RC district accepts 3.18 percent tax levy hike

School Board Members Carol Cook and Brian Anderson recognized for years of service at their last meeting

The Rush City School Board on Dec. 19 approved the 2014 property tax levy at $1.83 million, reflecting a 3.18 percent increase over this year’s levy.

In dollars and cents, the levy amounts to a $56,353 increase following a decrease of 5 percent in 2013 and a decrease of 8 percent in 2012.

Superintendent Vern Koepp presented information on the property tax levy process, the district’s current budget, background information on district property taxes and details surrounding the 2014 levy. He estimated 86 percent of the general fund revenue comes from state aid, while local property taxes and federal sources generate 6 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

No district residents attended to comment on the proposed tax levy.

 

School reports

In his report to the board, High School Principal Brent Stavig complimented the Rush City High School Student Council for collecting more than a ton of food from a recent food drive. The students are now collecting hats, mittens and scarves for the elementary school.

 

Junior High Math League is competitive, and the eighth grade won in December, Stavig said. In music, 11 band and four choir students made All Conference Honor Band, and Emily Haug has been accepted to the University of Minnesota Honor Band.

Students continue to make improvements in academic achievement efforts, Stavig added. The high school also has begun sending out academic alerts to inform parents when their child is failing one or more classes.

Jacobson Elementary Principal Melody Tenhoff shared that, earlier this month, fifth-graders entertained the school with performances of “The Merchants of Venice” and “Fairy Tale News,” under the direction of Lori Nelson.

Second-graders also put on a music program under the direction of Jaime Holmstrom.

In the Student Council food drive, the elementary had a classroom competition this year, which likely inspired more interest, Tenhoff said.

The school’s data support provider, TIES, recognized James Hatz as this year’s District Technology Leader Award winner from Rush City. “We all appreciate his daily help,” Tenhoff said.

In addition, Koepp thanked students and staff in both buildings for their cooperation and extra efforts to adjust routines and maintain a good learning environment during the modified lockdown on Dec. 16.

 

In other action, the board:

• Agreed to add 11 hours for Early Childhood Family Education instructor Corinne McKenzie over 2013-14 for an additional toddler class.

• Approved, on a 5-1 vote, a contract with Koepp for 2014. Solely voting against was Stefanie Folkema.

• Recognized two board members, who won’t be returning for another term, for their years of service to Rush City schools. Folkema presented plaques, thanking Cook for eight years of service and Anderson for six years of service.

• Approved the Capital Expenditure Five-Year Plan, a working document that addresses building-related improvements over increments of time.

• Approved the following seniority lists for the 2013-14 school year: Rush City teachers, St. Croix River Education District teachers, paraprofessionals, food service workers, custodians and bus drivers.

• Approved a fundraising request by the junior class that looks to take orders and make pizzas for Super Bowl Sunday weekend.

• Agreed, by consensus, to not offer a teacher retirement incentive this school year.

• Accepted the low quote of $30,936 from North Branch Chevrolet for an express passenger van.

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