Lanesboro school to offer one-act play competition

GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/NEWS LEADER Lanesboro Superintendent Matt Schultz gives his November report to the School Board.
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Lanesboro High School students will be able to participate in one-act play competition this school year as a result of action taken by the Lanesboro School Board during a regular meeting Thursday, Nov. 21.

Superintendent Matt Schultz reported that art instructor Stena Lieb would like for interested students to participate in one-act play competition through the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), as Lanesboro does not currently have structure in place for one-act play as an extracurricular activity.  He outlined that one-act play is an opportunity for students who wish to test their theatrical skills to take part in a single-act play that pushes them to further hone their stage skills to garner recognition from judges and also highlights their talents.

“We had talked about this prior to contract negotiations…from a budget perspective, scripts are about $160, royalties are about $120 per performance, rental fees for costumes and equipment is around $300, and we’d use the community center stage because we already do that,” Schultz told board members. “It’s a Minnesota State High School League competitive section event where they have the opportunity to compete against other schools.  Transportation is about $500 to $750, so the total would be about $1,000 to $1,250 per year and the stipend for the director.  The time is comparable to activities on our Schedule C.” 

Board members Christine Troendle and Mike Willford inquired as to some of the specifics of the program, such as which neighboring districts have one-act play and whether there would be enough student interest to make it worth the investment. 

Schultz replied that he and Lieb feel that there is enough interest and that a trial year would prove helpful. 

The board granted up to $2,500 in funding for the season, which typically begins in November and ends in late winter. 

Busy month

In his formal superintendent’s report, Schultz cited that the past month has been busy, with conferences taking place at the same time as the board meeting, a presentation given by Fillmore County Public Health Educator Brenda Pohlman on vaping, a proposal and creation of a community education winter project day for students to come to the school and do a variety of projects – providing relief for both students and their parents in the middle of Christmas vacation — and that he had met with a vendor of FirstNet. He described FirstNet as “part of AT&T, the part that’s government-tasked with building wireless networks for emergency response…basically a dedicated service line” to emergency services, as currently, the district doesn’t have as many wireless phone lines as it would like to have. 

He also expressed appreciation to staff members and students for their warm welcome of local veterans to the school during the annual Veteran’s Day program during which elementary school students sang to the veterans. 

Schultz added that the Christmas choir concert is set for Dec. 9 and the band concert is on Dec. 16, as well as pointing out that two staff members had posted on Facebook that students have chosen to hold a penny war and a bake sale to benefit the Jared and Erin Cords family of Rushford to assist in that family’s recovery from their house fire and hospital stays. 

The last item in his report involved Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and its focus on social and emotional learning, or the establishment of common language and communication about social and emotional matters “so that students move through school hearing the same thoughts” and aim for the same growth in their well-being. 

Other business

Business items encompassed approving a contract for services with the Hiawatha Valley Education District (HVED), Troendle nominating Steve Storhoff as the board’s new treasurer and the board voting in favor, and accepting policy updates.

The board also had a roll call vote to accept donations to the district from the community – including contributions from the Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce for the district’s scholarship fund and another generous donation of $187 from an anonymous individual who gave to offset lunch and milk fund costs. 

There were no hires or resignations included in the agenda.  The board approved the minutes of the Oct. 14 regular meeting and of the Oct. 23 special meeting, monthly expenditures and construction project bills.