Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 23-03-2017

downloadAs the school board and administration continue to grapple with the implications of declining enrollment and no new monies from the state or federal level, we continue to refine the needed cuts to ensure fiscal soundness of the district.  At the last meeting of the school board several cuts were finalized and a new high school schedule was approved.  Before I explain I do want to thank all the school staff and teachers that have provided guidance and support during these tough fiscal times.  I also want to thank the administrative team and school board on their work to actually make the hard decisions.  Lastly, to all the parents and community members that have stopped us or attended board meetings to listen, share, and be part of the process.

At this time the projected expenditure budget is showing a reduction of about $353,000 or -7.6%.  This is very tentative as many items have yet to be finalized for next year including contract costs for purchased services, salaries for all employees, summer work projects, and other items.  However, at this time the board has taken action on the following reductions which are reflected in this budget:

  • Elimination of the Health Careers course.
  • Reduction of Library e-book subscription.
  • Reduction in instructional technology equipment purchases.
  • Delaying of bus purchase.
  • Significant reduction in capital improvements budget in general fund.
  • A couple early retirement payments are no longer being paid out to retired teachers.
  • Reduction of 2 teaching positions in the high school.   Will not rehire to fill the spots created by the retirement of Mr. Ulmer or spot left with resignation of Mr. Sykora.

In addition to these major items a few areas of supplies or fees have been reduced but they are not directly impacting a full program or service as you see in the list above.  I do believe this is a healthy reduction and I have been sharing my view that I do believe this is sufficient for the district, but the final decision is the school boards.



Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 10-03-2017

dakotabowl2016_trophyhoist735 668Starting this year many hoped for another good year.  A year of successes, some snow days, great learning, and an occasional setback to challenge us.  Never, never in my mind would I have predicted the path we have ventured down this year.   The year started more depressing and difficult than most as we began a long journey of grappling with a declining enrollment and zero state funding.   Reducing budgets, cutting positions, and the like are never fun and it kind of brings everyone down.  But, then….

Then we begin a string of WOW moments:

  • Chloe T – finishes 16th in the State XC Meet.  WOW!
  • The Thunder FB team, who we hoped would just make it to the playoffs, runs all the way to the goal of a 11A Football Championship.  WOW!
  • We then take two EHS students to the State Wr Championship with Josh F taking 3rd in 285# and Clayton G finishing as champion at 195# WOW!
  • We are honored to be celebrating the State Championship EHS earned in 1967. WOW!
  • Now we get to add in our 2017 Reg 3 Champions who are DOME Bound. WOW!

Times do get tough and it takes people with a Champions heart to persevere.  I know I am surrounded by Champions here every day.  The adults that work with our kids are amazing and they do it during good times and bad with a smile on their face.  But, this year they are surrounded by another set of CHAMPIONS our kids.  Now, athletic accomplishment are not the only thing that matters.  But, I will tell you it is amazing how championships like these can put a spring in your step, a smile on your face, and a tear in your eye.

I am so proud of our students and fans.  Congratulations on all your accomplishments.  Ellendale relish in the glory of the Champions from 1967 on Friday night of the Class B Tournament this coming week.  Delight in the Parade of Champions on Saturday night as our football team takes center stage.  Rejoice and raise your hands and voices to cheer on our basketball team!  Wow, life is good! #50YrsandNow