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HLWW will join Wright County West Conference in 2021
April 12, 2019

Deb Cox-Johnson

HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN – Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board members, during Tuesday’s meeting, voted to accept the Wright County West Conference’s invitation to join the conference. This move was discussed in depth at previous meetings and included presentations by Scott Berning, activities director; and many of the athletic coaches.

The pros of the move include less traveling time and expense than those involved with the school’s current membership in the Central Minnesota Conference (CMC), which translates into more resources for ongoing activities and less stress on schedules for students and parents. It may also result in better attendance and event revenue, as parents from competing schools will have less travel time and expense, as well.

Additionally, parents considering a move to the district may find it more attractive than the prospect of their children competing at the more distant CMC schools.

The band and choir will also have increased opportunities for competition.

There will likely be stiffer competition, as HLWW changes from being the largest school in the CMC to the smallest school in Wright County West, but the coaches indicated that their students were “up for it.” Berning and the coaches had also commented previously, “We have to beat those teams anyway if we’re going to state.”

Football is not affected, as it operates within its own system of districts. HLWW will not have to add any additional sports or activities in order to belong to Wright County West.

New special ed teacher position approved for Humphrey Elementary

The desired candidate for a new special ed teaching position at Humphrey Elementary will be highly qualified in the area of Specific Learning Disability. Recruiting will begin immediately.

This position was first proposed by Jen Olson, elementary schools principal, March 6, and has been discussed in previous meetings. Caseloads have been steadily increasing for several years, and currently there is only one special ed /SLD teacher serving both Humphrey and Winsted elementaries.

Phy Ed/DAPE teacher still under consideration

Current teaching staff in the areas of physical education and developmental adapted physical education (DAPE) are stretched to the max, according to a joint proposal made in March by Jason Mix, high school principal and Jim Schimelpfenig, middle school principal. This request was tabled until the next board meeting May 8, pending further discussion and additional progress on the proposed budget for the 2020/21 school year. The biggest question regarding the budget for next year is what funding will be approved by the Minnesota State Legislature.

District on target to meet budget for 2019/20

Donna Wilson, SMS financial consultant, reviewed the treasurer’s report.

In spite of a year-to-date decrease in the “average daily membership” (ADM), and taking into account unusually high snow removal and increased transportation costs, the district has managed to effectively balance its income and revenues.

Principals’ reports

Olson and Schimelpfenig reported that the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) reading tests have been completed, and the math tests will be completed in April.

Mix indicated that the ACT testing has been rescheduled for April 24, along with the planned “Respect Retreat” for 9th- and 10th-graders.

Odds and ends

In other business, the board:

• recognized Tetra Pak for donating 10 Winstock tickets with a value of $1,550 in support of Teacher Appreciation Week. The tickets will be given away in a random drawing.

• recognized the Howard Lake Legion for donating $1,000 to support the clay target team.

• recognized the Scholarship Foundation for donating $5,590 to support two Youth Frontiers programs.

• approved the estimates for milk, bread, and fuel received from, respectively: Agropur, Pan O’Gold, and Mid-County Coop.

• approved HLWW’s annual payment to the Wright County Tech Center for long-term facilities maintenance.

• heard an update on testing for radon and lead in the drinking water from Superintendent Brad Sellner. All systems are in good working order and testing is on schedule.

• discussed the Snow Day Bill approved by the state legislature. Sellner pointed out that the bill was not a mandate. HLWW elected to make up days within its own schedule, thereby eliminating the need to meet all of the mandated requirements. The bill was aimed specifically to help schools in the southern half of the state which may have missed as many as 11 days of school.

• discussed changes to various handbooks.

Upcoming events

• Students of Excellence Awards – April 24, evening.

• Spring play – April 26-27, 7:30 p.m.

• Humphrey Elementary musical grade 1 and 2 – May 2, 1 and 7 p.m.

• Middle school choir concert grade 6-8 – May 6, 7 p.m.

• High school choir concert – May 8, 7 p.m.

• Middle school band concert grade 5-6 – May 14, 6:30 p.m.

• Middle school band concert grade 7-8 – May 14, 7:30 p.m.

• High school band concert – May 15, 7 p.m.

• 4th grade fishing expo – May 15.

• Winsted Elementary Field Day – May 17, 12:30 p.m.

• High School Awards Night- May 20, 7 p.m.

• Winsted Elementary kindergarten program – May 21, 6 p.m.

• Humphrey Elementary kindergarten program – May 21, 7:15 p.m.

• Humphrey Elementary Field Day – May 24, 12:30 p.m.

• Middle school field day – May 24.

• Graduation – June 2, 2 p.m.

Next board meeting

• The next board meeting will take place Monday, May 13, at 6 p.m. in the high school media center.

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