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Tyler Tribute
Tyler, Minnesota
February 22, 2017     Tyler Tribute
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February 22, 2017

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Vo1.,45 No. 38 Fifth grade Knights page 10 $1.00 *****************MIXED ADC 553 SMALLTOWN PAPERS 217 W COTA ST SHELTON, WA 98584-2263 I,,,I,n.li,,,h,ll,h,l,llh,,Ihlllh,lll,ll,llll,,,llh,lllh February 22, 2017 USPS 963-720 Tyler, Minnesota 56178 Tnbute me photo Morgan Johnson and Jason Honebrink competing in last year's RTR FFA Ag Olympics FFA celebrates 2017 National FFA Week The RTR FFA will celebrate National FFA Week, Feb. 18- 25. This year's theme is Trans- form Purpose to Action, and it embraces more than 89 years of FFA traditions while look- ing forward to the organiza- tion's future. Nearly 650,000 members will participate in National FFA Week activities at local, state and national levels. These members have a passion for agriculture. Agri- culture education and FFA are currently offered in more than 180 schools in Minnesota, Designated a national week in 1947, the week Of George Washington's birthday, Na- tional FFA Week runs from Saturday to Saturday and gives I FA members an oppor- tunity to educate the public about agriculture. During the RTR FFA continues on page 5 Photo by Mark Wilmes Drama department presents The RTR Drama Department presented three one-act plays for the public over the weekend. Pictured from left are Lacey Barke, Katie Petersen and Madison Witte in one of the scenes from "That's Not How I Remember It." By Mark Wilmes be reclaiming any of those funds. However, USAC is demanding tributeeditor@gmaiLcom Interim Superintendent Dick Orcutt reported to the board a letter from the Universal Ser- vice Administrative Company (USAC), the group that is charged with regulating E-rate funding for the Federal government. The letter demanded repayment of funds totaling $45,565.53 that had been received in the years between 2010 and 2015. The letter did not come as a surprise, as the district had self- reported violations by the pre- vious administration that had been discovered in 2016. E-rate funding comes with rules about being able to present clear docu- mentation of competitive bids. None could be found. All items in- volved in this payback were pur- chased from the same company without evidence of competitive bidding process. This violation accounted for $39,686.69. The remainder of the total was paid to the district for redundant in- ternet services, which is also not permitted under the program. Orcutt introduced Josh Sump- tion of the Southwest/West Cen- tral Service Cooperative (SW/ WC) who handled the matter for the district. Sumption said the initial self- report was submitted to USAC in August 2016 and the district re- ceived a response letter earlier this month. "On Feb. 2, 2017 the district received a response letter from USAC," Sumption said. "It in- cluded, for lack of a better term, a demand for repayment of mis- appropriated funds" Sumption said the district is fortunate that the penalties were not worse. Additional funding requests were made, but not funded. "The good news for the dis- trict is that no [additional] funds were ever dispersed," Sump- tion revealed. "There was a total amount of duplicative services being claimed for internet ac- cess $73,999.92. Zero dollars were dispersed so USAC will not that the district cancel those funding requests." Sumption, on behalf of SW/WC recommended that the district agree with the USAC findings and comply with any requests. Sumption said that there was an addendum to the letter that delved deeper into RTR funding requests that identified another 234 funding requests that were submitted but again lacked doc- umentation of competitive bid- ding process. "The good news, once again, was that none of these requests that they are identifying in the addendum had any funds dis- persed," Sumption said. "The district must cancel their fund- ing requests on those and cer- tify that they will not attempt to draw funds on any of those requests" Sumption said that once the violations were found by SW/ WC and shared with the district, there was no choice on self-re- porting. '7 s a district you were made aware of what we must legally do, as consultants," Sumption told the board. "[We reported] that there were inconsisten- cies, and you as a school district had a legal obligation to make the Federal government aware of the inconsistencies found. If we had not done that we would have all been under the possibil- ity of penalty for perjury. If USAC would have done their own in- vestigation and audit and had found these issues on their own, the school could have potentially been disbarred from the E-rate program. They do not take fraud lightly." The board approved paying back the funds unanimously. A discussion was held on the advantages of discontinuing a teaching exchange agreement with the Lynd district and the RTR Middle School. Travel time between the districts has been cutting into time in core subject classes in their home district. Or- cutt said that plans can be made considering teachers and room tm prt Photo by Mark Wilmes Josh Sumption of the Southwest/West Central Service Co-op spoke to the RTR School Board at last week's regular meeting. to offer a shop class and Span- ish to bring the programs back in-house. A motion was made to notify the Lynd district that RTR will discontinue the teaching agreement and to retrieve shop equipment that was lent to the Lynd and Hendricks buildings. The motion passed on a 6-1 vote with Terry Gordon voting in dis- sent. In other business: Approved the resignation of para-professional Alyson Van't Hul. Approved the retirement of el- ementary teacher Steve Borchert after 34 years of service. Middle School Showcase Night will be held Tuesday, March 14. Middle School Administrator Darren Baartman reported that 10 students have been selected to participate in the Celebration of Music festival at the Brandon Valley Performing Arts Center on March 1. Participating in band will be Allie Christianson, Maddison Wendland, McKinley Schreurs and Skylar Borresen. Participating in chorus will be Julia Nilles, Carl Baune, Kara Jor- gensen, Rebecca Brown, Emmett Petersen and Logan Miller. Principal Daniel Bettin report- ed a possible need to bring up 8th grade students to play varsi- ty baseball due to low numbers this spring. That, in turn,, would possibly necessitate bringing up 6th graders to fill out the junior varsity team. The practice may be needed for softball, also. More information will be provided at next month's meeting. The board approved unani- mously the implementation of Knights' Camp for summer school programming. The camp would include a minimum of seven RTR teachers to run the camp. There is also a possibility that some- thing could be in conjunction with Lake Benton Elementary School. The formation of the camp would save around $15,000 from recent year's col- laboration with Hendricks. The board unanimously ap- proved the new Achievement and Integration Plan that will go into effect on July 1. The collabo- rating districts would be RTR, Marshall, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Wa- basso, Murray County Central and Red Rock Central. The next SWEC meeting will be held March 23 at 6:30 p.m. in Hendricks. Weekend Weather Tyler Tribute Local page2 Thursda Feb 23 Saturday, Feb. 25 Hi 390 --Low27 Hi 24 -- Low 16 Oplni-on--'7--:--" ............. -Pag~ *(5 Ice Pellets: Partly Cloudy Fai-th--:-'-"": ....................... F;ag'e"13 Fr|daoy, Febi 24 Sunday, Feb. 26 O-a i -e-(is .................. b @ Hi 30 -- Low 17 Hi 29 -- Low 12 eage b Snow ShoWers Sunny 124 North Tyler Street, PO Box Q, Tyler, MN 56178 Phone and fax: 507-247-5502 E,maih tribute@tylertribute,com www.tylertribute.com