Belle Plaine Public Schools

The Belle Plaine School Board approved the renewal of Superintendent Ryan Laager’s three- year contract during the regular board meeting on Monday, Feb. 22.

The previously proposed 15 paid consulting days are not in the approved contract, but Dr. Laager was given an extra week of paid vacation, bringing his total annual paid vacation days to 25 which would be accrued on a monthly basis.

According to the contract, Dr. Laager would be paid for any unused vacation days upon voluntary or involuntary termination of employment.

His salary increased by about $2,700 for the 2021-2022 year, bringing his total yearly compensation to $152,000.

In addition, the district will put a sum of money on an after-tax basis to a Post-Employment HRA account or to an HSA account that otherwise would have gone towards single health insurance coverage.

Five school board members voted to approve the contract, with Terry Morrison voting against approval.

The contract period is for three years from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024.

COVID-19 Update

Dr. Laager stated that, after this weekend, 136 school staff members will have received their COVID-19 vaccine. This is about 80 percent of the eligible school staff members.

In addition, Dr. Laager said Monday was the third session for free COVID-19 testing for staff members. He said results are not in yet for this week, but at the clinic two weeks ago, one staff member tested positive for the virus. He said this is the only positive case that has been identified from the free school testing clinics.

In-Person Learning Plan

Seventh graders and seniors returned to school for full-time in-person learning on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Dr. Laager plans to bring eighth graders and juniors back to school full-time on Monday, March 1. He predicts everyone district-wide will have the opportunity to be back in school every day by March 15.

Oak Crest and Chatfield students are already doing in-person learning full-time.

Students district-wide still have the option to choose distance learning.

School Year Calendar Approved

The school board approved “Calendar Option 1” on Monday night. Dr. Laager said this was the most popular option among both teachers and community members.

This calendar has 169 student days starting after Labor Day and ending before Memorial Day, with professional development scheduled at the beginning of the year. It also has an entire week of spring break scheduled for the end of March 2022.

Looking Ahead

The next school board meeting will be on Monday, March 15, at 6:00 p.m. for a Finance/Regular Board Meeting.

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