At the Belle Plaine School School Board meeting, Superintendent Ryan Laager, alongside Business Manager Chuck Keller, explained to the board that the district is financially healthy enough to consider adding programming during his review of the last two years.

At a roughly 15-16% general fund balance, the district is well above their 10% minimum, which is board policy.

Laager stated that the fund balance comes after various cost cutting occurrences over last year, including an unpredictably high number of maternity leaves from the staff last year, replacing senior staff making end-of-career salaries with entry level employees, and cost-effective transportation solutions.  Many of the areas in which the district saved money were unpredictable and are unlikely to regularly occur, Laager added, so he advised the board to not rely on them occurring again when considering choices that may affect the fund balance down the line.

“It’s possible that we could add some programming,” Laager said. “We’d have to do that slowly and carefully.”

One source of additional programming may come in conjunction with the Jordan School District,  but talks aren’t likely to materialize until November.

The board also reviewed data gathered from the junior/senior high school student body pertaining to their mental health. The survey allowed students to respond to prompts, such as “I deal with disappointment without getting too upset,” and provided varying degrees of answers.

The district will use data from the survey conducted at the start of the school year compared to a follow-up survey set for the end of the year to measure the efficacy of their newly integrated social-emotional learning platform, Move This World.

 Also on the Agenda

• The board further reviewed results of the MCA and discussed possible strategies to improve math scores.

• The PAC will get a $73,000 LED lighting system set to be operational in December.

• A 40-by-60-foot shed/learning space is under review by the city.

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