School Board Takes Action
At their most recent meeting on April 24th, the School Board approved the bids to complete the WIS Access Road this summer, accept the work of the Curriculum and Program Strategic Action Team,and they approved staffing recommendations that will lower class sizes, allow for specific intervention courses and restore Media programming at all schools.
The WIS Access Road work was awarded to W&W Blacktopping Inc. from Mankato. This work will begin shortly after school is out in June and be completed by mid-August. It includes the installation of the new access road north of the parking lot to 22nd. Ave, the installation of a sidewalk on the south side of the parking lot, storm and sewer improvements along with the installation of a concrete bicycle pad on the south side of the parking lot. The parking lot itself was due for improvements in 2015. These improvements will be made this summer as well in order to capture cost savings.
The Strategic Planning that was completed in November, initiated 5 new Action Teams to develop more detailed plans for each strategy. Two of these teams have completed their work. The Curriculum and Program Design Action Team presented their plan to the School Board, which in turn approved their Action Plan. This plan includes the re-introduction of a curriculum cycle, the develpment of course descriptions including essential learnings for every course K-12. The plan also directs administration to make a a more thorough assessment of program alternatives like art, string instrument programs, world language and other options. Due to the number of items on the Board agenda, the presentation from the Communication Action Team was postponed until this Thursday, May 1st.
Lastly, the School Board approved additional staff at Hartley Elementary and Waseca Intermediate School for the purpose of lowering class sizes at WIS and providing specific interventions at Hartley.The Board also approved an additional Technical Education teacher at the JSHS and one Media Director. Currently, the District has 2 Media Directors covering 3 buildings. Adding one Media Director will allow each school to have their own. This is seen by Administration as an essential move to assist students and staff with a variety of instructional tasks including the use of technology for learning.
The School Board voted in 2018 to refinance existing debt by “re-funding” existing bonds. Due to favorable markets and the strong financial condition of the District, there were eight bids. Usually there are 3 or less bids according to Ehlers personnel, the District Financial Consultants. In the end, this refunding will save the taxpayers of Waseca over $286,000.