School board votes raise, hears from Scandia Elementary

Girls cross country coach Eric Kaluza with runners Caroline Schoessow, Isabel Leinenger, Abigail Van Bergen, Ann Benner, Miranda Overland, Maria Valentin, Emma Benner and Allison Bartlett appeared before the school board Jan. 3 after a successful fall season. Not pictured are runner Abigayle Asperheim and Assistant Coach Tracy Angelo.

Girls cross country coach Eric Kaluza with runners Caroline Schoessow, Isabel Leinenger, Abigail Van Bergen, Ann Benner, Miranda Overland, Maria Valentin, Emma Benner and Allison Bartlett appeared before the school board Jan. 3 after a successful fall season. Not pictured are runner Abigayle Asperheim and Assistant Coach Tracy Angelo.

Member Dan Keiger moved to change the school board salary from $300 to $350 salary per month at the Jan. 3 meeting.

“In the past,” Kieger said, “we compared Forest Lake to other schools. The average was $450 to $500.”

Rob Raphael agreed, saying, “I’m in favor. We’re still way out of the ballpark.”

Erin Turner and Kathy Bystrom voted no, and Karen Morehead was absent. The motion passed with four yes votes.

The school board also elected officers. With one exception, no changes were made: President Rob Raphael, Vice President Erin Turner and Treasurer Dan Kieger will continue in the same offices. The new clerk will be Bystrom, replacing Morehead.

Superintendent’s Assistant Diane Borle will retire Jan. 31 after 25 years with the school district.

Superintendent’s Assistant Diane Borle will retire Jan. 31 after 25 years with the school district.

The board also appointed representatives and liaisons to Metro ECSU, MSBA, TIES, MSHSL, EMID, SEE, the City of Forest Lake, and the Curriculum, Instruction and School Health Committee.

The Forest Lake Times was designated the official school district newspaper, with member Gail Theisen abstaining.

Changes in the industrial technology and business course sequence were approved.

The board authorized Business Services Director Larry Martini to get group insurance bids.

Scandia Elementary Principal Julie Greiman, with Gerry Seaburg, reported on the school’s work toward becoming an International Baccalaureate (IB) school.

Last summer the school learned of its acceptance as a candidate for the Primary Years Program.

Staff have attended training in Minneapolis and visited other schools.

The are now adding learner profile attributes including reflective, knowledgeable, balanced and respectful.

They are incorporating themes such as who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, sharing the planet. These will be embedded in the existing curriculum.

Grade level planners for each theme will have a central idea, lines of inquiry, and key/related concepts.

This spring an IB consultant will visit the school, and then more units will be written.

A year from now the school will ask to become authorized. An IB team will visit the school for evaluation.

“We have very strong curriculum in Forest Lake,” Greiman said, “We’re tweaking the wheel, not reinventing it.”

Superintendent Linda Madsen said Southwest Junior High is also exploring the IB option. Some graduates of Lakes International Language Academy, an IB school, enter Southwest in Grade 7.

Madsen said a few years ago the high school considered IB, but decided instead to stay with the College in the Schools and Advanced Placement programs.

Madsen said parents have been asking about the school district’s crisis plan, to find out what would happen if there were a violent incident. She said the district has had a crisis plan, designed by Joe Grafft and Donley Johnson, for many years, and it is reviewed annually with local law enforcement agencies.

This year the group met for over two hours with Forest Lake Captain Greg Weiss and Officer John Gladen. Lock-down drills are required in schools in Minnesota, she said, and Forest Lake takes them very seriously. “Principals have said they want a more secure entry,” she added.

 

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