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7/13/2021 School Board Meeting Highlights

Unfortunately, most of the public commenters and crowd left the School Board meeting Tuesday night before they could hear the Board conduct our regular meeting.

Here's highlights of what they missed about what is actually happening in RPS:

1. Unlike many other districts who face budget cuts post-COVID, RPS will have a balanced budget for the 2021-2022 school year, with some additional funds available to plan for and target the needs our students and staff post-COVID. We are in this position because of the MN legislature funding increase, Federal ESSER funds, efficiencies that have been implemented year over year throughout the District, and the stewardship of John Carlson, Executive Director of Finance.

2. Unlike many other districts who are facing issues with the safety and upkeep of their schools and facilities, RPS has a comprehensive ten year long-term facility maintenance plan that identifies the necessary projects in each one of our district buildings, estimates the cost and anticipates the bond financing schedule. This will ensure that all of our students and staff will always be learning and working in buildings that are safe, and that we are using taxpayer dollars efficiently for the upkeep of our facilities. We also learned that our buildings are safe from radon and lead in the water. Thanks to Scott Sherden, Executive Director of Operations and his staff for their ongoing committment to development and revision of this plan.

3. We voted to provide continued access to RPS athletic activities for students who are attending Rochester Central Lutheran , Rochester Montessori and Resurrection Lutheran. We also extended the cooperative agreemement for Girls' Lacrosse through 2023, which maintains a varsity sport at John Marshall and allows students from Rochester Lourdes to continue their athletic participation. Thanks to Mark Kuisle, Century Activities Director, for guiding these agreements to approval.

4. The Board directed Superintendent Pekel to develop recommendations for the RPS policy on masks/face coverings for the 2021-22 school year, based on the most recent guidance from public health resources and other experts. These recommendations will be presented at the July 27 School Board meeting.

What's coming up?

On July 20, the @RPS535 School Board will have a study session to discuss the District's strategic plan and process.

The next regular School Board meeting will be July 27.

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