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R-P board approves levy increase of 9 percent


Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Education

Rushford - The Rushford-Peterson school board approved a levy increase for 2008, payable 2009, of 9% or approximately $72,000.

The increase comes about through increases in general expenses and community education, according to superintendent Chuck Ehler.

The board will hear the annual auditor's report at their next monthly meeting, Oct. 20, 5:30.

Ehler, who already has established a track record of looking for a variety of available grants, reported that the district is applying for a fresh fruit and vegetable grant of $15,000-29,000 per year that would require the district to make free fresh fruits and vegetables available to elementary students at times other than the regularly scheduled breakfast and lunch times.

The board also approved reinstating student fees for Family and Consumer Science classes, which were removed last year because of the flood. FCS teacher Erin Thompson recommends keeping high school fees at the former $25, but feels that is too much for middle school students in 6-week classes, more of whom will have FCS class this year because of the elimination of block scheduling.

The board approved Thompson's recommendation that 7th graders pay $15 per student and 8th graders $25 because of their sewing project.

Ehler thanked the teachers at the middle school for their adapting so quickly to the schedule changes this year caused by the move from 80-minute block classes to 50-minute classes.

Ehler said that, as expected, there have been concerns expressed by parents over the amount of homework assigned as teachers adjust to the shorter class periods.

"It will take some time, but I am confident we will find a balance in the amount of homework that is being assigned," Ehler said in his superintendent report.

High school principal Shane McBroom continued his work on changes to the outdated student policy manual by announcing several more changes/additions.

Regarding traffic concerns around the school, McBroom added the following: "Students are expected to abide by local transportation laws around the school. Reckless driving will be reported to police."

Excused absences from school have been expanded to include college visits by juniors and seniors. Also excused will be students whose parents have a concern about "safety due to weather conditions."

McBroom addressed the latest technology in a policy about bullying, which is now prohibited in blogs, emails, instant messages, phone texts, digital pictures, and web site postings.

In addition, the list of personal technology that is not allowed in school has been expanded to cell phones, radios, pagers, MP3 players, I-pods-all of which are not to be used anytime during the school day.

McBroom also reported that in an effort to meet the district's goal of having each student involved in at least one extracurricular activity, new clubs are being added in the areas of art, sign language, the bowling team, and possibly a technology club.

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