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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Education Matters committee in Willmar is holding a yard sign pickup today. The committee will be distributing signs "We Support Our Schools" this afternoon from 4-6 p.m. in the parking lot at 19 Ave. SW and First Street, Willmar. This location is next to the American Legion. Education Matters is a community committee working in support of the proposed Willmar School levy scheduled for a vote on Nov. 8.
Minnesota is one of just 12 states in the nation that doesn't provide funding for all-day, everyday kindergarten. Still, many of the state's school districts, including Willmar, offer it for their students. They do so while receiving state aid to pay only about half the costs. Willmar's elementary principals talked about the schedule and what it has done for children during the School Board's workshop meeting Monday. Willmar has offered it for all students since 2005.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board will meet in a workshop session at 4:30 p.m. today in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center. The agenda includes a discussion of a possible move from all-day, everyday kindergarten to another schedule. The district has had full-time kindergarten classes for several years, but the state only funds half-time kindergarten. If the operating levy renewal on the Nov.
WILLMAR -- Red signs supporting the Willmar School District's operating levy renewal should be popping up all over Willmar today. Volunteers with Education Matters handed out lawn signs Thursday afternoon. In the first hour of their two-hour distribution, they handed out more than half of their 400 signs. The signs are red and white, with a cardinal in one corner and the words, "We Support Our Schools." Education Matters is encouraging people to vote yes on the operating levy renewal on Nov. 8. Voters will decide whether to continue a $498.49 operating levy that is about to expire.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board has adopted a resolution closing Garfield School, but that doesn't mean the building will actually close. The School Board took the action on Monday so the school district can be prepared if the building is sold. The Islamic Society of Willmar made an offer in August to purchase the Garfield building and the northern half of the land. The district made a counteroffer more than a month ago. School officials said Monday that there has been no response yet to the counteroffer.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board has set the dates for two public information sessions about the proposed renewal of an expiring operating levy. The sessions at noon Oct. 26 and at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 will be designed to provide information about school financing and the levy's impact on the district. The election will be Nov. 8, with polls open at the Willmar Education and Arts Center from 7 a.m.
A 43-year-old man died of an apparent gunshot wound Saturday in northern Kandiyohi County, and the death is being investigated as a homicide. Two rural Paynesville men were arrested Saturday evening and are in custody in the Kandiyohi County Jail in connection with the death, according to a news release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office. Delbert Huber, 81, was arrested for second-degree murder.
NEW LONDON -- Two people died and two were injured Saturday afternoon in a crash at the intersection of Kandiyohi County Road 40 and County Road 5 west of New London. According to a report from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, the crash was reported at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Two people were dead at the scene. One person was airlifted to a Twin Cities hospital and another person was transported to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.
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.