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Ellsworth School Board briefs

Vote choose middle ground for instructional days

Ellsworth’s Director of Teaching and Learning Paul Uhren outlined three proposals for the School Board Monday in light of last year’s change by the state no longer requiring 180 days of face-to-face student instruction in an academic year.

Locally, the idea of considering a fewer days had been raised earlier with budget cuts in mind. Uhren said he showed the proposals for a calendar featuring 172, 175 or 179 days to teachers and administrators. Some favored more days in the interest of quality education and others fewer days, which some believed would allow for more professional improvement time.

Board members are also divided. For example, Dan Kaler strongly supported the 179-day plan, citing the present pursuit for more instruction days in neighboring Minnesota, while Kurt Buckner backed the 172-day offering, saying it would work better for breaks.

Ultimately, the board approved the 175-day calendar on a 5-2 vote.

Personnel moves OK’d

The board approved the follow personnel changes:

Retirement: Gail Johnson, high school custodian.

Hires: Emily Hanson, occupational therapist long-term sub; Fabreann Buffington, deaf and hard-of-hearing teacher long-term sub; Charysse Minder, eighth-grade girls basketball coach.

Resignations: Clair Austin, head varsity football coach; Jason Lange, mechanic.

In other news:

School Board candidate Katie Feuerhelm introduced herself and the ballot order for the school board election on April 7 was decided, showing Feuerhelm will be listed first and Board member Susan Langer second.

Meeting watch: Monday’s meeting lasted 50 minutes. All board members were present.

— Compiled by Bill Kirk, Forum News Service

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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