The Park Rapids Area School Board received a report from educational consultants Monday about the results of a recent series of community listening sessions.

Glenn Chiodo and Jason Splett with ICS Consulting Inc. presented feedback from school staff, students and community stakeholders about what facility improvements the district needs most.

Facility needs most frequently identified by community groups included a multi-use community center/athletic center, improved security, technical education facilities, classroom space, Century School drop-off/pick-up and parking areas, tennis court improvements, updates of the high school and Frank White buildings, and auditorium updates.

Groups within the school most often cited the need for high school and Frank White updates (including washrooms, lockers, ventilation, roofs and finishes), the Century pick-up/drop-off traffic flow, multi-use community space, classroom and specialty program space, safety and security, bus garage improvements, space for the Alternative Learning Center and moving the Early Childhood program to the Century School building.

Splett said next steps will include a facility assessment, which ICS will deliver at the school board’s next meeting, followed by a “solutioning” phase in which an architect will present concept drawings of proposed improvements, which will be “tested” in another series of community meetings.

Chiodo said it is important to convey the message that “space has become an issue” with the district’s facilities.

In an effort to keep the entire process transparent, all the information presented by ICS will be publicly available online at PRoject309.org, scheduled for launch on Nov. 1.

In consent items and general business, the school board:

  • Hired Josh Yliniemi, junior high girls basketball coach, and Jamie Simon Linkowitz, prom adviser.

  • Approved a resolution supporting an application to the Minnesota State High School League Foundation.

  • Rescheduled the second November school board meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, due to the Minnesota Rural Education Association conference on Nov. 17-18.

  • Approved the Education Minnesota, Park Rapids seniority list for school year 2019-20.

  • Approved the quarterly student activities report. From July to September, receipts for student activities totaled $28,958 and disbursements totaled $20,703. Accounts with the most activity included the Track Club, Letterwinners Club, Clay Target League and Cross Country Club.

  • Approved payments presented for October, totaling $1,433,584.

  • Approved a resolution establishing polling places and voting hours for any 2020 school district elections not being held on the day of the statewide election.

  • Approved the second reading of policies about public participation and complaints about persons at school board meetings considering data privacy, public hearings, student medication, internet acceptable use and safety, the use of peace officers and crisis teams to remove special ed students from school grounds, unpaid meal charges, curriculum and instruction goals, curriculum development, system accountability and uniform grant guidance.

  • Tabled the second reading of a policy regarding credit for learning, to allow administrative staff to reevaluate policy language allowing transfer credits and college-in-the-high-school credits to affect students’ GPA and class standing.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4 in the Frank White Education Center.