Earlier start date nixed by District 518 school boardWORTHINGTON — The District 518 Board of Education agreed Tuesday that it would not pursue a flexible learning year application for the 2009-2010 academic year. Members will, however, seriously consider petitioning for a flexible learning year in the 2010-2011 school year.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The District 518 Board of Education agreed Tuesday that it would not pursue a flexible learning year application for the 2009-2010 academic year. Members will, however, seriously consider petitioning for a flexible learning year in the 2010-2011 school year.
If the district had chosen to submit the application to the Minnesota Department of Education, its approval would have meant an earlier start to the school year. The calendar that would have accompanied the application proposed an Aug. 24 start date and a May 21 end date for classes.
The board’s decision followed three public meetings on the issue, in which some community members expressed concerns about having to cancel or reschedule plans they had already made for the end of August and start of September.
“I think the flexible learning year is a great idea,” said school board member Bob Jirele. “Having said that, I think it’s fairly clear that people are uncomfortable with the short timeline.” The other board members echoed his sentiments, but also said they would recommend implementation or serious consideration of the flexible learning year for the following school year.
Several also commented that many community members were opposed to the idea for reasons not related to academics.
“Some (reasons) were personal, some sports-related. I think some conflicts with the staff could be worked out,” said board member Linden Olson. “But I’m a realist. … I do not think we have an attitude that this can work, either from staff or our community.”
Superintendent John Landgaard also cited negative response to the idea when recommending the board postpone its application. Lack of support for the measure could hurt students academically, he said.
“I know it’s the right direction to go. I believe in it. But I have some fear that because of its implementation we could have some negative effects. I don’t want to go there,” he said.
Following its discussion, the board instead approved a calendar with a Sept. 8 start date for the 2009-2010 academic year.
In other business, the board Tuesday:
- Approved the Assistant Middle School Principal contract with Tony Hastings.
- Approved the Activities Coordinator contract with Mike Traphagen.
- Learned that Worthington High School student Nicole Janssen will be the ambassador to Crailsheim for the 2009-2010 academic year.
- Recognized the following teachers and administrators who received tenure during the 2009-2010 school year: Jill Bents, special programs; Liezl Butzon, Worthington Middle School; Tricia Denzer, special programs; Keith Fleming, Area Learning Center; Matt Fletcher, Prairie Elementary; Jessica Hogan, WMS; Laura Kerkaert, Prairie Elementary; Jerusha Lowe, ALC; Melanie Loy, Prairie Elementary; Joshua Noble, Prairie Elementary; Joseph Osowski, Worthington High School; Brian Sannes, WMS; David Schieffer, special programs; John Singler, WHS; Tammy Timko, special programs; Elizabeth Wacker, Prairie Elementary; Brian Westman, WHS.
- Approved the employment of Alyssa Hietbrink as eighth grade English teacher and yearbook advisor at WMS and Pam Westendorf as DHH LTS substitute teacher for special programs.
- Approved the resignation of Todd Schumann as football coach, Jeff Rogers as agriculture teacher at Worthington High School, Jill Cuperus as girls’ head hockey coach with the district and of Don Kuiper as part-time activities coordinator with the district.
- Approved termination of employment for the following employees and positions: Nancy Suchy as long-term substitute teacher and debate coach, Josh Wasmund as behavioral specialist, Virgil Reemts as paraprofessional, Elizabeth Briones Flores as paraprofessional, Lisa Scholtes as paraprofessional, Gayla Aljets as paraprofessional, Leyvi Hinojosa as paraprofessional, Carrie Vossen as paraprofessional, Jill Cuperus as paraprofessional, Mary Luke as long-term paraprofessional substitute, Nicole Turbes as paraprofessional, Margaret Vyskocil as paraprofessional, Nancy Landeros as paraprofessional, Margaret Larson as paraprofessional and Mary Reemts as paraprofessional.
- Approved a collaborative agreement with Nobles County Public Health.
- Approved the 2009-2011 audit proposal from Turbes Drealan Kvilhaug Mammen and Co. P.A. in the amount of $17,500 for 2009, $18,200 for 2010, and $19,000 for 2011.