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EDUCATION

Ridgewater College has opened a student massage center in their Hutchinson campus, according to a news release from the school.
About 80 students at Willmar Middle School are participating in the first year of SOAR, an after-school program to offer homework assistance and enrichment activities. Organizers hope the program is successful and can gain community support to help it grow.
Jehana Schwandt has been appointed as the director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Ridgewater College, according to a news release from the school.
The percentage of Minnesota State system students who had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 1 ranged from a low of 43% at Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls to a high of 79% at Metropolitan State University in the Twin Cities.

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Willmar Public Schools students are eligible to receive a test kit with two at-home rapid tests, thanks to a grant from the state. Tests were distributed earlier this week, and parents can still pick up tests at the Willmar Education and Arts Center on Friday.
News about educational achievements among students from west central Minnesota.
RJ Polley was charged on Jan. 14 in Freeborn County District Court with third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
By the 2023-2024 school year, school officials want to start transitioning the entire elementary to an outdoor, play-and-inquiry-based, environment-focused school.
News about educational achievements among students from west central Minnesota.
MACCRAY School Board members approved preparing bid specifications for the demolition of elementary schools in Raymond and Maynard, but will save the gym, four classrooms and restrooms in Raymond. The Maynard facility can be spared the wrecking ball if the city and Chippewa County reach a deal before demolition bids are awarded, likely in June.

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A few days after some Willmar Public Schools employees were placed on leave for not complying with a policy to get vaccinated or wear a mask, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked enforcement of the proposed federal requirement. School employees could still face some discipline for refusing to comply with a district policy.
After seeing negative impacts on learning and student mental health during sustained periods of distance learning over the pandemic, going back online is a move school leaders are still reluctant to take.
The National School Boards Association asked the FBI to address harassment and threats at school board meetings across the country as parents packed meetings to oppose COVID-19 precautions and the way districts handled topics like race and gender.

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