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Superintendent explains school-closing process
Nov. 28, 2016

By Ivan Raconteur

LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Parents, students, and community members often question why schools close – or don’t close – due to the weather.

During last Monday’s Lester Prairie School Board meeting, Superintendent Jeremy Schmidt explained the process he uses when making decisions about closing the school.

Schmidt said he is part of a group of 15 area superintendents who text each other and share information when there are questions about calling off school, starting late, or sending students home early.

Superintendents watch the weather closely, Schmidt said, and stay alert for changing conditions.

“There’s a lot of pieces that come into play,” Schmidt explained.

One of these pieces is consulting the bus company. Schmidt said during a recent weather event, when some schools sent students home early, but Lester Prairie did not, he stayed in contact with the bus company, and even went to the company office to discuss the situation.

Road conditions are a primary concern when it comes to getting students home safely.

Schmidt said he went outside several times during the day and walked around the building to assess current conditions.

Finally, Schmidt went to the bus company to make sure that all students who used the buses made it home safely.

Odds and ends

In other business, the board:

• accepted the resignation of paraprofessional Kelli Machemehl effective Dec. 1.

• approved contracts with Patrick Cole, assistant trap coach; Ross Scheevel, assistant girls’ basketball coach; William Neubarth, varsity softball coach; Kelly Elling, junior varsity softball coach; Kari Amundson, junior high softball coach; Rob Weber, head track coach; Mike Bjork, assistant track coach and head trap coach; Blaine Walstrom, varsity baseball coach; Ben Machemehl, C-squad boys’ basketball; David Lindburg, junior high boys’ basketball coach; Sara Ross, cook’s helper; Jeremy Schmidt, C-squad boys’ basketball coach; Anthony Frank, junior high baseball coach; and Ross Scheevel, paraprofessional.

• approved a snow-removal contract with Litzau Excavating.

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