Come the end of summer, in Crookston homes where there are siblings in seventh grade and younger and in eighth grade and older, there will likely be a little gloating by the younger brothers and sisters, and some cold stares from their older siblings.
That's because, Superintendent Chris Bates clarified at Monday's Crookston School Board meeting in order to clear up any 2013-14 school calendar confusion, students in eighth to twelfth grade are going to start school two days earlier than students in kindergarten through seventh grade.
So what gives?
After experimenting for a couple years with the student-parent-teacher interviews held over two days before actual classes start, Bates said the determination has been made that the two days of pre-school conferences are extremely beneficial for K-7 students, parents and teachers, but maybe less so for 8-12th grade students, parents and teachers. Plus, he continued, with the state initiating a yearly minimum school hour requirement for high school students, with all the storm days this past winter, students in Crookston were within 16 hours of the minimum.
So, for a combination of those reasons, eighth through twelfth graders will go to classes over the two days that K-7 students participate in the chats with their parents and teachers. Asked why seventh graders, who attend CHS, are included in the group that will still have the interviews, Bates said it's been determined that the interviews are still beneficial to them as they transition to the high school.
"These interviews work remarkably well with the younger kids," he said. "But the older ones, I think everyone just wants to get going on the school year."
• The board hired Jason "J.J." Vold as new CHS principal, and accepted the resignation of current Principal Lon Jorgenson, who's becoming superintendent in Warren-Alvarado-Oslo. Vold will be paid $83,250 in 2013-14 and $85,831 in 2014-15.
• The board accepted resignation letters from high school Spanish teacher Christie McFarland and kindergarten teacher Greta Stinar. They also accepted the retirement letter from CHS social studies teacher Jon Bittner.
• The board hired Charles Heltunen as a second grade teacher, to succeed the retiring Renee Fisketjon, and second grade teacher Renae Lindgren, who will succeed the retiring Penny Blokzyl. Thirty-nine people applied for the two positions, and nine were interviewed.
• The board hired Brenda Crane as new administrative assistant at Washington School, to succeed the retiring Kathy Wagner.
• With the Pirate boys' track team about to embark on the state true team track meet, Bates noted that contributions from Titan Machinery, KROX Radio and two anonymous donors have made it possible for them to travel to Stillwater, Minn. via charter bus.
Page 2 of 2 - • Bates said the school offices and the district office will experiment this summer with 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours Monday through Thursday, with staff eating lunch in-house. He said he has experience with similar summer hours and it's worked out nicely, especially because it gives people a chance to visit the offices if they need to before and possibly after they go to work. The offices will be closed on Fridays.