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PR school district receives Race to the Top grant

By Anna Erickson

Park Rapids Area School District has received a Title I Race to the Top grant to help with Early Childhood.

The grant totals just over $23,000, said Community Education director Jill Dickinson.

“We’re really excited. It will help with the cost of transportation for the preschool families, curriculum, staff training time for curriculum, staffing as well as some classroom supplies,” she said.

The district had been waiting to hear if they received the grant since July.

Community Education continues to roll along, Dickinson said, with the Community Education winter brochure hitting mail boxes over the weekend.

On the Early Childhood side of things, the department is offering free classes from 9-11 a.m. Thursdays starting in January.

“It will be very casual, with information for parents. Hopefully it will get more people into the facility to see our programs,” Dickinson said.

Also, a holiday activity fair will be from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12.

“It’s a whole bunch of make-and-takes for preschoolers and under. It’s free for families,” Dickinson said.

In other business, the board:

n Heard that more than 30 credits have been earned through the Alternative Learning Center.

High School Principal Jeff Johnson said that students have many different options for credits. Free daycare for students attending the ALC started this week.

n Heard a report from Assistant Principal/Activities Director John Schumacher about student interest in clay pigeon shooting.

“It’s the most popular new sport around the state,” he said.

A survey went out to high school and middle school students to see if there was interest and 40 students signed up.

The program wouldn’t be funded by the school but Schumacher said he’s heard that hunting groups often are willing to donate to the program.

If the school is going to register with the Minnesota State High School League it will need to do so by March 1.

The sport would be coed.

n Heard that a team of teachers from Crookston will be visiting Park Rapids Area Schools to see the effectiveness of the district.

Crookston teachers were asked to visit school districts that are doing well.

n Park Rapids School Board member publicly recognized business manager Carol Hutchinson for her outstanding work.

“I’ve worked with many business managers … Carol is the most effective business manager I have ever worked with,” he said.

n Recognized athletes who went to state for fall sports, including those in swimming, tennis and cross-country.

n Honored November Student of the Month Nicole Eischens.

n Approved Zac Lehrke as a new extra-curricular volunteer for boys hockey.

n Approved Wendy Bittmann as a new paraprofessional hire.

n Approved Bob Kapsner as a volunteer to help in the ALC.

n Approved the second reading of a Post Issuance Debt Compliance Policy.

n Approved a resolution adopting the Post-Issuance Debt Compliance Policy for tax-exempt and tax-advantaged governmental bonds.

n Approved Erik Myhre as a new extra-curricular hire as Assistant Girls Hockey Coach.

n Received a donation of six spinner-type book displays from Sally Wizik Wills for Century Elementary teachers.

n Received a $900 donation to the Veterans Day program from the Blue Star Mothers.

n Received a $2,000 donation from Itasca Mantrap Round-Up dollars for Century Elementary teachers.

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