SLEEPY EYE - Citing a financial burden on the Sleepy Eye Hockey Association and the parents of boys and girls varsity hockey team players, the District 84 Board of Education approved Thursday an additional $200 contribution per player to be used for District 88 hockey participation fees.
Superintendent John Cselovszki said the money would be paid directly to the New Ulm Public School District, which he said raised its participation fees substantially this school year. The District 88 fee for varsity hockey is $320, according to its web site.
"It put a burden on our hockey association and parents of players," Cselovszki said. "We've got six or seven students from our school playing varsity hockey (on New Ulm teams)."
Race to the Top
At a Meet and Confer session with staff union representatives, the board discussed a Memorandum of Understanding for Southwest Minnesota Race to the Top project.
Six school districts - Sleepy Eye, St. James, Hendricks, Lynd, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton and Canby - are partnering to apply for the U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top grant to fund science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-focused activities to improve cradle-to-career educational opportunities with personalized learning environments and other academic upgrades.
The six districts have a disproportionate number of students who are considered economically disadvantaged.
Union representatives wanted Memorandum of Understanding wording changed to omit additional compensation tied to student classroom and district-level achievement in annual Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCA) and Iowa Skills Test scores.
Instead of tying compensation to those tests, reps preferred wording by adding "a value-added grant model developed by the district and exclusive teacher representatives" instead of the two test scores.
Teachers said comparing test scores in successive years was not an accurate way to measure student achievement because the same students were not measured in successive years.
According to the memorandum, teachers would be evaluated twice a year with incentives disbursed as milestones are reached and activities are completed. The program would be fully implemented for the 2013-14 school year.
The board also approved:
A three-day, two-night band and choir trip to Chicago the third weekend of March 2013. Band director Eric Root said student cost was estimated at $385 per student for the trip including a Broadway show ticket, master's class at a Chicago university, boat dinner cruise and other amenities.
"Students have already been fund-raising for the trip," Root said. "Some students have already raised enough money to go."
Hiring Crystal Ibberson as girls junior high basketball coach at $1,946.
The Sleepy Eye High School dance line participation in Minnesota State High School League sponsored competition.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).