District 881 to address budget, schedule


Facing the reality of declining enrollment, the Maple Lake School Board signed off on a formality at the Jan. 13 meeting: A resolution directing the administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions.
The district’s budget was formulated using an enrollment of 916 but, as of the meeting, that number stood at 904.
“We’re down significantly and continue to have that same trouble,” Superintendent Mark Redemske said.
He explained that the resolution is a formality and board chair Arnie Michalicek agreed.
“Basically, we’re telling the administration what we tell them all the time: Watch the enrollment numbers and give us a recommendation,” Michalicek said.
“It’s hard to do this without contracts ironed out, but we’ll move forward if need be,” Redemske said. “I have a pretty good idea in my mind of what we need to do.”
On the subject of contracts, several staff members greeted board members as they entered the meeting. 
Eric Meyer asked to address the board and read a statement from the Maple Lake Federation of Teachers.
“I believe that our profession needs the brightest and the best that our society has to offer,” Meyer quoted Kathy Sims, an early-childhood teacher from Foley, who won the 2014 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. “We must … be guardians of sound, informed, expert practice, extend ourselves as role models (and) be exemplars of educational professionalism. … Teaching is a lifestyle, not a job.”
More information appears in this week's Messenger.