No senior trip to Florida this year

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

After having to cancel last year’s senior class trip, and not even being able to get a full refund, and with no assurance travel to Florida will be safe or allowed this spring, the senior class advisors for the Class of 2021 asked the school board to cancel the previously approved senior class trip.

That was the message High School Principal Shane Laffen had for the District 84 Board of Education at their Sept. 9 meeting.

Laffen said the class advisors provided a list of difficulties in continuing to plan a trip for this year, among them: no fundraising started yet, with several fundraising companies canceling for this year; airline ticket prices have gone up—making an expensive trip more expensive; the trip typically takes a year to plan and with so many unknowns it would be extremely difficult to put a plan together; the proposed spring sports schedule makes it difficult to schedule a trip.

The advisors indicated alternate plans to do something special for the seniors are already being discussed.

The advisors also asked the board to discuss discontinue senior trips altogether, citing the number of students who actually go on the trip, due to cost, and the rising costs.

By consensus, the board members agreed that this year’s senior trip to Florida should be canceled as unfeasible, with a plan to be arrived at for some other special activity or closer to home trip. However, the board was not ready to make a decision to discontinue future senior class trips.

During his report, Laffen also asked for consideration of a few more early out days to provide teachers with more time to work on providing recorded classes. Superintendent John Cselovszki said he would not recommend early outs, as they can be difficult for families of young children, but rather asked the board to add three staff development days this semester.

Those “no student” days have since been set for Sept. 25, Oct. 30 and Nov. 13.

Cselovszki reported that enrollment remains at 537 and he does not expect many students to leave as there are very few migrant families this year. He reminded the board the budget was set based on projected enrollment of 530.

Cselovszki also told the board the Minnesota State High School League presented member schools with a large increase in the annual fee — $4,000 for Sleepy Eye Public School — due to the revenue shortfall MSHSL has experienced with cancellation of state tournaments.

Action items approved:

•Certify the 2020 payable 2021 levy for the maximum amount, pending information becoming available from MDE. The final levy will be set in December.

•Master agreement with confidential employees for 2019-2021 school years: $1,000 increase first year, $1.25/hour increase second year. Non-Union Support work agreement: $500 increase first year, $1/hour increase second year.

•Open enrollment requests—10 in, 3 out: 4 in from Springfield, 5 in from St. James, 1 in from New Ulm, 1 out to Comfrey, 1 out to New Ulm and 1 out to Springfield.

The next meeting is Wednesday, Oct.14 at 5:30 p.m.