BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN After two years of unconventional school calendars due to construction, Delano Public Schools will have a “very nice calendar” for the 2018-19 school year, Superintendent Matt Schoen told the school board Tuesday.
The board made the calendar official with a unanimous vote.
After starting the 2017 school year in August, the district will return to the practice of welcoming students the day after Labor Day, a common practice for districts throughout the state.
Before the schools open for classes, teacher workshop days will take place Monday, Aug. 27 through Thursday, Aug. 30. Delano Intermediate School will host an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, to give the public a look at the newest addition to campus, while Delano High School will host an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. the same day to showcase renovations.
At Delano Elementary School, Tuesday, Sept. 4, and Wednesday, Sept. 5, will serve as orientation days, a practice that has become an annual tradition.
In October, conferences will take place Thursday, Oct. 11; Monday, Oct. 15; and Tuesday, Oct. 16; followed by no school Thursday, Oct. 18; and Friday, Oct. 19; due to Minnesota Educator Academy weekend.
Delano High School’s first quarter will end Friday, Nov. 2.
Thanksgiving break will consist of Wednesday, Nov. 21, through Friday, Nov. 23.
Delano Elementary School’s first trimester will end Thursday, Nov. 29.
Students will be home for the holidays in December and early January, with no school Monday, Dec. 24, through Tuesday, Jan. 1. A teacher workshop day will keep students home Monday, Jan. 21. Conferences will take place that day, as well as Tuesday, Jan. 22; Thursday, Jan. 24; and Monday, Feb. 4.
Another teacher workshop day will take place Friday, Feb. 15, followed by a day off for students and staff Monday, Feb. 18, coinciding with Presidents Day. However, if a snow day is declared on or before Thursday, Jan. 31, school will be in session Feb. 18. Schoen said the Jan. 31 cutoff would give parents advanced notice so they can amend plans they may make for the day off.
Conferences will take place Monday, Feb. 25.
Delano Elementary School’s second trimester will end Tuesday, March 5.
Spring break will extend to a week, from Monday, March 11, to Friday, March 15.
Delano High School’s third quarter will end Friday, March 29.
Friday, April 19, through Monday, April 22, will serve as a holiday break; however, school will be in session April 22 if a snow day is declared after Jan. 31.
Schoen said the district would work to notify parents as early as possible if school will be in session that day.
School will not be in session Monday, May 27, due to Memorial Day, but will continue through Tuesday, June 4, with graduation taking place Sunday, June 2. If additional snow days are needed, school will extend beyond June 4.
Teachers will have a workshop day Wednesday, June 5.
2018-19 open enrollment
Also in preparation for the 2018-19 school year, the board approved the open enrollment resolution.
State statute allows school districts to cap open enrollment at 1 percent for each grade. With that statute in mind, the board approved the following:
• Preschool open enrollment may not exceed 1 percent of total preschool enrollment. This limitation applies only to free public preschool, not Early Childhood Family Education programs, which may be offered for a fee.
• Kindergarten open enrollment may not cause the total kindergarten enrollment to exceed 180 students.
• Open enrollment for grades one through six, eight, and 10 through 12 may not exceed 1 percent of the total enrollment for those grades.
• Open enrollment for seventh grade may not cause the total seventh-grade enrollment to exceed 195 students.
• For ninth grade, that number is 225 students.
Schoen or his designee must report to the Minnesota Department of Education the number of nonresident students who are denied admission as a result of these limitations.
The resolution is not intended to impact the district’s right to accept or reject nonresident students who seek to enroll in the district, pursuant to a non-resident tuition agreement in compliance with Minnesota Statutes section 124D.08.
School Trust Lands resolution
Minnesota School Trust Lands Director Aaron Vande Linde visited the board’s work session and regular meeting to explain a resolution supported by the Minnesota School Board Association.
After hearing from Vande Linde, the board approved the resolution.
Minnesota’s School Trust Lands were granted by the United States to Minnesota at statehood, with the intent to provide a source of continued revenue for public schools. During the Jan. 22 work session, Business Manager Mary Reeder said the district most recently received $168,000 in School Trust Lands funds.
About 83,000 acres of School Trust Lands have been locked up in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, unable to generate revenue for more than 50 years, though state law directs the management of those lands to “secure the maximum long-term economic return.”
By passing the resolution, the board showed support for a plan that calls for one-third of the land to be exchanged for lands outside of the BWCAW, while two-thirds of the land would be purchased by the United States Forest Service using Land and Water Conservation fund dollars. Vande Linde reported that the purchase is the third-highest priority for federal funding.
Outdoor Facilities Task Force
During the work session, the board heard from members of the Outdoor Facilities Task Force, which was formed to maximize the availability of all outdoor spaces to the public while maintaining and improving the integrity of all facilities.
Information obtained by the task force showed turf is a heavy target for vandalism and is expensive to repair.
In other districts, all facilities have regulations for use, and waivers and proper-use education are generally required. Furthermore, communities similar to Delano require field use to be scheduled, and monitor such use with cameras, motion detectors, direct and indirect supervision.
The task force examined these communities with similar facilities: Rockford, Wayzata, Monticello, the City of Plymouth, Maple Grove, Woodbury, Stillwater, and New Prague.
As a result of the task force’s research, the following administrative procedures have been proposed:
• During the school year, priority would be given to academic activities between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.; athletic activities between 3 and 6 p.m.; games from 4 to 10 p.m., including some Saturdays; Community Education activities; and user groups, with the facilities available through the facility use policy.
• The track would be open to the general public with no membership required, but users must first complete a waiver that will be available at the Tiger Activity Center office and online. Tentative times for public track use are 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year; 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday during the summer; unavailable each Saturday and Sunday, though the task force is looking into options that align with TAC operations; and during the winter months.
• Tiger Cub Stadium, near the elementary school, would be available during the day for academic purposes, by the activities department after school and on weekends, for community education activities, for reservations made by user groups and individuals through community education, and will remain secured all other times.
• Tiger Stadium will be available during the day for academic purposes, by the activities department after school and on weekends, for community education activities, open for reservations, and open at other times to be aligned with TAC operations. During the summer, the stadium will be available when the track is open and the field has not been reserved, and open field time may be added to the schedule based on field use.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• approved two memorandums of agreement for Quality Compensation, known as Q Comp, and to add an additional day for staff development beginning with the 2018-19 school year, respectively.
• approved a water-use agreement with Delano Area Youth Hockey Association for maintaining the ice rink near Delano Area Sports Arena.
• during the work session, discussed the role of student board representatives Alex Moe and Lydia Ramstad. Moe was unable to attend the meeting due to an illness, but Ramstad said she would like to share more ideas with the board, rather than reports that are often duplicated by administrators. Student representatives will be invited to all work session meetings and will be given the opportunity to add agenda items beforehand.
• approved personnel matters, including the retirement of fifth-grade teacher Thomas Berggren after 42 years of service and the retirement of Early Childhood Programs Manager Jane Shaffer after 30 years. Delano Middle School Principal Barry Voight recognized Berggren for joining the middle school staff as it was opening and retiring as it is closing. Community Education Director Diane Johnson recognized Shaffer for her work over the years.
• accepted $41,052 in donations from 12 different entities.