While the 2017-18 school year is still nearly three weeks from coming to its conclusion, work on a variety of things for the upcoming year have been going on for some time.

Among the decisions that needed to be made was the establishment of the meal prices for the 2018-19 year. The prices were presented to the Redwood Area Board of Education at its meeting April 23 by Scott LeSage, school finance director.

According to LeSage, the decision to set the prices is based on what is known as the pay equity tool that determines the required amount for schools. However, the information for the pay equity tool had not come out as of the time of the meeting, but rather than wait LeSage proposed a schedule that will include a five-cent price increase for the elementary- and secondary-school lunches, as well as those for adults.

The increase was also recommended by Taher, Inc. Food Service and was approved by the school board. The new price for an elementary lunch will be $2.60, with the price for middle- and high-school students at $2.70. The adult lunch price for 2018-19 will be $3.75. The breakfast prices remain the same. 

In other action during its meeting, the school board:

• Adopted a resolution establishing the dates to file an affidavit of candidacy for the open school board positions. The window will be open from July 31 through Aug. 14. Filings must be done in the Redwood Area School District office. A $2 filing fee is required by those who file.

• Approved the retirements of Jane Sanchez, sixth-grade math and science teacher, effective May 25, 2018, and Laurel Hartfiel, fourth grade teacher, effective May 18. Both were approved by the board with regrets.

• Accepted the resignations of Samantha Felt from her position as eighth-grade basketball coach, Sandy Whited from her position as elementary school Title I teacher and Scott LeSage from his position as the school district finance and support services director.

• Approved the employment of Brandon Thurk as an RVMS/HS agriculture teacher at a salary of $43,000 and Jared Wenisch as an RVMS/HS science and technology teacher at a salary of $60,000.

• Approved the employment of Virgil Felt as equipment manager with a stipend of $4,071.

• Approved the employment of Kristen Anderson who will provide nursing services for 15 hours during the 2018 summer months. The position will focus on School Aged Child Care and Cardinal Kids Club during days of operation.

• Heard that its healthcare insurance rates for 2018-19 will increase by 4.7 percent.

• Approved a memorandum of understanding with Education Minnesota - Redwood Falls to create an assistant FFA advisor position with a salary of $2,542.

• Recognized the Redwood Valley High School student council, which was selected as one of the outstanding student council groups in the state. According to Todd Steve, the student council was one of five recognized as outstanding statewide.

• Approved the activities department budget for 2018-19, with approximately a $27,000 increase. According to Andy Ourada, activities director, the reasons for the increase include the fact that the school will be doing a musical next year that has a higher cost, the addition of a junior-high coach for gymnastics to address an increase in participation and the purchase of uniforms for the football program.

• Approved the school level instructional supply allocation for the 2018-19 school year at $100 per pupil for all three sites.