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Wrenshall School Board discusses luncheon schedule for coming year – Cloquet Pine Journal

WRENSHALL — The Wrenshall School Board discussed how to handle the district no longer receiving funding for lunches for all students, during a special budget meeting the district held on Thursday, June 9.

Over the past year, the district has received funding to provide free lunches to all students, and Superintendent Kimberly Belcastro said it’s good to see so many students eating at school.

She added that there were funding proposals coming from the state during the legislative session, but they will not be available for the next school year.

One of the ways the district hopes to provide meals for more students is to notify families of the free and reduced meal program for those who qualify.

Belcastro said it could be a controversial topic because people had to include how much they earned on the forms.

Board Chair Misty Bergman raised a point to get the information out to families sooner, so it’s no shock to have to pay for meals this year and give them the chance to enroll in the free and reduced meals program.

The council agreed to distribute information on the programs to families at the end of July.

They also discussed the possibility of including a registration form in the district publication.

Angela Anderson, district business manager, said while the planned budget catering fund is balanced, it is unclear how many lunches will be purchased when students will have to pay for them.

Anderson’s update to the board during the full budget meeting still showed a general fund shortfall of $345,000, but the latest enrollment numbers would change that.

The budget discussed by the board at the meeting used an enrollment of 348 students, while Belcastro said she is confident the next school year will have an enrollment of at least 360 students.

Belcastro said “the phone has started ringing” on families considering enrolling in the district and there are currently eight to 10 who are still interested.

Anderson said each additional student contributes about $10,000 to the general fund.

As she normally creates conservative budgets, the board agreed that the next budget should be based on an enrollment of 356 students, to give the numbers some cushion.

Anderson said that historically, a registration of 380 people has been helpful in having a stable budget.

More information on the budget will be presented at the next meeting on Monday, June 13, when the board votes on the budget.

During the special meeting, the board also got updates on the Cooperative Athletic Subcommittee meetings between the district and Carlton.

Nicole Krisak, member of the board of directors, who is part of the cooperative committee, updated the entire board of directors on the progress of things.

Krisak said one of the new ideas that emerged from the meetings was the idea of ​​starting a baseball co-op.

While the district has just purchased new uniforms, she said there will ultimately be savings as they can use Carlton’s facilities.

“I think it’s a good idea, there are savings there,” she said.

Unfortunately for the district, Krisak said there aren’t enough players to field a varsity football team this year, and they’ll have to focus on a junior varsity team instead.

Krisak added that she has heard some concerns from community members about initiating cooperative agreements for volleyball or basketball, as the district is currently in the process of setting up these programs.

Board member Ben Johnson, who is also on the committee, said the talks are just a starting point.

“We can go back and we can continue to periodically watch how we’re doing,” he said.

Plans are to hold more cooperative meetings in September.

The board has also decided that it will return to recording or live streaming its meetings after members receive requests from the community.

The next meeting should be held in the common area of ​​the neighborhood, instead of the library, to also take advantage of a microphone so that those present can clearly hear the discussions.