I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.
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WILLMAR — The Willmar School Board is seeking more information about alternatives as it moves closer to making a decision about the future of the district’s facilities. The board had a special meeting Thursday at noon to discuss options which include building a new middle school next to Willmar Senior High and then remodeling the existing middle school into an elementary school, or building a new elementary school in the community. Preliminary cost estimates range from $40 million to nearly $50 million. The board is discussing facilities as an effort to deal with crowded and aging buildings
WILLMAR — Education Minnesota will host a meeting in Willmar on Thursday to discuss recruiting, training and supporting high-quality teachers. The state’s largest education union has been hosting similar meetings around the state. The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Willmar Community and Activity Center, 624 Highway 71 N.E., Willmar. The event is free and open to the public. The meetings are intended to open a discussion of how to improve teacher preparation, recruitment and diversity.
WILLMAR — The Willmar Cardettes will present their first annual Cardettes Dance Show today at the Kennedy Elementary School gym. There is no cost for admission, though donations are welcome.
WILLMAR — There will be no more tray-pulling in Willmar schools. Students with no money in their lunch accounts will no longer have their lunch trays taken from them in front of their classmates. “We decided we’re not going to take trays away from kids, and we’re going to work harder to try to get in touch with their parents,” Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said Wednesday. Kjergaard said the district’s changes to its practices are “common sense.” The Cardinal Care Fund will accept donations from the public to help pay for the meals. The issue came to light two weeks ago when a Willmar Seni
WILLMAR — There will be no more tray-pulling in Willmar schools. Students with no money in their lunch accounts will no longer have their lunch trays taken from them in front of their classmates. “We decided we’re not going to take trays away from kids, and we’re going to work harder to try to get in touch with their parents,” Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said Wednesday.
Numerous area school districts are closing early today As of 10:45 a.m., the following districts had announced early closings: ACGC (all activities cancelled), Belview Learning Center, BOLD and St. Mary’s of Bird Island, Buffalo Lake/Hector/Stewart; Central Minnesota Christian School of Prinsburg, Cosmos Learning Center, Echo Charter School, Litchfield, New London/Spicer, North Central Learning Center in Willmar, Redwood Area Public and parochial, Renville County West, Willmar Community Christian and Willmar.
WILLMAR — Willmar Senior High has received a grant from the University of Minnesota to implement a new curriculum aimed at providing career readiness training for students. The school will be implementing a new selection of classes that will allow students to graduate with as many as 32 college credits. The grant, called Ramp-Up to Readiness, will help schools implement 2013 legislation called World’s Best Workforce. Principal Paul Schmitz talked about the school’s plans at a recent School Board meeting. The law is going to change a number of things about high schools in the state.
WILLMAR — Guillermina and Salvador Serrano always wanted to own a restaurant, and last summer they got their chance. In July, the couple purchased the former Los Primos in downtown Willmar.
WILLMAR —Willmar’s Early Childhood Cabinet is asking the Willmar School Board to approve some funding for their efforts to help all children be ready for kindergarten. Members of the cabinet spoke at a board meeting Monday about their plans to get rid of an early achievement gap for children from low-income families. They also outlined how the school district could help reach even more children by providing some sustaining funding. No decision on the funding was made on Monday, as the meeting was a workshop session and no formal action was taken.
WILLMAR — Technical Academies of Minnesota plans to offer a different option for secondary students in the area, but some parts of the experience will still be a little traditional. TAM is a series of tuition-free public charter schools seeking state approval to open charter schools in Willmar, Owatonna, Rochester and Jackson. The state Department of Education hasn’t given final approval for the school in Willmar yet, but informational meetings have been held in Willmar this month to gauge interest in the school.