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School District Update – March 22, 2017

School District Update – March 22, 2017

Happy March!

It has been a busy spring in the La Crescent – Hokah School District. We have been working on our budget and reductions for next year, trying to maintain good things for students and adding what we can too. As you know we have had two community groups that have doing everything they can to help the budget and increase and improve school funding. We have had some progress with a few bills that are being heard at the legislature and the 300 for 300 group has raised a large amount of money for the district. The 300 for 300 group has raised approximately $58,000 to date. The group has a big fundraising event happening this Sunday from noon to 8:00 PM at the Sports Hub in downtown La Crescent. There will be raffles and silent auctions, meal tickets are $10.00 Take some time this weekend to get to know others in the community at an event to support your school district – Home of the Lancers! The community fundraising effort, 300 for 300, will conclude on March 31 as the district will have to finalize its reductions for the 2017-18 school year at the April board meeting, Wednesday, April 19.

The “Let’s make some noise!” group is working hard at getting the ear of legislators and helping with the funding process for schools. Primarily they are looking to have more money come to rural Minnesota schools such as ours. As you know, the legislative process is slow to evolve and it is important that we keep reminding our elected officials to support our schools. May 22 is the end of this legislative session, so we need your help now more than ever. You can find more information on the legislative actions on the Schools For Equity in Education page; . You can also find information on the district website. Please take some time to contact your Legislators.

During all of this, we are working hard to find ways to offer new educational opportunities for students. The high school students are in the process of registering for classes for next year. A couple of fourth grade staff have been trained in the ways of Project Lead the Way, a highly focused hands on curriculum promoting STEM skills. These teachers will be able to train other staff on what they have learned and therefore we will be able to expand the STEM programs to more grade levels in the Elementary. The funding we will be using is a small amount of money that we get each year for Gifted and Talented Education. It amounts to roughly $16,000 per year and we have decided to use that money to expand some of our hands-on learning opportunities for students.

We have also been working hard to find a way to add a cost neutral elective course for juniors and seniors. We are trying to start a home construction course with the idea that with the sale of the home we would cover all costs for the course including the teacher’s salary. We are struggling as there are few lots available to build on. As a compromise we may look to do some small building projects such as garage construction or small sheds for the 2017-18 school year. If you have available land that you are willing to sell, wanting something built on or you are interested in a larger garage or shed please contact me at the district office. 507-895-4484

Have a great weekend and I hope to see you on Sunday!

Kevin Cardille