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Chatfield approves use of cell phones during lunch

Thu, Dec 23rd, 2010
Posted in Education

After winter weather delayed the Chatfield School Board meeting from Monday, December 20th, to Tuesday, December 21st, the agenda was completed with three of the five board members present. Kathy Schellhammer took the oath of office as she begins her new term in 2011. The annual Truth in Taxation Hearing also took place at this December meeting.

Superintendent Edward Harris addressed the board on the items that he had been working on throughout the month. He, along with other superintendents in the area, came up with a list of mandates for school districts that will be sent to St. Paul to be analyzed further. He also mentioned to the board that the Flexible Learning Year is a topic that should be looked into to see if the board has any interest in having the school participate. Finally, board members have the opportunity to attend the MSBA Leadership Conference in the cities.

Secondary Principal Randy Paulson also addressed the board. He included comments of appreciation for high school history teacher Tom Hilgren and his accomplishment of receiving History Teacher of the Year. Paulson stated that Knowledge Bowl is up and running with Janet Bren being the new advisor. Over winter break the student registration handbook will be looked over. It is currently in the drafting stage. On a returning subject, the board discussed the usage of cell phones for juniors and seniors during lunch. A motion was passed to approve the usage of cell phones for juniors and seniors until the end of the school year which will serve as an extended trial. Staff members do express some concern over even this limited usage of cellular devices. Some staff members feel that social skills aren't developed fully because of cell phones.

Elementary Principal Craig Ihrke spoke to the board after Paulson and gave an update on the elementary school. He thanked all those who participated in and who attended the winter concerts. He also acknowledged that Math Wizards is starting. There are two sixth grade teams and one fifth grade team. The school is looking into hosting a meet.

In addition, the board had a presentation made to them about SNAP projects (School Nature Area Projects). Through grants, areas around the school are centered on nature and the education of the environment. The high school currently has one of these areas and now the elementary is planning to have one as well. Areas such as these serve as an outdoor classroom. They are also used by the community. The board adopted the motion on the terms that the project would not interfere with blocking certain wings of the school in case the district decides to expand.

A list of consent items, old business, and new business were approved on the agenda. The 2011 levy was certified. The cell phone policy effective until the end of the year was passed. Announcements about the school's calendar were made. Winter break is December 23rd to December 31st. Classes will resume on January 3rd, 2011. January 17th is the next regular school board meeting. The meeting adjourned with a reminder that January 21st, 2011, is a staff development day and there will be no school for students.

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