School project timeline gets green lightBy fall 2010, the balance of students at Red Wing public schools will have shifted. Red Wing School Board members haven't decided exactly how that balance will be struck, but they settled Monday on a timeline for the project, which aims to redistribute students throughout district buildings.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
By fall 2010, the balance of students at Red Wing public schools will have shifted.
Red Wing School Board members haven't decided exactly how that balance will be struck, but they settled Monday on a timeline for the project, which aims to redistribute students throughout district buildings.
The timeline establishes several key benchmarks for the project, which include approving a final plan, remodeling buildings and moving staff.
District officials vowed to shrink class sizes if voters approved a referendum in September. That mission took center stage after the referendum passed.
The problem for School Board members is finding space for new teachers, especially at the district's two elementary schools.
"This is going to be a Herculean task," School Board member Perry Sekus said.
Officials agreed at a special December meeting that the answer should involve moving fifth-graders to Twin Bluff Middle School and sending eighth-graders to Red Wing High School. The School Board has not yet approved the plan.
The public will be invited to weigh in on the project at meetings this month.
According to the timeline, the first major decision comes in February, when School Board members finalize how the 2009-10 transition year will be handled. A tentative plan to temporarily expand Burnside Elementary by using portable classrooms received strong support at the December meeting, but finances could pose a barrier, Instructional Services Director Kathy Radmer indicated Monday.
Since the timeline represents the project's initial public document, some School Board members said it should be as accessible as possible. That means smoothing over choppy education-system terminology, said newly minted School Board Chairman Mitch Boldt.
"It challenges and intimidates people," he said.
School Board member Mike Christensen agreed.
"Jargon and acronyms are not a good way to communicate," he said.
According to the timeline, the board will approve the final plan in June or July, once the state finalizes education finance dollars.