Students short half a credit allowed to graduateWORTHINGTON — Students who find themselves half a credit short at the end of their senior year will still be allowed to walk at the graduation ceremony this year, although they must make up the credit in order to receive their diplomas, the District 518 Board of Education decided unanimously Tuesday.
By: Kari Lucin, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Students who find themselves half a credit short at the end of their senior year will still be allowed to walk at the graduation ceremony this year, although they must make up the credit in order to receive their diplomas, the District 518 Board of Education decided unanimously Tuesday.
“To me, that’s for a sudden blunder,” said Worthington High School principal Scott Backer. “It’s a little bit of compassion for somebody who made that last-minute mistake.”
Last year, the same allowance was made, and three students participated in graduation before they completed their credit requirements.
All school board members approved the allowance, though some expressed reservations about keeping the graduation ceremony meaningful.
“There is danger in doing this,” warned school board member Bob Jirele, though he voted for the measure at the Instructional Committee meeting and the board meeting. “I just don’t like to send that message. (The graduation ceremony) has to have some meaning.”
Area Learning Center Coordinator Rick Knapp said he had four or five students who could end up half a credit or less short and would take summer classes after the graduation ceremony in order to catch up.
“I just keep coming back to that word, ‘hope,’” Knapp said.
In other action Tuesday, the board:
l Approved a school calendar including a pre-Labor Day start for 2009-2010, pending the approval of the Minnesota Legislature.
* Authorized a contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Resources for approximately $12,000 to pay for a part-time translator from Myanmar.
About 60 immigrants, refugees from Myanmar who speak Burmese and Karen, already work at Swift & Co. It is anticipated the number will rise to 250 by the end of March, said Jerry Fiola, District 518’s director of Community Education at an earlier meeting of the board.
* Approved the Nobles County Integration Collaborative commitment for 2008-2009.
The six school districts participating in the Collaborative will contribute a total of $324,332.94 to its budget.
In addition, the board approved salary agreements for 2008-2010 for the NCIC coordinator for 3.47 percent the first year and 3.58 percent the second year; the NCIC Youth Initiative Coordinator for 3.28 percent the first year and 3.4 percent the second year, and the NCIC Program Aide salary for 3.17 percent the first year and 3.08 percent the second year. Figures include salary and benefits.
* Approved the retirement of Mary Batcheller as health and physical education teacher at Worthington Middle School, Marilyn Nieland as Prairie Elementary special education teacher, Betty McAllister as special education director for District 51, Ellen Curley-Copperud as English teacher at Worthington High School, Kathleen Miller as fifth-grade teacher at Prairie, and Michael Timmerman as custodian at WMS.
* Approved the employment of Stephanie Fletcher as long-term substitute kindergarten teacher at Prairie, Sandy Wood as assistant boys’ and girls’ golf coach at WHS, Ron Wood as head boys and girls golf coach at WHS, Shelly Gieselman as long-term substitute paraprofessional at Prairie, and Brian Iverson as B-squad boys’ baseball coach at WHS.
* Accepted donations from the Prairie Elementary Parent Group for Accelerated Reader quizzes and from the Peace Maker Foundation for WMS programs.
* Congratulated Cheryl Carlson for becoming Education Minnesota Worthington Teacher of the Year for 2008.
The board also praised WMS student Gordy Moore, who will compete in the statewide geography bee on April 4 at Macalester College, St. Paul.
* Approved a bid from Otto Landscaping for $138,005.47 for the installation of three new sets of playground equipment and related playground surface materials.
* Approved a $24,013 sound system for the gym at Prairie Elementary. The project is funded through grant dollars and current budget funding sources.