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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When District 833 school board members meet Jan. 7, they're likely to get a task force recommendation to spend $3 million of the $5 million available on projects. A revised list of recommendations calls for an additional $1 million in projects to be selected by the board with the remaining $1 million to be put aside for future projects. Task force members, who met Dec.
At the South Washington Heritage Christmas brunch on Sat, Dec. 12, I gave a history of the Santa Claus tradition in America and I want to share the story of the transition of Catholic Bishop St. Nicholas to today's Santa. He's known as the ambassador of joy, goodwill, kindness and generosity, but he wasn't always clad in crimson. It's a journey from a religious icon to a secular image not associated with a religion. Muslims, for example, acknowledge St. Nicholas, but he is not revered. The story begins in ancient times. St. Nicolas of Myra (modern day Turkey) lived in the 4th Century.
Middle school students won't have to get up earlier than usual for the rest of the school year, but there could be a change next fall. The district was considering starting middle school 10 minutes earlier, at 7:45 a.m., to stop delays in buses getting to elementary schools, but after an online survey showed some parents oppose the change, superintendent Mark Porter said the district will wait to make a decision on how to solve the problem. In late October, district transportation director Gary Dechaine told the board that 22 buses were arriving late to pick up elementary school students on
Sixty-seven percent of those who responded to a School District 833 survey on how to spend $5 million in excess construction money say new projects should be funded. That's one of the choices being discussed by a school board-appointed task force that is also considering spending the money to reduce property taxes or saving it for future projects. It could also choose to divide the money among the choices. Recommendations are expected to go before the board Jan. 7. The task force also heard from the public on Tuesday, Dec.
Sixty-seven percent of those who responded to a School District 833 survey on how to spend $5 million in excess construction money say new projects should be funded. That's one of the choices being discussed by a board-appointed task force that is also considering spending the money to reduce property taxes or saving it for future projects. It could also choose to divide the money among the choices. Recommendations are expected to go before the board Jan. 7. The task force will also hear comments from the public at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec.
The United Teachers of South Washington County ratified a new two-year contract on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and School Board members approved it on Thursday Nov. 19 during the regular meeting. The agreement, effective from July of this year to July of 2011, is different from past contracts in that it doesn't specify a percentage salary increase.
The District 833 School Board, on Nov. 19, approved a policy that allows up to 3 percent of high school students to change schools next year. It will also open enrollment to students from outside the district, but preference is in place for in-district students. Preference will also be given to next year's juniors and seniors who want to transfer to Park High School to enroll in the International Baccalaureate academic program. If more than 3 percent of students apply for transfers by the Jan.
Newly re-elected school board members Tracy Brunnette and Marsha Adou said they're glad to be back, but they see tight budget times ahead. The district has unallocated money and some of it was spent to balance this year's budget, but in future years, the money dwindles.
Cheerleaders for the Park High School football team wanted a chance to be picked to be on "Made," a show on MTV, but Superintendent Mark Porter said that MTV would not be allowed in the school. The show selects teens, or groups of teens, with lofty goals and helps them achieve their dreams by giving them coaching and other resources according to the made.mtv.com Web site. The cheerleaders hoped they would be chosen so they could get help, as a combined squad with soccer cheerleaders, to be a serious contender in the Edina Classic, a cheerleading competition, in February. MTV representatives
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