New technology implemented at KW School

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By Alicia Hunt-Welch

WANAMINGO – At the September 23 Kenyon-Wanamingo School Board meeting, principals gave an overview of the technology that arrived and was made available to students.

7-12 Principal Brent Ashland said Chromebooks were distributed to all ninth-graders. Computer carts were delivered to the seventh and eighth grade classes for their shared use. Ashland said the implementation of the one-to-one technology initiative has been going great so far and no technical problems have been experienced yet.

K-6 Principal Matt Ryan said a cart of 28 Chromebooks were made available to third and fourth grade classes. Second-graders are sharing other devices. Six iPad minis, one per class, were provided for kindergarten and first grade. 

Administrative reports

Ashland said a school board representative from the junior class will be voted on next week. Two applicants are being considered. About 57 juniors are planning to attend the National College Fair. In October many students also plan to participate in the Mayo Clinic fair on medical careers. Ashland said so far it has been a great start to the school year, noting that it is the best he can recall since his time as an administrator.

Ryan said several teacher in-service workshop days were held before the start of the school year. He said the additional work days that were pushed forward from last year’s snow days were a factor in helping the staff to feel prepared and connected before students arrived for the year. Grades K-6 have had bus safety training, and fire and lockdown procedure drills.

Ryan said the Goodhue County Education District has cultivated an assessment framework. With this framework, they will be taking all data from required tests and assessments for analysis and test planning. This framework will be done for all five school districts served in the GCED consortium. With this information they will determine an academic course of action in subject areas of need based on test results. The framework will also identify any duplicate testing being done to prevent students from being tested repetitively on the same subject matter.

Superintendent Jeff Evert said he is working on the system accountability report. He agreed with Ashland and Ryan that the school year is off to a good start.

Personnel changes

The board approved the hiring of several staff members for the KW Kids program: Lori Holk as a program lead for $11.85 per hour; Lynda Barrett, Michelle Benzick, and Tara Larish as program assistants for $11.04 per hour; and Julianna Baalson and Mara Johnson as program aides for $7.26 per hour.

John Medcraft was hired as a special education teacher to work with students challenged with emotional and behavior disorders. He will be paid $37,798, based on a bachelor’s degree +30, step 6.

Media center educational assistance Lisa Nelson put in for a voluntary reduction in employment at the middle/high school. Effective September 12, she went from five days a week to three days. With this opening, Robin Briemhurst was hired as a part-time media center assistant on September 12. She will work 7.5 hours a day, two days per week, and will be paid $13.06 per hour.

Art teacher Matt Addington was approved to participate in the Part-Time Teacher Program through the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA). Superintendent Evert said the program allows a staff member to pay the full cost of TRA with no dollars coming from the district.

Fall extra-curricular assignments

Shane Eggerstedt will direct the senior high fall play, in addition to overseeing development of the yearbook. Randy Hockinson will direct the senior high spring play. Laura McAnally will direct the middle school play.

Claire Larson and Stephanie Schumacher will oversee all band and choir activities for the middle and high school. Jan Strand will coordinate all K-4 music activities.

Retired teacher Sonia Tatge will serve as the eighth grade Washington D.C. trip coordinator and Mandi Kyllo will coordinate the Eagle Bluff trip.

Chuck Larson will oversee FFA and Stacy Quam will head FCCLA activities. Karen Davidson will be the high school math team coach and Rachel Cline will coach middle school. Rebecca Kunesh will be the speech team advisor. Darin Walling will be the Knowledge Bowl coach.

Class advisors will be Anna Bauer for sophomores, Shannon Johnson for juniors, and business teacher Lisa Nelson and Dawn Berquam for the senior class. Scott Soden will serve as the high school student council advisor and Adam Kuehnel will oversee middle school student council. Rich Kincaid will be the National Honor Society advisor. Alyssa Trow will be the Chemical Awareness Coordinator.

Athletic coaches: football – Troter Bauer (head), Scott Van-Epps, Jacob Wieme, Ken Alderman and Scott Soden; volleyball – Jennifer Nerison (head), Tracy Erlandson, Carrie Groth, Brent Lurken and Cheryl Dahl; wrestling – Matt Ryan; cheerleading – Shannon Schaefer.

Preparing for the special election

Election judges were approved for the November 5 school district special levy referendum election. At the KW Elementary School voting site in Wanamingo, the head election judge will be Len Feuling, assisted by Jean Borgschatz, Pat Irrthum, Marlene Malerich, Tarla Luna, Morrie Hjermstad, and Pat Flom. At the middle/high school site in Kenyon, the head judges will be Jimmilee Miller and Joyce Anderson, supported by Sharon Rechtzigel, Diane McCorkell, Steve Alger, Rhana Olsoon, Linda Barsness, and Ben Greseth. Alternative judges were listed as Jean Rugg, Shannon Schaefer, Todd Greseth, and Candy Herrlich.

Donations accepted

The board accepted donations from various groups and individuals. The KW Knight Volleyball Booster Club donated $8,000 for volleyball equipment upgrades. The KW Knights Football Booster Club donated $2,532.87 for football bags and decals. The Booster Club also donated $1933.80 to the football program. Affinity Plus donated $600 to KW Community Education youth recreation program in memory of former student Jacob Baalson. Gemini Inc. donated $250 to the Band Boosters on behalf of KW parent Lisa Anderson.

Other business

School board policy was amended to allow for certain websites, such as YouTube, to be used with the supervision by a staff member. This was requested by teachers for educational purposes.

School board student representative Kaite Bohn gave an overview of recent activities at the school.

The annual truth-in-taxation meeting was set for Monday, November 25, at 7 p.m. The regular monthly board meeting will follow.

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