Tricounty News

Jan. 31 Update

Make-up dates and instruction time

State statute mandates that independent school districts provide 425 hours of instruction for kindergarteners, 935 hours for first through sixth grade and 1,020 hours for seventh through 12th grade. There must also be a minimum of 165 days of instruction for first through 11th grade, unless a four-day-per-week schedule has been approved by the commissioner of education.

According to a recent memo that I received from Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, it’s up to local school boards to determine whether a canceled school day is made up. Each year, a district team creates a school calendar which accounts for the potential of five days of instruction lost to inclement weather. As a team, we’ve considered many options for making up lost instructional days including: adding days at the end of the school year, lengthening school days, or simply eliminating or trading for scheduled days off.

Our current school calendar which was adopted by the board on Feb. 13, 2013, lists the days to be made up when school is closed. At this point, students will be making up some of those lost days and will be in session on Friday, Feb. 14, and Monday, April 21. 

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some cooperative winter weather!

School Board business

February is typically a busy month for school boards and school finance. This is the time of year we take a close look at our current budgets and determine if revisions are necessary to keep us on target. We gather financial data and numbers from recent contracts, energy payments, facility improvements, enrollment, and staffing needs to identify any financial changes from our preliminary budget that was adopted in June, to our currently revised budget.

As a board, we will also begin the process of setting SMART goals for the 2014-15 school year. We’ll have ongoing conversations to establish priorities and initiatives, as well as setting financial projections for the next school year. This is also the unfortunate time of year that enrollment numbers and student participation dictates that we look at the discontinuance of programs and potentially reducing our staff if necessary. As a district, we’ve been fortunate to have some large kindergarten classes and increase from open-enrolled students the past five years. Let’s work together and spread the good news to your friends and neighbors that the Eden Valley-Watkins School District wants to be your educational provider.

Famous quote

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

―Anne Bradstreet

Senior of the Week

The EV-W School District would like to recognize Mandy Neu, daughter of William. Mandy admires her grandmother for the quality traits of kindness, love, and patience. Mandy remains actively involved in the Big Brothers-Big Sisters program and Aquila. She keeps herself busy while working at Jack’s gas station and volunteering at the Hilltop Healthcare Center. The EV-W administration, faculty and staff are extremely proud of your accomplishments. Congratulations!