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 -- Sara and Mike Carlson spent a tense day Wednesday wondering -- about earthquake damage in Haiti, about people they know, about what to tell their two children who were born there. The two youngest Carlson children, 10 and 12, were adopted in Haiti and came home to Willmar seven years ago. A number of other families in the area also have adopted children from Haiti. "It's been a tense and anxiety-ridden day," Sara Carlson said in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board has approved a two-year contract with the district's teachers. The contract will allow an overall 1 percent increase in salary and benefits for teachers in the first year and a 1.9 percent increase in the second year. Members of the teachers union ratified the agreement in December. State school districts have until Friday to settle their teacher contracts. If they don't, they must pay a penalty to the state. The salary schedule for the district's 327 teachers will not change during the contract.
WILLMAR -- Minnesota school districts could face another financial blow from the state this spring, when some regular aid payments could be held back for two or three months. For the Willmar School District, up to $3.5 million in state aid payments in March and April could be delayed.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board is set to approve a two-year contract for the district's teachers at its meeting Monday. The 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 will listen to public comments related to items on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting.
WILLMAR -- A federal appeals court has said a child and her mother did not have standing to sue the Willmar School District over alleged mistreatment by a special education teacher. Because Jackie Nelson filed a complaint after she had transferred her child to another district in the fall of 2006, she no longer had a valid claim against the Willmar district, according to an opinion issued Thursday by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Using previous decisions as a precedent, the three-judge appeals court panel ruled that the claim against the school district under the Individuals with Disa
WILLMAR -- A federal appeals court has said a child and her mother did not have standing to sue the Willmar School District over alleged mistreatment by a special education teacher. Because Jackie Nelson filed a claim after she had transferred her child to another district, she no longer had a valid claim against the Willmar district, according to an opinion issued Thursday by the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals. In following previous federal cases, the court ruled that the claim against the school district under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act must have been filed before the
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School District is still seeking budget cutting recommendations from employees and the public, but they should be submitted soon. A survey posted on the district's Web site, www.willmar.k12.mn.us , will be up through the end of the week, Sup-erintendent Jerry Kjergaard said this week. The district estimates that it will need to cut $1.4 million from its 2010-2011 budget.
WILLMAR -- With a unified shout of "Cut that ribbon," 150 kindergarteners followed their teachers into the new wing of Roosevelt Elementary School in Willmar on Monday morning. Many parents joined them in their first walk to the new classrooms. Many said they were pleased to have their children in the same school building now. The addition is nearly finished, about 10 months after school officials first decided to move ahead with construction. Tile and carpeting will be installed next summer to complete the project.
WILLMAR -- Nobody really likes digging out from under a foot of snow, but for some people the Christmas storm was just what their businesses needed. In west central Minnesota, snow fell off and on from Wednesday through Saturday of Christmas week.
WILLMAR -- Local legislators noticed something odd in a new map of future rail proposed in Minnesota -- none of the highest priority lines were in west central or southwestern Minnesota. When the Minnesota Department of Transportation Freight and Passenger Rail Plan was released Thursday, State Rep.