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Thanks to two snow days, Willmar teachers will work two extra days; most will pack for reorganization

WILLMAR -- Teachers in Willmar will work two extra days this spring to make up for two snow days.

The School Board approved extending the year two days for teachers at its meeting Monday.

With about two-thirds of teachers in from kindergarten through eighth grade moving to different classrooms or buildings this year, it makes sense to use that time to pack, Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said.

The teachers have already been paid for those two days, he said.

"If you don't do it, we would have to pay people to move anyway," he said. "These are days we've already paid for, so it seems like a good use, particularly this year."

Teachers not affected by the reorganization of the elementary and middle schools will attend professional development training those two days.

The state Department of Education has approved the review and comment document for another part of the reorganization -- a seven-room addition to Roosevelt Elementary School. The addition will be finished next year and will serve kindergarten students at the school. Kjergaard was scheduled to give the board an update on federal stimulus money that might be coming to the district. However, there is no concrete information yet, he said.

"As we find out more, right now everything has ... strings attached and maintenance of effort on top of it," he said.

Business and Finance Director Pam Harrington said she would attend a meeting May 12 about stimulus funding for requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law.

A big concern for schools is the maintenance of effort requirements, she said. It's possible that the stimulus legislation will pay for new programs and then require schools to continue them once the federal money is gone.