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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Local residents attending the first of three School District 833 community meetings gave the district a 'B' for its efforts to improve student performance. The 60 people who turned out for the meeting Wednesday at Park High School agreed that student achievement is the most important task for the district. Of those who attended, 75 percent identified themselves as parents.
District 833 may tap most of its reserve funds, rather than cut programs, to balance next year's budget. The district will face an $11.7 million deficit if the School Board makes no cuts to projected spending in the 2011-12 academic year and the Minnesota Legislatures leaves aid to South Washington County Schools goes unchanged. This year, the School Board used about $4 million of its reserve funds to cover a deficit and could cover another deficit with remaining reserves, but the unallocated rainy-day fund would go from $17 million to $5.5 million, under the budget scenario that assumes no
Superintendent Mark Porter said there will be no expansion of the Spanish Immersion language program for 2011-12, but District 833 is still considering expansion for the following year. The immersion school will remain next year in a shared facility with traditional classes at Crestview Elementary School in Cottage Grove. Porter's announcement at a Dec. 16 School Board meeting, without a formal vote from the board, comes after a month of negative reactions from parents at four elementary schools to one of three proposals by a district task force that explored Spanish Immersion expansion.
District 833 Superintendent Mark Porter said he intends to bring "closure" to the recent Spanish Immersion expansion debate when the School Board meets Thursday. Porter said he will discuss the recent process regarding proposed expansion of the district's Spanish Immersion program.
At the Nov. 23 meeting before the District 833 School Board at Woodbury High School, parents opposing the closing of either Armstrong, Royal Oaks, Woodbury or Crestview elementary schools dominated the number of speakers in opposition. The issue is a recommendation, among three from a task force, that would "repurpose" one of the schools to be a Spanish Immersion-only school with traditional school students moved to other schools. At the Tuesday, Nov.
It was a gathering like many in the community when people gather to share a meal.
Anger over the possible closure of a District 833 elementary school to house an expanded Spanish language Immersion program brought more than 600 people on Tuesday to the first of two public meetings on the issue. The meeting at Woodbury High School was contentious at times as parents told school board members they want to keep the program, as it is, in a shared facility with 300 students in a traditional program alongside 320 Spanish Immersion students at Crestview Elementary School in Cottage Grove.
District 833 School Board member Jim Gelbmann said he favors expansion of the district's Spanish Immersion program or, if a majority of fellow board members will not support expansion, the elimination of what he said is an unfair way to fill spots in the program.
Two proposals are on the table if District 833 School Board members decide to expand the Spanish language immersion program. It could also keep the program at the current level with three classes at each grade level from kindergarten through fifth-grade. The board met in a workshop session on Nov.
Recommendations on how to spend $3 million in federal money for education jobs over two years sparked an exchange between two District 833 School Board members, at the Oct. 15 workshop meeting, about financing philosophies. Superintendent Mark Porter is recommending the district spend $900,000 during this school year, leaving $1.8 million for the 2011-2012 school year. The Minnesota Department of Education will approve only 90 percent of the district's allocation, Porter said.