Hastings School Board approved three calendar changes for the 2019-20 school year and approved Superintendent Tim Collins’ retirement at its Wednesday meeting.

Two half school days — Sept. 27 and May 8 —will instead become non-school days and Nov. 18 will be a non-school day for elementary students. The days are being shifted for staff and teacher training.

“We’ve always said to our administrators … if you come to us with a very legit reason to alter the calendar, we’ll consider it,” Collins said. “We know we don’t like to change calendars for parents.”

Board member Kelsey Waits said at the board’s August work session that she had some concern over how the Nov. 18 non-school day could affect low-income families who would have to find child care that day. The district is considering running a “kids campus” that day for some students to attend instead of school, but it is still undetermined whether that will occur, Collins said.

"We don't know for sure where we're at for it," he said. "Some of those employees may come for the training and some may have children who aren't going to be in school that day."

The board also approved Collins’ and four other district employees' retirements. Collins has worked for the district for 17 years and is retiring at the end of the year.

Board members are planning on discussing hiring plans for the next superintendent at its Sept. 4 work session.

School board candidates

Nine people filed for candidacy for the School Board’s four open seats by the Aug. 13 filing deadline. Two incumbents, Joe Becker and Peter Blissenbach, did not file to file to be reelected; incumbents Lisa Hedin and Russ Rohloff will seek reelection.

Seven newcomers that filed include: Robert Halberg, Andrew Trembath, Becky Beissel, Jessica Gelhar, Brian Davis, Melanie Peters and Stephanie Malm.

Nine candidate filings is up from six in the 2017 School Board election.

The Star Gazette will feature each of the candidates in stories leading up to the Nov. 5 election.

Other actions

  • The board also approved employing 13 new employees — six teachers and seven other staff.

  • Ten district employees resignations were approved.

  • Collins announced that the district had a tentative agreement on contract details between the district and the teacher union. The contract needs to be approved by teacher representatives and then will be finalized later in September.

  • Collins also announced that all school buses will be equipped with cameras for the next school year. Previously about 10 buses had the cameras.