Tricounty News

March 7 Update

Legislative Update

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, Minnesota’s 2014 Legislative Session convened in St. Paul and lawmakers came together to work on a number of issues. A few of the bigger topics the House and Senate will tackle this year include the Bonding bill, tax reform, Safe and Supportive Schools Act, and an increase in the minimum wage.

Lawmakers are optimistic and looking for a speedy session since the release of the most recent economic forecast. The Minnesota Management and Budget office announced an even larger surplus than was expected in December. The latest numbers indicate a positive balance of $1.233 billion for the fiscal years 2014-2015. With increased revenue projections and decreasing spending projections, the February Forecast improved by $408 million from the last forecast.

Gov. Mark Dayton and leaders of the House and Senate DFL majorities have outlined their budget priorities, but they still have to come to consensus before anything gets approved.  Some of the priorities include the repeal of the (B2B) business to business tax increases passed last year, providing middle-income tax relief, and building the state’s reserve accounts.

Snow Make-up Dates

Our current school calendar which was adopted by the board Feb. 13, 2013, lists the days to be made up when school is closed. At this point, students and staff have made up some of those days and we’ll continue to make up student session days on Monday, March 24, and Monday, April 21. 

Be sure to update your family calendars to reflect student instructional days on March 24 and April 21. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some cooperative winter and spring weather.

FAST

The Formal Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) is a universal screening and progress monitoring tool used in reading, math, and also collecting data on student behaviors. The Eden
Valley-Watkins staff and administration are currently researching FAST to possibly replace some of our current assessment tools. FAST uses both Curriculum Based Measures (CBM) and Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT), similar to our NWEA and Aimsweb assessments. FAST markets their product on the basis of:

• Designed for teachers to easily access programs, reports, and instructional recommendations

• Research that was established at the University of Minnesota
and provides staff with tech support if needed

• Efficient use of teacher time to score, report results, and modify interventions instantly via the web

Senior of the Week

The EV-W School District would like to recognize Luke Kuechle, son Jason and Stacy. Luke is having a great year at school and provides our youth with positive role-modeling. Luke recently returned from his second trip to the State wrestling tournament held at the Excel Energy Center. He finished his high school wrestling career at the 170 division with a season record of 28 – 9. Luke is an All Central Minnesota Conference wrestler, Section 5A runner-up, and two-time State entrant with 78 career wins. The EV-W administration, faculty and staff are extremely proud of your accomplishments. Congratulations!