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 -- With less than two months to go in the fiscal year, the Willmar School District is still waiting for more than $1.5 million in aid promised by the state. And that doesn't include the $8 million-plus that Gov. Tim Pawlenty order-ed held back until after July 1. Pam Harrington, director of business and finance for the Willmar School District, discussed the district's financial situation at the School Board meeting this week.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board has approved a nickel increase in the cost of students' school meals for the 2010-11 school year. The increase, roughly $9 per student for the school year, came after a lengthy discussion at the board meeting Monday.
WILLMAR -- A new road and bus parking area should help relieve congestion around Roosevelt Elementary School next year. On Monday, the School Board approved a contract with the city of Willmar to build the road from 15th Street Southwest to Roosevelt. The $373,000 road and parking lot will keep bus traffic north of the building and car traffic to the south before and after school. Currently, cars and buses all use the south side of the building. The school district will pay the city for the project in 10 annual payments, with interest.
WILLMAR -- Dan Eggen's stomach growled and grumbled, disturbing his classmates while they were trying to finish a math quiz. The others started giggling. Then they started passing notes and laughing out loud. When teacher Denise Deaner intercepted a note, she made a student read it aloud.
Jalapeño eating, music, food and games will be among the highlights of the fourth annual Cinco de Mayo Family Festival Saturday in Willmar. Last year's event attracted more than 3,000 people from all over the region, and organizers hope to have at least as many people this year. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Willmar Middle School football field (the former junior high) at 209 Willmar Ave. S.E. Admission is free.
WILLMAR -- Partnerships with other organizations have helped the Willmar Community Education and Recreation Department expand its reach in the community. The department would not be able to offer all that it does without collaborating with other groups, Director Steve Brisendine told the Willmar School Board in his annual report last week. Willmar Community Education and Recreation is a joint operation between the Willmar School District and the city of Willmar with an annual budget of more than $2 million. The department's many programs regularly work with community groups to help deliver
WILLMAR -- Middle school sports in Willmar could be changing even more in the coming years, as school budgets leave less room for spending on extra-curricular activities. The Willmar School board discussed the issue at a workshop meeting this week. No official action was taken at that meeting. Earlier this spring the board cut school spending for golf, soccer, tennis and swimming at the Willmar Middle School.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board has adopted a final list of tenured employees to be laid off, and a much-loved music teacher's name was not on the list. The School Board voted at a special meeting on Monday to reduce the contracts of nine employees by 3 to 20 days and to lay off one full-time foreign language teacher, Christena Svoboda Ojeda. The board also reviewed a revision to the 2009-10 budget, which indicated some positive news for the district's general fund balance. Donations and staff reassignments helped save high school band director Bryan Mara and elementary/middle school or
WILLMAR -- The hanging baskets and the petunias are blooming brightly at the FFA greenhouse in Renville. Geranium blooms are starting to peek out. The greenhouse operated by the Renville County West School District FFA was a popular attraction last week for people who just couldn't wait to get their hands in the dirt. The greenhouse opened for the season on April 19. The greenhouse is staffed by students from the FFA, under the direction of teacher Darrel Refsland. The first year the organization operated the greenhouse in its original location.