Cloquet schools plan early release on WednesdaysThe new calendar will allow for a half-hour early dismissal on Wednesdays during the coming year. The time will be used for staff development programs and Scarbrough said the early dismissal will have minimal impact on students.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The Cloquet School Board welcomed its newest member to Monday night’s meeting, with Ted Lammi sworn in as the sixth member of the body.
Lammi replaces Sandy Crowley, who resigned her position last month. He will fill the unexpired portion of Crowley’s term, which ends in 2014.
In board actions, the School Board voted to extend its contract with Zion Lutheran Church to house the Kids’ Corner program for another three years.
“That has been a wonderful success for us,” Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said. “We hope it has been as beneficial for the church as it has been for the district.”
The contract extension is at the same rate as this year, set at $1,875 per month. This means that the district’s costs to provide the popular program will remain flat for the next three years. The Kids’ Corner program is administered by Cloquet Community Education.
Scarbrough also expanded on the decision to adopt a new school calendar for the 2013-14 school year. This action was actually taken at the April 8 meeting, and will restore four of the 10 student contact days lost to budget cuts in the 2012-13 calendar.
District paraprofessionals have expressed concern over the new calendar and its impact on them, their work hours, and ability to qualify for benefits under the Affordable Care Act.
The new calendar will allow for a half-hour early dismissal on Wednesdays during the coming year. The time will be used for staff development programs and Scarbrough said the early dismissal will have minimal impact on students.
“It really won’t affect them all that much,” he said. “The topic of which day came up in discussion and we thought Wednesday would be the best for all concerned.”
Scarbrough said earlier this month that teachers had discussed how a full Friday off had impacted their curriculum development due to a four-day week and the decision was made to spread out the lost student contact time so that a five-day school week could be maintained.
The board also voted to approve the schedule for summer maintenance hours. Supervisor Keith Marti told the board that major projects for the summer include a repainting job in the music area at the high school, removal of certain trees on district property and replacing water valves at the high school.
The board also voted to approve two special education contracts for the coming year totaling just over $5,000.
In the consent agenda items, the board also voted to accept the resignation of CEC Nordic ski coach Les Martin after four years with the program.
The board’s next regular meeting will be held on May 13.