By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO In his update to the school board last Monday night, Delano High School Principal Matt Schoen said he has discussed with the research and development committee the removal of class rank from transcripts, making it optional for students to add if it is needed.
“Some schools have done away with class rank on transcripts,” Schoen said, noting most colleges look at grade point average, leadership opportunities, and percentiles, rather than class rank.
Schoen said the same rank procedure would be in place, but it would now be up to the individual students if they want it on their transcripts. There is no official school board policy on the issue or nothing in the student handbook.
The idea will be brought back to the school board at its next meeting for consideration.
No Child Left Behind resolution approved
The school board approved a federal advocacy resolution regarding No Child Left Behind, that “urge(s) the return for student and school accountability to the individual states” and also “urge(s) the Minnesota Legislature and governor to inform the federal government of Minnesota’s intent to consider a withdrawal from participation in No Child Left Behind if reframing of the statute is not completed by October 2010.
The intent of the resolution is to encourage development of state efforts to raise student achievement for both students and schools, but cites No Child Left Behind as being “deeply flawed and has created many negative consequences and attitudes in the minds of parents, citizens, and educators while drawing precious funding away from direct instruction of our neediest students.”
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• set a surplus property auction for Saturday, April 4 at noon at the Delano Community Education Building.
• approved the hiring of Jake Pederson as middle school track coach, replacing Mitch Rue.
• recognized Mona Eicher for receiving the educational central outstanding leadership award.
• received certificates and pins from Sweet in recognition of Minnesota School Board Association School Board Recognition Week in Minnesota, which was Feb. 23 to 27.
• heard from Nelson in a Community Education Advisory Council update that the City of Delano will be unable to make its regular contribution to community education funding for summer programs due to cutbacks.
Community Education Director Diane Johnson said Franklin Township and the City of Independence do still plan on making contributions to the programs, and said there is fund balance available to make up for Delano’s portion.
“We’re committed to keeping a lot of programs for kids,” Johnson said.
In his report, Nelson also mentioned the position of a fulltime community education director for Delano has been advertised, due to the dissolution of the agreement with Watertown-Mayer Schools for shared administration of the programs.
• set its Monday, March 16 meeting location for the Loretto City Hall. The March meeting is a week earlier than normal due to spring break.
School Board Member Sam Nelson suggested at the beginning of the year that the district consider having several meetings a year in other areas of the district.
“I think it’s a great idea,” commented School Board Member Becky Schaust.
• approved a purchase agreement amendment for the Althoff property, located at Tiger Drive and Wright County Road 30, changing the possession date for the school district to take possession of the property as May 22.
• conducted the second reading and approved a number of minor policy changes regarding the school board meeting agenda, board meeting minutes, public participation in board meetings, board member conflict of interest, investments, and the disposition of obsolete equipment and materials.
• heard from Youth As Resources (YAR) representatives Ann Berglund, Sarah Rubertus, and Lauren Bersie, explaining the organization’s mission and purpose. The organization has 28 youth and six adult leaders, and three additional adult mentors are being sought for the organization. Read more about YAR on this week’s school page).
The school board also heard from Cheryl Schleper’s first grade class for “I Love to Read” month. The class read a book called “You read to Me, I’ll Read to You” with the board.
• heard a report from Middle School Principal Renee Klinkner about Project Lead the Way, which is an industrial technology curriculum for eighth grade designed to help students explore math, science, technology, and engineering.
• heard from Director of Business Affairs Sarah Miller that due to the cold weather, costs for natural gas are about 25 percent higher than last year.
• heard a budget update from Sweet that outlined the district’s budget philosophy and also state and federal dollars for future planning.