WORTHINGTON — District 518 has received five letters of interest in the position of Intermediate School principal, after board members decided last week that they'd prefer to re-assign internally before considering outside applicants.

Of those five, Superintendent John Landgaard said four are qualified, and he plans to meet with each of them over the next week. Both the instructional committee and the operations committee gave him permission to bring a recommendation for the board to consider at the regular school board meeting next Tuesday.

Enrollment study

The instructional committee considered two proposals Monday for an enrollment study, which would begin in the fall. The bid from Hazel Reinhart, who did the previous study eight years ago, came in at $5,000, and the bid from John Powers came in at $2,500.

"I think you'll be happy with either one," Landgaard told the committee. "I'm not necessarily recommending one over the other."

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After some discussion, committee members agreed that they didn't think prior experience with the district justified an additional $2,500 price, so they recommended Powers, the less expensive option. The full board will vote Tuesday.

Indian Education Committee

Federal law states that any school district in the United States that has at least 10 Native American students is required to form an Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee. This is to be comprised of parents of Native American students as well as district staff, which would advise the school board on Native American curriculum.

"We have had difficulty getting parent commitment to participate on this committee," Landgaard said.

However, by not having such a committee, the district is out of compliance with federal law, and the Minnesota Department of Education insisted that the district complete that action by the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Director of Teaching & Learning Katie Clarke has worked to put together a committee, to begin meeting soon.

Also in committee meetings:

  • The instructional committee learned that the state's audit of the EL program went well, except that one student identified as needing EL services didn't have any EL classes on their schedule. The district needs to ensure that every EL student is taking an EL class or that the parents have signed an opt-out form.
  • The operations committee recommended writing off $3,800 in school lunch debt, given the $35,000 positive fund balance and financial support from the USDA to feed students during the pandemic.
  • Landgaard told the instructional committee about 350 students are enrolled in summer school, compared to about 700 in previous years.
  • Landgaard informed both committees that the renewal fee for membership in the Minnesota State High School League totals to $9,770.