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 — Location, diversity and sports are some of the top reasons students leave or enter Willmar Public Schools through open enrollment. At the end of February, the district had 347 students who had left for other districts and 205 students who come from other districts. Minnesota statute allows public school students to apply via the open enrollment process to attend school outside of the school district where they live.
Once a week, it’s time for some after-school Girl Talk for immigrant girls in the Willmar schools. Girl Talk, a program designed to help girls prepare for successful futures, has a group of 15 girls at Willmar Middle School and another 15 at Willmar Senior High. Recently, 10 Somali high school girls toured the Willmar Public Library with the program. “The purpose is to increase readiness of immigrant girls to achieve,” said Willmar child guide Heidi Burton.
WILLMAR — The school day will be getting longer for students at Willmar’s middle and high schools next year. The Willmar School Board approved longer school days for both schools Monday evening. The schools’ principals proposed the changes to provide more instructional time for students. The new schedules will be accompanied by several other changes in scheduling and academics. Starting in September, Willmar Middle School’s student day will begin at 8 a.m.
WILLMAR — The English Learner classroom at Willmar Senior High was quiet, as students worked on learning to count money. Using plastic dimes, nickels and quarters, they counted up to 42 cents, 36 cents, 67 cents, depending on the card they had from teacher Andrew Schultz. By coincidence, a larger group of English Learner students at Willmar Middle School were learning math with coins on the same day. Those students were adding columns of numbers after calculating the value of coins pictured on a worksheet.
WILLMAR — The Willmar School Board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W. The board is set review a revised 2013-14 budget and an application for a third School Improvement Grant for Kennedy Elementary School.
ST. CLOUD — St. Cloud State University will open a Confucius Institute on its campus on Tuesday. The Confucius Institute can offer financial and educational support for schools offering Chinese language courses or immersion programs. It can also help build partnerships between U.S. schools and counterparts in China. The Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota was instrumental in helping Willmar Senior High School launch its Mandarin Chinese language program several years ago. The opening celebration will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Atwood Memorial Center’s Cascade Room.
WILLMAR — More than 80 adults and children came to Willmar on Thursday seeking immigration reform on International Worker’s Day. The group arrived on a bus and stopped at U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson’s office in downtown Willmar. They visited with Peterson’s office staff and rallied in front of the office before boarding the bus for a trip to the Twin Cities. They were seeking immigration reform and an end to deportations that separate families. Other stops in their day were at the offices of U.S. Rep. Eric Paulsen and U.S. Rep.
WILLMAR — New federal regulations will bring more changes to school nutrition programs next year, including a new program that could do away with some of students’ favorite snacks. Food and Nutrition Director Annette Derouin provided an update on the changing regulations for the Willmar School Board Monday evening. Nutrition guidelines schools are required to follow have been changed substantially in recent years, putting new requirements and calorie restrictions in place for school lunches.
WILLMAR — Christopher Borgerding decided he wanted to go into business for himself rather than work in his family’s bank in Melrose. The young German arrived in Belgrade to open a new bank on May 17, 1889. Next month, the bank he founded, North American State Bank, will celebrate 125 years in business. The bank will host a community open house from noon to 3 p.m.
When she was little, a sheet of paper and some colored pencils would keep Kalley Fosso happy for quite a while. As her talent has grown over the years, so has her interest in art.