Sunday, August 14, 2022

Byron school board moves closer to hiring new superintendent

Byron moved a step closer to hiring a new school superintendent this week.

School board members were scheduled to meet in a special session Tuesday evening to review superintendent applicants’ information and decide on the finalists. They were also to decide on a schedule for interviews, interview procedures and interview questions.

In anticipation of finalist interviews, special board meetings are tentatively scheduled for next Monday, April 26, and Wednesday, April 28, at 3:55 p.m. and Friday, April 30, at 11:55 a.m.

The board said earlier in the process they hope to offer a contract to a candidate at the May 3 board meeting.

An update on the search was on the agenda for Monday night’s board meeting with Gary Lee of the Minnesota School Boards Association that is helping the district in the search. That update was cancelled because Lee was scheduled to meet with the board on Tuesday night.

The district is seeking a replacement for Supt. Dr. Joey Page who will be leaving at the end of June to start a new position as superintendent of the Austin Public Schools.

At Monday night’s meeting, Page gave board members an update on the upcoming bond referendum saying that the district has continued to send out informational mailings with the last one being sent out this week.

The district is also continuing to hold public information sessions, he said. Upcoming public information meetings include 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. on Monday, April 26, in the school board meeting room, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, in the Byron Middle School Auditorium, 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. on May 4, in the board meeting room and 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. on May 6 in the board room.

District officials also hope to be able to do tours at the school facilities that are impacted by the vote.

“We continue to move forward,” Page said. “We are doing everything we can.”

The election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11. The district is asking voters to approve two separate questions.

The first question authorizes the district to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $29,700,000 for improvements to accessibility and safety at Byron High School; electrical, mechanical and building updates and replacements at the District Administration and Community Services Building; addition and equipping of classrooms at Byron High School; updates to Byron High School and Byron Middle School athletic facilities; updates to kitchen facilities at Byron Middle School, Byron Intermediate School and the District and Administration and Community Services Building and renovation of facilities for Community Education and Early Childhood Programs.

The second question asks for authorization to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed #11,785,000 for the addition and equipping of an auditorium and related facilities at Byron High School.

The two questions total $48,485,000.

In order for Question 2 to pass voters must first approve Question 1.

The combined polling place for the vote will be at the Byron Middle School, 601 4th St. NW, Byron. Ballots may be cast from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on May 11.

Page also told the board Monday night that school officials are closely monitoring rising COVID-19 cases in the district and in consultation with county public health officials.

The district is seeing one of the highest positivity rates in a long time, Page said. The most recent statistics, he said, show a positivity rate of 6.2 with 14 positive cases and 38 quarantined.

All district residents 16 and older are now eligible for COVID vaccinations, he said, and the district is also offering saliva testing for COVID to all staff members every other week.





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