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Justin Dahlheimer hired as Osakis School District's business manager

The action took place at the board's regular meeting on Monday, July 11.

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OSAKIS — The Osakis School Board accepted the resignation of treasurer Justin Dahlheimer, who has been hired as the district's new business manager, at its regular meeting on Monday, July 11.

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Justin Dahlheimer

Superintendent Randy Bergquist said the board can appoint somebody to hold the vacated position until election day in November, when someone will be elected to serve the two remaining years on Dahlheimer's term.

Bergquist said that while this is a special election, it will still be held on the regular election day, Tuesday, Nov. 8.

According to the resolution passed by the board, the clerk can accept affidavits of candidacy for the position "during the same filing period as applicable to the school district general election, i.e. between 70 and 84 days before the date of the primary election."

Presentation on eSports

The school board also heard a presentation on eSports, which was given by incoming eighth-grader Aiden Breiter, and was described as electronic sports played competitively on gaming systems like xBox, PlayStation, Nintendo or virtual reality systems.

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"(It's) an alternative avenue for students to participate in an extracurricular activity," Breiter said.

This past school year, a North Dakota company called Fenworks, which specializes in eSports integration in schools, assisted in giving a survey about eSports to students in grades seven through 12.

Breiter said 67 students responded, with 67% rating their interest in eSports at a four or five based on a scale of five.

"When the students were asked to list the extracurricular activities they participate in, I was shocked to see that 38.8% of students are not involved in any extracurricular activities," he said.

Breiter said he thinks eSports might appeal to some of the students who are not involved in any extracurricular activities, as well as some that are.

Eighty-two percent of the students who took the survey reported spending more than four hours per week gaming, Breiter said.

"This tells me that they are already playing games, but not in the controlled environment that eSports offers," he said.

While no action was taken on the matter, Bergquist said more information will be gathered that will be presented at a future school board meeting.

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School lunch price increase

The school board also approved a slight increase in meal and milk prices for 2022-2023.

The new prices are $2.50 per elementary student lunch, $2.60 per high school student lunch, $4.25 per adult lunch, $2 per student breakfast, $2.75 per adult breakfast and 35 cents per milk carton.

"Remember, basically the last two years, lunch and breakfast were covered," Bergquist said. "Unfortunately, this year it's not."

Bergquist encouraged parents to fill out the free and reduced price forms.

"Everything is confidential," he said. "You fill out the forms. If you qualify, you'll find out. If you don't, you don't qualify. The more people that we have fill out the forms, the potential high percentage for our free and reduced price population. The higher the free and reduced price population, the more compensatory money we're going to get from the state, because it's based on the free and reduced price count."

Long-term facilities maintenance

The school board also approved the application for the district's long-term facilities maintenance 10-year plan.

Minnesota school districts must annually complete the application for the Long-Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue — Statement of Assurances, and submit the application to the Minnesota Department of Education.

The annual 10-year plan expenditures vary from year to year based on the needs of the district.

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The expenditures for Fiscal Year 2022 total $92,474 and go toward such categories as health and safety, and maintenance projects.

Bergquist said the plan is a "living document," meaning that changes can be made to it if necessary.

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
What to read next
The regular Osakis City Council meeting took place on Monday, Aug. 8.
The action was taken at the board's regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 8.
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