Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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It likely will be weeks, if not months, before a decision is made on the future of Crosswinds Arts and Science School. Minnesota Management and Budget said last week that it won't approve any plan to take over the Crosswinds building until it sees whether lawmakers pass legislation this spring that would give Crosswinds to the Perpich Center for Arts Education. An attorney said the state budget agency's position trumps the Perpich bill in the House that was amended to remove an April 1 deadline by which Perpich had to receive legislative approval in order to get the Crosswinds building. Per
Parents attending a public review of proposed School District 833 budget cuts told administrators they are opposed to extending the walking distances for secondary school students. At Cottage Grove Middle School Tuesday, Superintendent Keith Jacobus reviewed the district's hybrid $2 million budget-cutting plan that would include $160,000 in savings by adding one-half mile to the one-mile walking distance at middle schools and going from one-and-a-half miles to two miles at the district's high schools. The budget plan, to be acted on by the School Board at its meeting Thursday evening, March
When the District 833 School Board meets on March 21, the three budget-cutting options that have been discussed over the past month will be off the table. Instead, a compromise "hybrid" plan is getting board members' support and will accomplish a needed $2 million budget cut. If approved, the majority of the money saved -- $1.5 million -- will come by cutting 22.5 positions in the instructional area, though not necessarily classroom teachers.
The bottom line for the District 833 School Board is that it must cut $2 million from the 2013-14 budget. Getting to that $2 million has been a multi-step process for South Washington County Schools. It started with a committee process that looked at seven school budget categories. A second phase took budget options to the public in three recent meetings, online information and surveys. The final meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at East Ridge High School. The final phase begins at the Thursday, March 7, school board meeting where three budget-balancing options will be discussed.
Woodbury resident Steve Ellenwood said a recent East Ridge High School morning announcement that included a Black Panther poem recitation as part of Black History Month is "Marxist indoctrination" that honored a violent organization. Ellenwood and about 10 parents showed up at the Thursday, Feb. 21, District 833 School Board meeting to voice outrage over what students said during Feb.
District 833 schools this fall will start, as they always have, on the day after Labor Day. But there might be some changes in 2014, as South Washington County School Board members gave Superintendent Keith Jacobus the go-ahead to consider modifying the school calendar. In the meantime, the 2013-14 school year will begin Sept. 3. Winter break will be from Dec. 23 through New Year's Day and spring break will be March 10-14. The school year will end June 6, 2014. Informally, Jacobus suggested that there are alternatives to expand the calendar.
South Washington County School buildings are in line for improvements following approval of an annual facilities budget. The District 833 School Board on Jan.
South Washington County Schools will take over Crosswinds school in Woodbury unless state lawmakers provide extra funding by April 1 to assist the Perpich Center for the Arts in acquiring the school. The East Metro Integration District School Board met Wednesday to make final decisions about the future of its two schools -- Crosswinds, which houses grades 6-10, and Harambee, for kindergarten through fifth grade.
South Washington County Schools officials gave local lawmakers a big wish list for the upcoming legislative session. School officials asked lawmakers to get rid of the ban on starting school before Labor Day, modify state tests, help the district gain the Crosswinds school in Woodbury and promote early learning. Attending the Jan. 10 meeting were Sen. Susan Kent and Reps. JoAnn Ward and Andrea Kieffer, all of Woodbury. Reps. Dan Schoen of St. Paul Park and Denny McNamara of Hastings also attended. Sen.
Those expecting a hint about the future of Crosswinds School in Woodbury were disappointed after a meeting last week of the East Metro Integration District board of directors. Ahead of its expected Jan.