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 -- They're calling it the Grand Slam at Willmar Senior High. For the first time since the 9-12 high school opened in 1994, Willmar students have beaten state and national averages in their ACT scores. It's not fair to call it a trend, since this is the first year with scores this high, said Principal Rob Anderson, but "we'd love for this to become a pattern." Anderson retired last summer but was persuaded to return for one more year while the district searches for his successor. Now, he's glad he came back.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Senior High's block schedule helps the school address the needs of students at all academic levels, according to Principal Rob Anderson. And extended math and communications/reading classes at Willmar Middle School can help increase student achievement, Principal Mark Miley said this week. The two principals described what could be lost in their schools if a $498.49-per-pupil operating levy is allowed to expire after this year.
WILLMAR -- All but two of the school districts in west central Minnesota are listed by the state as not making adequate yearly progress in reading and math. However, school leaders say their students are doing well and showing academic gro-wth. The No Child Left Behind education law just doesn't recognize or celebrate their successes. The state released its annual AYP results to the public today.
NEW LONDON -- The owners of The Happy Sol want their shop to appeal to all five senses, so their boutique has music playing and scented gifts to greet customers with a bit of perfume in the air. The shop has gift items to please the eye and the soft touch of beautiful clothing. And, "everybody gets a chocolate," said co-owner Gina Lieser. "We wanted to have a bright, happy retail therapy experience." Lieser and co-owner Stacey Roberts opened The Happy Sol in August on New London's Main Street.
WILLMAR -- A committee of citizens is gearing up to build support for the Nov. 8 operating levy referendum for the Willmar School District. The district is seeking a renewal of a $498.49-per-pupil levy that has been in effect for 10 years. The levy would not in-crease scho-ol property ta-xes.
The Willmar School District has developed a list of things that will be preserved if a Nov. 8 levy passes instead of a list of programs that might be cut if it fails. Voters in the referendum will be asked to renew a $498.49-per-pupil operating levy that is about to expire after 10 years. Renewing the levy will not cause an increase in school property taxes. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard distributed his list of programs to maintain at Monday's School Board meeting. The district will operate one polling place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board has decided to send a counteroffer to the city of Willmar, which has made an offer for the southern half of the Garfield School property in southwest Willmar. The board closed its regular meeting Monday to discuss the offer. The board directed Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard to deliver the counteroffer to city officials today.
Andy Sampson should have been studying that day in late 2005, but he needed to write. Once he started he couldn't stop. What resulted was a 2,000-word essay detailing the morning of Sept.
Like practically all of us, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson can recall the details of Sept. 11, 2001, without much prompting. He remembers sending his staff home shortly after the second plane hit the World Trade Center in New York. "Nobody knew what was happening," he said, so he decided it would be safer for everyone to go home. Peterson headed for home himself, and the plane hit the Pentagon while he was driving. In a day before Blackberries were common and Twitter wasn't on the scene, communication was slower, even from Capitol security.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board will probably not discuss the potential sale of the Garfield school building until its Oct. 10 meeting. According to a release from Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard, the Islamic Society of Willmar had not responded to a counteroffer from the district by Wednesday. The district had made an informal request that the society respond by then so that the district would have time to prepare documents for the Monday board meeting.