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New initiatives implemented at school
November 25, 2019

Mark Mitten

DASSEL-COKATO, MN – At the Dassel-Cokato School Board meeting Monday, DC High School Principal Chris Meisch updated the board on several new initiatives.

He described changes to advisory time, a daily 30-minute session for students, which is shaped specifically to monitor students’ academic progress. Meisch said that any student who is struggling with their grades will have an advisor to help them.

“We want to ensure that, at the high school, each-and-every student is connected in a meaningful way to at least one adult in the building,” Meisch said. “It is super important that this relationship is in place, and that there is guidance and support from that advisor; that lasts not one year, but they are with them all four years.”

Meisch also described a new program, called Link Crew. He explained it as a mentorship program for ninth-graders, using 11th- and 12th-graders to help them successfully transition into high school.

Link Crew is a national program, which other schools in Minnesota are also introducing, to help reduce anxiety.

“The whole premise is to help facilitate the comfort level of our ninth-graders when they come in,” Meisch said.

There will also be changes to the student-run television production, DCTV. Meisch said that it will now have a focused, informational approach, similar to a news cast. He presented a two-minute video, made by students, as an example.

Historically, graduation has taken place on a Sunday. Along with Superintendent Jeff Powers, Meisch discussed the possibility of changing the day of graduation from Sunday to Friday.

A questionnaire had recently been given to parents of 11th-grade students, asking how they felt about making the change. A majority of respondents showed no preference, while others were in favor of moving graduation to a Friday.

Since only 65 people responded, Powers requested more surveying be done before making a final decision.

Although the current school calendar currently lists Saturday, June 6 as graduation day, Powers said it should be understood as “to be determined.”

Odds and ends

In other business, the school board:

• welcomed high school senior Anders Peterson as the new student representative. Peterson is involved in numerous musical programs, such as jazz band, chamber choir, and drum line. He is also president of the student council, and president of choir. He will present regular reports to the school board.

• approved a new elective course for 11th- and 12th-graders, called Modern Literature. It will be available next year, and will include both books and podcasts.

• heard that the annual Truth in Taxation public hearing will occur Monday, Dec. 9, during the special board meeting.

• changed the Monday, Dec. 23 regular meeting to Monday, Dec. 16.

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