Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Feb. 25, 2002

LP School still looking for new athletic conference

By Julie Yurek

The Lester Prairie School Board discussed the status of its athletic conference during Tuesday's board meeting.

Dean of Students Joe Miller addressed the board about where the school was in terms of an athletic conference.

"We have not been accepted by any conferences yet. Now we have to wait for the Minnesota State High School League to have a hearing that the athletic director and myself will attend, to let the league know which conference we feel fits our needs best," he said.

In an unrelated matter, the board accepted the resignation of Athletic Director Bob Kuehl.

Kuehl has been the athletic director for seven years, but he has worked for Lester Prairie School District for 16 years.

Priorities in his life have changed, and he wishes to spend more time with his active family, Kuehl stated in a letter.

Turning to other matters, the board focussed on the number of students already accepted into college.

Currently, 31 of the 42 graduating seniors have received acceptance letters from various colleges.

There are some seniors who are still waiting for a letter , Miller said.

The board designated Monday, April 1, as a training day for teachers. There will be no school for students that day.

Teachers will be educated about "respect and protect," a program that changes the atmosphere of a school, said Cathy Nelson-Messer, chairperson of the leadership committee.

The leadership committee is a group of teachers, community members, administration, and school board members.

"It would help teachers to know what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Everyone would be on the same page," she said.

"By having the training in April, it gives the teachers a chance to implement learning before the end of the school year," Nelson-Messer said.

The respect and protect program addresses behaviors that are early indications of "what is to come," she said.

For example, instead of addressing truancy, it focuses on the behaviors that build into a student being truant, she said.

"The earlier this is implemented, the better it affects the incoming classes in the future," Nelson-Messer said.

The board also approved a three-year bussing agreement with the current provider, Prairie Bus Service, that would charge the district per route. The school will pay for each route the bus company does. There are currently four routes, Supt. James Redfield said.

The other option was to pay per student, which the district had been doing. "The route payment option costs about two percent more, but if we reduce a route in the future, there is a potential to save money," Redfield said.

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