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 — Collaboration with area businesses will be a key to the success of a charter school planning to open next fall in Willmar, its organizers said last week. The public, nonprofit secondary school will be operated by Technical Academies of Minnesota and be located in a building on the MinnWest Technology Campus. Board members and consultants from Technical Academies of Minnesota spoke at two informational meetings last week to inform the business community about the proposed school and to seek help with funding and equipment. The school will receive the per-pupil state aid that other
WILLMAR — Daegan Glesne had a rocky adjustment to Willmar Middle School this fall. At first, he turned in assignments late, if he turned them in at all, and he did some shoddy work. He spent time in in-school suspension and did some detention, too. He got grounded at home. Daegan has put it all behind him now, thanks to the Middle School ICU. Like an ICU in a hospital provides extra attention for ill patients, the school’s ICU provides assistance for students who are having trouble finishing their work. Daegan is now earning As and Bs, not the Ds and Fs of earlier in the year.
WILLMAR — The West Central Tribune’s efforts to shed light on unspecified allegations leveled against every single member of the Willmar School Board have hit a roadblock. The School District, through its attorney, has denied several requests for information regarding a Nov. 12 private meeting during which board members discussed the allegations, concluded an investigation and decided against any discipline. After the meeting, one board member, Dan Croonquist, submitted his resignation for personal reasons, effective immediately.
WILLMAR — The Willmar School District has so far not said what allegations against the School Board led to a closed meeting Tuesday night. Board member Dan Croonquist resigned after the closed meeting. According to Mark Anfinson, a Minnesota Newspaper Association attorney, the board’s procedure for closing the meeting to the public violated state law and improperly led to a lengthy private discussion among elected officials about allegations against them. The West Central Tribune made several formal requests Friday afternoon, seeking more information about the situation.
Drop a can of Coke into a cylinder of water, and you can watch it sink gently to the bottom. Drop a can of Diet Coke in, and it will float at the top. It won’t even sink if it’s pushed down. The difference? The 38 grams of sugar in the regular Coke make it denser, and it sinks. Density was one of the first chemistry lessons Willmar Middle School seventh-grade students learned Thursday morning from Dr. John Benson, a chemistry instructor at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Benson spent nearly an hour talking about chemistry and demonstrating chemical reactions in the school’s gym.
WILLMAR — Willmar School Board member Dan Croonquist of Kandiyohi resigned the board Tuesday after the board held a private meeting for nearly two hours. The meeting was closed to the public improperly and violated the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, according to an attorney with the Minnesota Newspaper Association. Croonquist’s resignation, which was effective immediately, came after the conclusion of the regular board meeting and after the board’s private meeting that began at about 5:30 p.m.
WILLMAR — A national student assessment has indicated that Minnesota is narrowing its achievement gap in some cases and has posted some of its best scores ever. Gov.
WILLMAR — Members of a facilities task force continued their efforts Monday to envision Willmar’s public schools in 2023. The group has been meeting since September to develop a 10-year facilities plan for the district. At each meeting, the members go through a brainstorming exercise to try to hone their vision for the district’s future needs and how to address them. Members of the group include district administrators, board members and people from the community. Architect David Leapaldt of St. Cloud is leading the group in its discussions.
School funding questions in the Benson and in the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg school districts were approved by voters in Tuesday’s election. In Benson, voters agreed to repeal an existing operating levy and replace it with a larger one for the next four years.
Voters in the Benson and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg school districts will go the polls on Tuesday to vote on school referendums. The voters in Benson will decide whether to provide more funding for school operations, and voters in the KMS district will decide whether to pay for school improvements. KMS will have two questions on its ballot. The first question will ask voters if they want to approve issuing $9.5 million in bonds to pay for improvements at the district’s two school buildings, a high school in Kerkhoven and an elementary school in Murdock.