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RCW extends its school year to make up for three snow days

RENVILLE -- The Renville County West School Board has approved a three-day extension to the school year calendar to make up for snow days.

The board voted Monday night to extend the year.

The extra days will help teachers pack for a reorganization of the district into one K-12 building next school year. The elementary school in Sacred Heart will be closing at the end of the school year. All students will attend school in the current high school building in Renville. The last day for students will be June 1.

The staff is planning "activities to assist kids in making the transition," Superintendent Lance Bagstad said. Planning isn't complete yet, he said, but the day is likely to include some tours for younger children, so that they can imagine how their classrooms will look next year. Other activities will involve children of different ages on the school grounds or in the school greenhouse.

June 2 and June 3 will be staff transition days, giving teachers and other employees time to prepare for the move, Bagstad said.

"We have a big job ahead of us," he said. "We need to allow them to do it right."

The board discussed several other issues. The district's $800-per-pupil operating levy is about to expire. The board talked about seeking a renewal of the levy and possibly adding a second question to it.

Related to that, board members met with representatives of a consulting firm to discuss conducting a series of listening sessions with residents of the districts.

"At some point, we need to figure out what is the tolerance level of our community when it comes to supporting the school district," Bagstad said. "We want to make sure we are doing what we need to do in the eyes of the community."

In other business, the board voted to purchase a 2010 model Bluebird Bus for $71,000. The bus will replace an older bus that was left unusable after a minor accident.