Changes to district naming policy proposed

The Elk River Area School Board heard a first reading of a revised policy regarding the naming of facilities and fields within the district Jan. 9.

Superintendent Bruce Watkins said that alongside School Board Member Gregg Peppin, he made a number of recommendations for a policy including language changes, the addition of a one-year waiting in the selection process and the ability for the board to appoint an ad hoc advisory committee of relevant stakeholders to consider names for auditoriums, nature spaces, fields and other shared spaces.

Under the policy, criteria for name consideration includes citizens who have gained local or national prominence and for whom one year has passed since the date for which they have gained prominence, the historic or current name of the geographic area and former employees who have served with distinction and for whom one year has passed since their last day of employment with the district.

The proposed changes to the policy will be read a second time during an upcoming meeting.

Two new faces join District 728 Board and one returns
Two new members – and one returning – were sworn into the Elk River Area School Board Jan. 9, settling into their places on the board following the November election.

Christi Tullbane and Joel Nelson, both new to the board, took the oath of office during a board meeting held at the Minnesota School of Business. Incumbent School Board Member Holly Thompson, who was re-elected to her seat, was also sworn in Jan. 9.

Monday’s meeting also brought changes to the board’s organization.

Board Member Shane Steinbrecher was unanimously elected by his colleagues on the Elk River Area School Board to again serve as the board’s chairperson. Thompson previously served as chairperson for the board through part of 2016, but stepped down from that role sometime after last spring’s election filing period. Steinbrecher took her place as chair.

Board Member Jamie Plantenberg-Selbitschka was elected to serve as the board’s vice chair and Board Member Tony Walter was elected to serve as clerk and treasurer. The board voted to combine the roles into one position during the meeting.

School Board OKs the format of the 2017 meeting calendar
During a meeting Jan. 9 at the Minnesota School of Business, the Elk River Area School Board unanimously approved its meeting format.

Business meetings will be held on the second and fourth Monday of each month at Elk River City Hall, beginning at 7 p.m. Work sessions, if necessary, will be scheduled prior to business meetings and on other Mondays of the month.

Monday’s meeting was held at the Minnesota School of Business due to frozen pipes at Elk River City Hall. The council chambers and area where video equipment is stored sustained water damage and the district was asked to relocate its scheduled Jan. 9 meetings. The district purchased the Minnesota School of Business facility in 2016 with the intention of making the building its new headquarters someday. — Rachel Minske