School board honors achievements, hears from parents at Aug. 2 meeting

Retired Forest Lake School Board members Joe Grafft and Bill Bresin were honored for their service to the district at the Thursday, Aug. 2 board meeting.

The resolution recognized Grafft, who served 11 years, for helping the district with health and safely intiatives, especially a crisis management plan, and also teaching CPR.

Bresin, who  served 19 years, was recognized for his contributions to the curriculum review process.  Bresin was referred to as “the calm voice of reason” by presenter State Rep. Bob Dettmer.

Policy Request

Becky Woziak from the Cutting Edge Skating Association asked the board to make an exception or change its policy that prohibits distribution of its brochures in the district’s elementary schools.

Cutting Edge, the local learn-to-skate program, is a non-profit that is registered in Minnesota but not federally.

Woziak said enrollment will drop precipitously if elementary schools cannot be used to provide information to families. The program folded in the Chisago Lakes Area, she said, when the school district stopped allowing distribution.

Class Size Concerns

Scandia Elementary plans to provide only two teachers for 66 fourth-graders this fall.

Concerned parents, represented by Stephanie Boysen and Molly Bonnet, asked the board to reconsider class size.

Boysen, the parent of two elementary age children in Scandia, said when she asked her son about cramped conditions in his classroom last year, he responded, “Mom, it’s OK. I just don’t raise my hand anymore because there are too many kids.”

FPS Report

The Future Problem Solving team from Forest Lake Elementary School was recognized for high achievement.  The team competed in the international event in June at the University of Indiana.

Katherine Taylor took third place in the individual competition for global issues problem solving.

Other team members are Hannah Curtis, Will Ihlenfeldt, Spencer Kotys, Josh Larson and Morgan Laughlin.  Coaches are David Sauer and Chris Kotys.

CLC Report

The board also heard from high-achieving senior high students about their activities, classes and future plans.

Kelly Lessman, principal at the Central Montessori Elementary School, reported on progress made toward recognition as a Minnesota School of Excellence.

Lessman said Montessori is the only elementary school in the district not on that list. Because most Montessori schools are private, she said, members of the committee had never reviewed a Montessori school before.

The results will be announced by Labor Day.

Lessman said the Montessori has about 112 students, some using open enrollment to come from other districts. A short commercial for the Montessori school was presented. The video promotes the small class sizes, free tuition, and free transportation.  The commercial is on the school’s website.

Lessman also reported on alternative learning center and summer school programs.

Other Items

School board liaisons for 2012/2013 will be as follows:

Columbus Elementary, Julie Corcoran.

Forest Lake Elementary, Dan Kieger.

Forest View Elementary, Karen Morehead.

Lino Lakes, Elementary, Gail Theisen.

Linwood Elementary, Kathy Bystrom.

Wyoming Elementary, Rob Raphael.

Central Learning Center, Corcoran and Theisen.

Century Junior High, Kieger and Corcoran.

Southwest Junior High, Erin Turner and Rob Raphael.

Forest Lake High School, Bystrom and Morehead.

Bus garage, Morehead and Bystrom.