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Fairmont School Board Approves Higher Levies | News, Sports, Jobs

ByMary M. Ward

Dec 15, 2021


FAIRMONT– The Fairmont School Board approved the tax levy payable for 2021-2022 at Tuesday night’s tax truth hearing. The approved tax levy is an increase of 8.26% over last year. This will generate an additional $ 447,782.

District business manager Chris Muhvich reviewed the details of the district funds.

Superintendent Andy Traetow pointed out that in four of the past five years there has been a decrease in withdrawals.

“This increase comes after this trend”, said Traetow.

Council member Mike Edman pointed out that at least half of the increase is attributable to the district’s professional development project.

“If you take that out, with the context Andy is referring to, it’s remarkable that we’ve had nominal increases in levies at best over a six-year period. I imagine most districts would like to say that ”, Edman said.

Also, at the regular meeting, the Board of Directors accepted the PIE / Hunt grant dollars. Partners In Education was able to provide $ 17,000 in funding this year and $ 7,500 was available through Hunt funds for a total of $ 24,500.

The money will go towards a number of projects and materials, including flexible seating for students, bilingual reading books, a 3D archery set, frisbee golf equipment, and outings on field.

The board also heard updates from elementary and secondary school principals.

Elementary co-principal Brian Grensteiner said 89.5% of families attended conferences in October.

“For a grade seven school, kindergarten to grade six, that’s really impressive” Grensteiner said.

Grensteiner also spoke about some curriculum changes to meet literacy needs in elementary school to fill the gaps in teaching time lost in recent years.

“We have new training and a new program for our specialist educators. It’s called SRA, which brings together scientific research associates working with the science of reading ”, Grensteiner said.

Co-director Michelle Rosen said reading intervention teachers received training in the fall on a new program called PRESS, Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites. She said it is a Minnesota-based company that is working on a scientific method of learning to read.

“We have already seen growth and success since its implementation in mid-October”, Rosen said.

Fairmont High School co-principals Alex Schmidt and Chad Brusky also provided an update. Brusky talked about some of the activities they have implemented to try to help develop the culture.

“This time of year it is dark and it is very easy to focus on the negative things that are going on around us”, said Brusky.

He said they recently bingo in the halls with the staff which involved students. The teachers then put their bingo cards into a draw for a gift certificate at Marina Lodge.

During the Superintendent’s report, Traetow explained that significant progress has been made in the professional expansion project and that they are on track for the project schedule, with an end in the summer of 2022, thanks to the weather. unusually hot.

Traetow spoke about the American Rescue Plan-ESSER funds. He said the projects they are considering based on surveys of community feedback include new grade school evaluable playground equipment, updated high school fitness equipment and the re-emergence of field trips.

Traetow also said that as of Monday there were only two active cases of Covid-19 in elementary school and three in high school. These numbers are lower than the school’s previous reports.

The board accepted the following donations:

– $ 10,000 from the 3M Foundation for STEM initiatives.

– $ 100 from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation for general support of Fairmont High School.

The December 28 school board meeting has been canceled. The next meeting will take place on January 11, 2022.

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