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Educational foundation is being formed in NLS district

NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School District is beginning to form an educational foundation.

The foundation would be a non-profit organization run by a board of directors. It would raise money for programs and projects that would enhance student learning and staff development.

The district is in the process of compiling a list of nine nominees for the foundation's board of directors, which the School Board will consider at its May 22 meeting. The board received an update on the foundation Monday.

The New London-Spicer Educational Foundation would have five funds: technology and learning; arts and education; health and fitness; scholastic enhancement and capital projects, according to a draft of the foundation's goals and objectives.

The capital projects fund would raise money to pursue the construction of a performing arts center or other building projects.

Grants for projects that promote the use of technology and prepare students for future work and learning environments would come from the technology fund.

The arts fund would focus on opportunities for fine, visual and performing arts. The health and fitness fund would provide grants for projects that promote physical fitness for all students and community members.

The scholastic enhancement fund would offer grants for a variety of creative educational opportunities beyond the core curriculum.

Alumni relations also would be part of the foundation.

The board of directors would be made up of community members, including a current School Board member and two former School Board members. The superintendent would be an ex-officio member who would attend meetings, but could not vote.

The directors would not receive any compensation, according to a draft of the foundation's bylaws.

Also at the meeting, the School Board swore-in two appointed members to the board.

Jeff Roguske was appointed to fill Greg Hedman's seat and Helena Lungstrom was appointed to fill Wayne Friedrich's former seat.

Friedrich resigned earlier this year. Hedman requested a leave of absence for an unspecified period of time. The board declared a vacancy for his seat. Hedman can reclaim his seat with the board's approval.

Because there are more than two years left on Friedrich's term, it will be up for election this fall.

Lungstrom and Roguske ran unsuccessfully in 2004 for four-year School Board terms. In that election, Friedrich, Hedman and current board chairwoman Karen Nelson won.

Also at the meeting, the board had the first reading of a wellness policy, which it is required to have in place by next school year as a part of the federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.

The draft policy requires the district to serve food to students that is consistent with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines and minimize the use of trans and saturated fats, sodium, sugars and caffeine.

The non-dairy beverages the policy permits during the school day are water, fruit juices with at least 50 percent juice and vegetable juices.

The policy also states that schools will not use food or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior or withhold food or beverages as a form of punishment.

All students in K-10 would be required to have regular physical education and students in K-8 would have daily supervised recess, preferably outdoors, according to the draft policy.

In other business, the board:

- Agreed to add a full-time special education position to serve Early Childhood Special Education and autistic students. The cost of the position depends on the experience of whom the district hires, Superintendent Paul Carlson said. The position will be funded with federal dollars, not the general fund, he said.

- Toured the house high school students built for a class. It will be sold through bids later this month.