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B-E consultants' goal to keep residents informed

The Brandon-Evansville School District recently hired ICS Consulting to help with its facilities needs, and at Monday night's school board meeting an agreement with ICS was approved.

The first phase of the agreement, at a cost of $5,000, includes:

• Listening sessions with teachers and staff, students, school board members and administrators, and residents. Lori Christensen, one of the consultants assigned to this project, told the board that dates for all of the listening sessions have been set except for the one with students. She said that will occur a few weeks after students are back in school.

• Reviewing previous assessments performed for and by the district. Dave Bergeron, the other consultant assigned to Brandon-Evansville, said background information will help him and Christensen gain a better understanding of the district and its needs.

• Performing a financial review, with the school district's financial advisor, to look for potential improvement projects.

Once all of the information is gathered, the two consultants will provide listening sessions results, an overview of previous assessment information with recommendations for any additional assessments, a snapshot of potential facility improvement funding options, and an outline and potential timeline for the district's process.

Christensen and Bergeron said one of the firm's goals is to keep the community informed. At the listening sessions (see related story for dates and times), attendees will be asked how they want to be communicated with. For now, information will be posted on the district's website, in area newspapers, flyers in various locations, and on social media sites.

Bergeron strongly recommended that school board members, along with administrators, use phone calls to let residents know about the listening sessions.

Bergeron, after thanking the district for hiring them, said he and Christensen are excited, encouraged and confident about helping the district with its facility needs.

In other action

The board approved the following:

• West Central Sanitation as the district's garbage hauler. (There were two other bidders — Waste Management and Alex Rubbish and Recycling.)

• Food Services of America as the district's milk distributor. (There was only one bid.)

• The resignation of Tonya Breitkreutz as C-Team volleyball coach and hiring of Kami Dingwall as her replacement.

• Change in officials' contract price. Officials for volleyball, football, baseball and softball will now be paid $100 and for basketball, a three-person crew will receive $300 per game and a two-person crew will get $260.

• The date for the district's Truth and Taxation meeting, which is at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17, with the regular school board meeting to follow.

• School Readiness tuition fees, which are based on family incomes.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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