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School calendar approved, Homecoming date altered

The 2014-15 calendar for Red Wing Public Schools was approved as presented at Monday’s School Board meeting with one change – the date of Red Wing High School Homecoming.

The conflict revolved around whether to play perennial power Mankato West on Sept. 26 for the Homecoming game or to designate Oct. 3 – which was the recommended date – when close to 100 students in cross-country will be in Alexandria, Minn., overnight for an annual meet.

The board voted 6-1 to approve the calendar, but moved Homecoming to Sept. 22-26.

“It seems to me that the most important aspect of homecoming should not be who our opponent is in a football game,” Board member Steve Anderson said. “Giving our kids the opportunity to participate in lifelong memory events is what Homecoming is all about.”

Excluding students from Homecoming activities is just wrong, he added.

Not everyone agreed that the decision on the date of Homecoming should be coming from the School Board, however.

“I feel very uncomfortable as a School Board member making decisions on Homecoming,” said Vice Chair Janie Farrar, who cast the lone nay vote.

Board member Mike Christensen agreed with Farrar, but he also said it was important to make sure the students who participate in cross-country should have the opportunity to go to the football game and take part in all the activities of the weekend.

“Losing 100 students out of the activities is also just not acceptable,” he said.

School Board members weren’t the only ones who were uncomfortable.

“It concerns me greatly that this discussion is going on without our activities director here, without his input” Red Wing High School Principal Beth Borgen said. Other opportunities were provided to the cross-country team, Borgen said, but the team chose not to go with any of those options.

“I’ll just say I’m very concerned that the decision is being made at this level,” she said, adding she knows emails were sent back and forth, but it still wasn’t right to make the decision without activities director Matt Schultz present.

Schultz said Tuesday that he participated in many conversations concerning the date of Homecoming and the board was given all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Ultimately, it was the board’s decision, he said.

The two other possible dates for Homecoming were Sept. 5 or Sept. 12, the first and second weeks of school.

Other calendar highlights

The first day of school for the 2014-15 school year is scheduled for Tuesday Sept. 2 and the last day is scheduled for Thursday June 4, 2015.

Instructional hours, staff development time, and parent-teacher conference time are all consistent with the current year’s numbers.

Early release days were reduced to two days throughout the year, and a weeklong spring break was considered, but wasn’t possible if the district was to maintain a two-week long break over the holidays. Spring break is scheduled for April 1 to 6, 2015.

“I think we made some headway on the schedule as a whole,” Farrar said.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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