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School board approves Trojan Choir NYC trip

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington District 518 Board of Education approved a Trojan Choir trip to New York City from March 25 to 30, 2013 during the board's meeting Tuesday.

District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard explained the trip will encompass a performance by the students and visits to landmarks including Yankee Stadium, Rockefeller Center, Radio City, the Empire State Building and NBC.

Choir members will participate in fundraising activities to support their trip.

"It's a nice opportunity for kids to see something different in New York and do all the things they get to do there," said school board member Lori Dudley.

The motion to approve was made by board member Stephen Schnieder with a second from fellow board member Scott Rosenberg.

In an unrelated matter, board member Linden Olson spoke briefly about the possibility of advancing lower grade students based on their readiness level.

Olson explained allowing students to move forward when they are ready will promote higher graduation rates and help reduce achievement gaps.

"There has been discussion at the administration level related to this approach for kindergarten through second grade students," Landgaard said.

He added that implementation for the grade advancement change is possible for the 2013-2014 school year.

Further discussion will be scheduled for the school district's instructional and operational committee as well as the school board.

In other news, school board members:

* Accepted a Worthington Healthcare Foundation grant of approximately $85,300. Landgaard said the two-part grant will assist in the provision of tennis equipment for the high school tennis program and summer tennis programs offered through the Worthington Area YMCA. The grant will also fund the lighting for all tennis courts.

* Approved permanent and temporary easement requests on Crailsheim Drive made by Nobles County for the impending bike trail work.

* Approved the resignation of Benjamin Derynck as instructor for the EDGE program, Nate Harberts as "B" squad baseball coach for the high school, Raquel Galvez as instructor for the EDGE program, Derek Schmitz as EDGE teacher at the middle school, Shari VanderVeen as education assistant for the EDGE program, Beth Iverson as seventh grade teacher for the EDGE program, and Jennifer Braa as paraprofessional at the Area Learning Center (ALC).

* Approved retirement of Maggie Kraemer as library media specialist at the high school.

* Approved employment of Rosemary Loveless as long-term substitute special education teacher at the ALC, Michele Machado as kindergarten educational assistant for the EDGE program, Christopher Aggen as "B" baseball coach for the high school, Katy Johnson as instructor for the EDGE program, Deborah Mitchell-Gerold as EL coordinator, Josie Wasmundt as EL teacher at the ALC, Keri Statema as EDGE teacher at the middle school, Scott Burns as the EDGE teacher at the middle school, Sarah Nickel as education assistant for the theEDGE program, Carissa Franken as seventh grade teacher for the EDGE program, Rosiba Mejia Calderon and Naomi Naoernberg as program assistants for the EDGE program, Lisa Gerdes, Sally Anne Benson and Vernietta Hansberger as early childhood screeners for early childhood education, and Catalina Martinez as educational assistant for the EDGE program.

* Approved an increase in assignment of 0.5 FTE to 1.0 FTE for Rhina Galvez as special education paraprofessional at the ALC.

* Approved acceptance of donations for February from Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council for arts in the school.

* Approved Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative contracts for the 2012-2013 school year.

* Approved an Orientation Mobility Specialist services contract.

* Approved an early childhood screening agreement with Southwest Minnesota Opportunity Council.

Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony can be reached at 376-7321.