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Menahga vetoes half day off Dec. 23

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
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Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

When Menahga School superintendent Mary Klamm recommended that students and teachers be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 23, the school board denied the recommendation.

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Treasurer Curtis Hasbargen expressed concern about the board not following the teachers' contract whenever they approve an early out day.

"Why would we just throw the money away?" he asked. "To me, that's being irresponsible."

But Klamm and board member Brad Goehrig said for families who have to drive long hours, the half day gives them a head start on the holiday travel so they don't miss Christmas Eve celebrations.

"I don't think my view is irresponsible," Goehrig said.

Additionally, many parents pull their children out early on that day anyway, Klamm said.

Chairman Durwin Tomperi and Hasbargen disagreed, and suggested maybe re-evaluating the schedule for next year instead of changing it now and not following the teachers' contract.

"Take the whole day off and have it in the spring," Hasbargen suggested.

The motion failed, with board members Goehrig and Raymond Aho voting for the early out on Dec. 23, while Tomperi, Hasbargen and Jody Bjornson voted against it.

In other action, the board:

- Heard Klamm report that Adequate Yearly Progress improvement plans are set with a focus on math.

One of the goals is to increase the Menahga elementary students of special education math index rate by 10 percent by spring 2010.

- Learned that 62 percent of elementary students and 51 percent of secondary students qualify for free or reduced lunch, according to the Minnesota Department of Education economic indicator report.

This year's report compares to a 54 percent rate of elementary and 41 percent of high school students in the free or reduced lunch program last year.

Klamm said having more than 50 percent of the students in that category this year qualifies the district for more grant opportunities.

"What we want is a true reflection of what our poverty rate is," she said.

- Rescheduled the 2010 graduation day.

Graduation has traditionally been held on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, when families usually host graduation open houses.

The board moved graduation day from Friday, May 28 to the last day of school for seniors, Friday, May 21.

- Set the 2010 organizational meeting for Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.

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