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Menahga referendum election less than two weeks away, public hearing rescheduled

The Menahga School Board announced today that the last public hearing before the district's special election is rescheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 at the media center.

The meeting was originally set for Tuesday, Oct. 27. It has been rescheduled due to a home UNC football playoff game planned for Sebeka at 6 p.m. the same night.

The election will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3 at Menahga School's media center and at Wolf Lake Lions Hall.

If passed, the $8.5 million bond referendum would pay for an expansion to accommodate future projected increasing enrollment numbers.

If it doesn't pass, the school board will have to add elevators and more exits to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This year, two students in wheelchairs attend the school. The locker rooms are located in the basement, which violates ADA and makes it difficult for the students who enroll in gym classes.

Superintendent Mary Klamm said the architect and project manager for the proposed expansion are looking at potential costs to add elevators in the building. They will present the numbers to the public Tuesday.

"If it's a big number, then people should know what we're dealing with," said board member Raymond Aho at Monday's school board meeting. "But it won't solve any of our space problems."

The school board would have to levy for the upgrades that would bring the building up to code.

In other business, the board:

-Heard Klamm and elementary principal Joleen DeLaHunt announce the first round of the Northwest Education Association (NWEA) test results.

This is the third fall Menahga School participated in NWEA testing, which is used to measure growth and help educators come up with ways for improvement.

High school students only take the tests once in the fall and elementary students will take them again in the spring.

That way, elementary teachers can measure growth for the same students in one year from fall to spring, Klamm said.

The results showed growth in students' performances, but the growth rate for most grades is at about 40 percent, which is lower than the targeted growth rate of 50 percent.

"We're doing OK, but we're not at 50 percent growth," Klamm said.

However, 11th graders' growth rate in math is at 56.4 percent, which is above the target rate and shows potential for success on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment math test.

"With that many kids meeting their target, they are on track to do well on that test," Klamm said.

-Heard DeLaHunt announce that the elementary is following in the high school's footsteps with the online grade book Skyward Family Access.

Teachers for grades 4-6 will be trained to use the system in November and practice using it until it goes live next semester.

-Accepted a $1,000 grant from the Minnesota State Historical Society to support History Day activities organized by teacher Stephanie Kramer.

-Approved an application for the E2T2 Enhancing Education Through Technology $200,000 grant.

-Accepted an Operation Round Up grant that Todd-Wadena Community Trust board awarded the school district.

The $836.19 grant will be put toward the anti-bullying program.

-Set a meeting for 8:01 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3 to canvass the school election results and hear the audit report.