RED WING — Hiring practices for administrator-level positions were questioned by board members during the Red Wing School Board meeting Monday. The topic was raised after discussion on the hiring of a director of teaching and learning — a new position in the district.

In particular, board members wanted to receive clarification on the selection process and job description.

“We have gone through several iterations in the past nine years in the teaching and learning department,” Superintendent Karsten Anderson said. “We put many of the aspects of the director of teaching and learning, director of support services and curriculum coordinator in the new position.”

Anderson said the district received 12 applications for the position and two candidates — both internal — were interviewed. The $102,500 salary was based on the hired person’s qualifications in comparison to the suggested salary range of $96,000-$136,000.

Board member Holly Tauer asked how high-level hirings were conducted in the past, pointing toward the hiring of Jen Grove as Burnside Elementary School principal.

Anderson said the district received approximately 10-15 applications for the position and that three were interviewed.

Tauer also questioned the district’s history of hiring specific demographics. That came after a public comment period in which Greg Bolt, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, spoke about how he hoped the district would put more emphasis on hiring non-white people for administration and teaching positions.

In reference to the hiring of a director of teaching and learning, Anderson said, “A variety of people submitted applications but I became convinced early on that we should focus on internal applicants.”

The nine proposed personnel reassignments were ultimately approved 5-2 with board members Jim Bryant and Tauer opposed.

2020-21 budget set

On Monday, Red Wing School Board approved a budget for the upcoming school year of just under $37.2 million, down about $202,000 from the 2019-2020 budget.

Community Education & Recreation took a big hit this spring because the district had to provide free child care to Tier I and II workers under Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 orders in addition to a significant loss in program revenue. The department will be down with its reserves essentially gone.

State statute requires budget approval by June 30. The board typically adjusts the budget in the winter following completion of the fiscal year 2020 audit.

Furloughs and layoffs approved

Red Wing School Board approved furloughs and layoffs Monday, June 15, made necessary because of budget constraints during the pandemic. Community Education & Recreation will place two employees on furlough July 1-Aug. 31, with the ability to call back or extend as needed based on the governor’s direction on programming.

Four support personnel were laid off and a fifth had hours reduced.

Cook contract approved

The Cooks Association and School District finalized an agreement for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 contract years. Financial highlights include a 2% pay increase in step 5 and adjustments to certification pay beginning in the second year to encourage additional training.