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Superintendent Harris addresses school safety

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012
Posted in Chatfield Education

As Christmas Break quickly approaches for most school districts, the Chatfield School Board met on Monday, December 17 to wrap up the business for 2012. Because it was the December meeting, the Truth in Taxation Hearing occurred during this regular meeting. Superintendent Ed Harris gave an in-depth presentation highlighting the minimal changes in the 2013 proposed budget. Later in the meeting the board members approved the final levy payable for 2013 at $2,197,736.85. Harris noted that this is virtually the same as last year with only a 0.32% percent increase.

From the elementary school, Principal Craig Ihrke wished to remind parents to make sure that their children are dressed appropriately for winter weather. High School Principal Randy Paulson reiterated this to make sure high school students are dressed appropriately for winter as well in the event of a bus breakdown or similar situation. Also from the elementary school, both Principal Ihrke and Elissa Johnsrud gave an update on the reading program that students are participating in this year. Progress has been steady, and students are accelerating at adequate rates with a clear majority of students at their proficient reading level or beyond. Johnsrud stated that teachers meet every other week for collaboration on helping any struggling students, but they also come up with ways to keep quickly progressing students challenged.

Superintendent Harris gave his monthly address to the board beginning with a topic that is clearly on the minds of many—school safety. Harris explained that parents may struggle to talk to their children about school safety, so the district has put information on the district website and on the district’s Facebook page. The superintendent explained that Chatfield Public Schools has bimonthly meetings for administrators focused on school security, and there is even one scheduled for Wednesday, December 19. Harris stated, “We think we’ve got a really good handle on security.”

Before concluding the meeting Board Chair Jerry Chase, Clerk Greg LaPlante, and Treasurer Mike Tuohy were administered the Oath of Office after being re-elected in November. They will each serve another four years. With the adjournment it was announced that the next board meeting will be January 22, 2013, which is a change due to the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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