & Brobst representatives who compiled the 106-page audit report.

“They do a nice job,” Lamprecht said.

Administrators’ reports were also highlighted during the board meeting. In the Park Side Elementary School report, Principal Darci Love said that all students at the school have been talking about being thankful. As a school-wide project, every student shared what they are thankful for and then wrote or drew that on their “I am thankful for. . .” paper. All of those are now on display in the main hallway at Park Side.

“The student wrote about what they’re thankful for, which obviously ties in with the month of November,” MPS Superintendent Scott Monson said. “Also, the fundraiser that the ILC (Innovative Learning Center) does as part of their service learning project is going to go to support a school in Texas, which has had some difficulties because of the hurricanes. So a nice connection with literacy in another school there as service learning.”

In West Side Principal Jeremy Williams’ report, he shared that Project Success is up and running, with everything going well. A grand total of 132 students — between Park Side, West Side and Marshall Middle School — are currently participating in the program.

“Jeremy provided information and an update on the number of students involved in Project Success and how we’ve had to add some staff,” Monson said. “And you’ll see that in the middle school report as well.”

Williams also revealed that administrators recently spent an afternoon Karen Londren and each grade level social studies team, working with Schoology to create digital content for the students. Williams said he asked the teachers to each try a unit using the tool and that Londgren also showed everyone how to use it for assessments as well.

“It’s a way that we can continue to work with our 1:1 initiative, which I thought was pretty exciting,” Monson said.

In Principal Mary Kay Thomas’ report, board members learned that Tiger Traits — sometimes referred to as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) — program at MMS celebrated World Kindness Day on Nov. 13.

“That is actually part of the PBIS activities that take place at the middle school, where we have a pretty active PBIS committee,” Monson said. “World Kindness Day was a part of that.”

Students were encouraged to wear blue last Monday to remind everyone to share kindness throughout the day. Every student also receive a kind quote when they arrived at school. There was also a kindness scavenger hunt that encouraged the students to perform random acts of kindness throughout the building.

In the MATEC administrator’s report, Assistant Principal Michelle Noriega said that Eriann Faris from the Private Industry Council has met with students about a new academic opportunity for students.

“Michelle shared information about an electrical controls credit-earning course that’s being offered through Minnesota West,” Monson said. “I believe that’s in conjunction with the Private Industry Council, so another opportunity for our students. She also shared an update on welding class, which has now started.”

In the Marshall High School report, Principal Brian Jones shared good information relative to academic performance.

“As you know, they check grades frequently,” Monson said. “And what stuck out to me was his statement that essentially said students appear to be off to a good start to the school year. Then he obviously presented a variety of data to support that.”

Jones also gave an update on the College in the Schools (CIS) numbers for the fall semester, noting that 77 students have earned 298 credits.

“Students have earned 298 credits this first semester, which I just went online (Monday) and grabbed a school and figured out what their undergraduate rate per credit is and it was a little over $286 per credit,” Monson said. “So if you do the multiplication, our CIS program that is offered at the high school saved parents or families over $88,000 in tuition for the first semester. We’re seeing some growth in that program. That’s a good thing. We certainly want to challenge those kids and let the families benefit from the financial rewards.”