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Red Wing School Board briefs

United Way helping students

Maureen Nelson, director of United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce counties, spoke to the School Board Monday night about the different ways United Way supports students.

One of United Way’s goals is to ensure every child is prepared for kindergarten, Nelson said.

The United Way provides books for children from birth until age 5 and Nelson said 878 children have participated in the program so far.

Another program she works on is Packing for the Weekend, which was started in January 2011. The program provides meals for students and their families who qualify for free and reduced meals at school.

Nelson said through this program she hopes to make sure kids are ready to learn on Monday morning. The average cost of a backpack for this program last year was $7, Nelson said.

United Way is also working on a school supply drive to help students and teachers, so teachers don’t have to spend money out of their own pocket for classroom supplies.

Colvill Family Center update

One of the biggest challenges for Colvill Family Center is space, Colvill Director Min MartinOakes said.

MartinOakes, who took over as director of Colvill this year, gave an update on how everything has been going at Colvill so far this year.

One thing MartinOakes said she would like to see is a bridge program for children who might need help bridging the gap between preschool and kindergarten. Currently about 40 students could benefit from a program of this sort, she said.

Prairie Island Ice Arena under review

Finance Director Brad Johnson said the district is looking into hiring a third-party consultant to look at the operational procedures at the ice arena and suggest changes.

“We think it’s worth examining because there’s been some concern for a long time,” Johnson said.

The company, based out of Virginia, would first look at the needs of the arena as an analysis.

Johnson said 14 school districts own ice arenas in the state and all are operating on a loss.

Personnel changes OK’d

New Hires: Lanette Heisler, Level I cook at Twin Bluff Middle School, effective Oct. 14 (due to a transfer); Taronda Howard, assistant secretary at Community Education, effective Oct. 4 (due to a resignation).

Leave: Megan Latch, guidance counselor at Twin Bluff Middle School, effective Dec. 9 through March 4; Elizabeth Kittelson, social worker at Sunnyside Elementary School, effective March 31 to June 3.

Resignation: LynnAnn Diercks, special education para at Twin Bluff Middle School, effective Oct. 25.

The board also approved the employment of Director Steve Anderson at the concession stand at Prairie Island Arena.

Meeting watch

Oct. 21’s meeting lasted about two hours and 10 minutes. Shortly after 7 p.m. the meeting was closed so the board could discuss matters with district attorney Morgan Godfrey pertaining to Office of Civil Rights complaints. The closed session lasted about 50 minutes.

All board members were in attendance. Treasurer Paul Kramp left a few minutes before the meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

-- compiled by John R. Russett, staff writer