Weather Forecast


NOAA Special Weather Statement: Critical fire conditions

PR School Board formulates ‘compassionate’ vision plan

By Anna Erickson

Park Rapids Area School District has adopted a strategic plan to follow as it looks toward the future.

The plan was approved at the Tuesday, Feb. 18 school board meeting.

The vision statement reads, “Park Rapids Area School District #309 will work together to prepare today’s learners for tomorrow’s challenges through: compassion, the sharing of ideas, acceptance of diversity, efficient use of resources – staff, finances, curriculum, physical plant, technology and area wide support services – thereby providing for maximum academic and personal growth.”

The district lists values:

n Show compassion by helping others to achieve to the best of their abilities.

n Maintain the integrity to act on our beliefs.

n Keep the commitment to our students, community and nation.

n Uphold the responsibility of teaching, learning and personal wellbeing.

n Possess the courage to accept and meet the challenges presented.

It also lists goals and objectives:

n Achieve consistent growth in student academics and programs.

n Enhance growth by implementing data driven decisions and instructional best practices.

n Implement professional development opportunities based on best practices for all staff.

n Continue leadership in tech integration facilitating creative and innovated thinking for the 21st century.

n Address and ensure all student curricular and program needs are met here.

n Continue to plan and implement fiscally sound principles promoting community and student achievement opportunities.

n Maintain stewardship of allocated resources.

n Advocate for appropriate funding from federal and state entities.

n Execute and adjust ongoing facility and maintenance plans that meet district expectations.

n Partner with schools, groups and community to provide safe, innovative and welcoming environments for all learners.

n Continue the connections of trust and build upon them to enhance the Park Rapids area.

n Build and engage genuine relationships and connections with students.

n Continue to enhance all Park Rapids area programs while acknowledging what makes us unique.

n Nurture a commitment from ALL individuals to raise the bar of expectations for all district programs.

The school board also heard reports from principals:

n High school principal Jeff Johnson said registration has begun for the 2014-15 school year. Staff continues to work on social studies curriculum changes.

He praised the One Act Play performance “FREAK” that received a starred rating at state. The play has a serious theme of how students perceive being different and it was performed for the student body with time to discuss and ask questions afterward, Johnson said.

n Century School Principal Joleen De La Hunt said a lot of work is being done with staff development and they will be starting to use the iObservation tool to provide feedback to teachers.

She noted that students had 29 inside recess days and they were excited to finally get outside last week.

n Century School Assistant Principal Shawn Andress said she has been working with staff on ways to identify students who need remediation and work on retention. Surveys are being done about Targeted Services and the best way to offer this help.

n Business Manager Carol Hutchinson said that the district had zero recordable workers comp insurance claims in 2013, which meant significant savings.

The premium was $57,000 compared to $197,000 in 2007-08, when there were more claims made.

n Community Education Director Jill Dickinson said she is applying for a 21st Century grant to hopefully receive more funding for middle school programming.

n Facilities Director Jason Splett said he is working to get the district’s Energy Star rating and will have a presentation for the school board at a future meeting.

He is beginning to schedule summer projects such as lighting changes and floor waxing.

In other business, the board:

n Approved the retirement of Mary Kay Anderson with regret and thanks for her 21 years of dedication to the students of Park Rapids Area Schools.

n Approved the retirement of Susan Rassier with regret and thanks for her six years of dedication to the students of Park Rapids Area Schools.

n Approved the retirement of Mike Stewart with regret and thanks for his 18 years of dedication to the students of Park Rapids Area Schools.

n Approved the second reading/adoption of several policies:

101-Legal Status of the School District.

101.1-Name of the School District.

102-Equal Educational Opportunity.

103-Complaints-Students, Employees Parents, Other Persons.

104-School District Mission Statement.

701-Establishment & Adoption of School District Budget .

702-Accounting .

703-Annual Audit.

704-Development and Maintenance of an Inventory of Fixed Assets and a Fixed Asset Accounting System.

n Approved the pupil transportation program Education Logistics, Inc. Business manager Carol Hutchinson said this program will help with scheduling bus routes for the district.

n Approved the first reading of the Wellness Pilot Program Personnel Policy 433.

n Approval an agreement with Rural MN CEP to continue renting the ABE Room from February 2014 to June 2015.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561