Students in the Redwood Area School District are getting another half day of school off this fall.

According to the current 2018-19 school calendar, Nov. 21 was scheduled to be a school day with early release after half a day of school. Initially, the second half of that day was going to be used for staff development time to work on standards based grading.

A request to amend the calendar to allow for a full day of staff development was approved by the school board at its Oct. 22 meeting. Now the standards based grading time will be done in the morning, with the afternoon dedicated to a day of learning at the Daktronics plant in Redwood Falls. The intent of the afternoon is to expose the school staff to the world of work outside of the school walls.

While the staff will learn about the plant and its operations, the intent is also to raise awareness among the staff of the job skills that need to be taught to students to prepare them for the working world.

The amendment to the calendar means students will not be required to attend school Nov. 21, 2018.

In other action during its meeting, the school board:

• Approved a change order for the Estebo Career and Technical Center project in the amount of $23,671, which includes the replacement of a non-operable garage door at a cost of $11,790 and the creation of a new wall opening adjacent to the band area practice room for additional instrument storage at a cost of $1,820. The change order also includes the replacement of a door for the Project Lead the Way area from a single door to a double door at a cost of $6,555, modifications to connect the new addition roof assembly to the existing building at a cost of $1,506 and additional hardware modifications to match the existing hardware in the renovated areas of the school at a cost of $7,912. The change order allows for a deduction of $844 that will use borrowed lights in a display case and a $5,506 for display case removal. The project also includes $7,210 for hardware coring and keying, which will be done by Johnson Hardware.

According to John McNamara of Wold Architects, after the change order there is approximately $136,000 left in the project contingency fund.

McNamara also informed the school board that the project remains behind schedule, adding the weather has delayed the project, with approximately 45 days of work lost. With that in mind, McNamara said the plan would be to potentially delay some of the outdoor site work, including some landscaping and cement work until next spring.

“Everything inside should be done on time,” added Rick Ellingworth, Redwood Area School District superintendent.

• Approved a request from Taher, Inc. to upgrade some of the food service equipment at Reede Gray Elementary and Redwood Valley Middle School/High School in the amount of $44,309.35, accepted as the low bid for the work from TriMark. The request is intended to provide new equipment to modernize the food service areas and to create space and time efficiencies.

According to Tom Anderson, Redwood Area School District finance director, the Minnesota Department of Education regularly reviews the school district’s food service fund balance and requires that districts have a plan to reduce excess funds should the fund balance exceed three months of the average expenditures.

Laurie Milbradt, food service director, said the program continues to grow, adding the updated plan will help to reduce wait times.

• Approved a 2 percent increase in its contract with Thielen Bus Lines for transportation for the 2018-19 school year. The base contract includes a cost of $716,315.40.

• Approved a request from Leah Irlbeck, a Redwood Valley High School student. Irlbeck, who was assigned a self-directed learning project in her geography class, opted to study how to organize a bake sale. As a result, she requested that the school board allow her to conduct a peanut free bake sale, with funds raised given to the prom activity account.

• Approved the employment of Jason Sommers as assistant boys hockey coach at a stipend of $3,364.

• Adopted a resolution related to the termination and non-renewal of Amanda Carter from her role as a Cardinal Kids’ Club early childcare assistant effective Oct. 22, 2018.

• Approved a request to employ two additional coaching positions for the school’s baseball and softball programs.