By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

The Caledonia school board voted to go with the alternative school calendar. This means that, starting in 2020, students will begin school in August and will end earlier in May of 2021.

Superintendent Craig Ihrke informed the board that he would begin the necessary steps needed for state approval of an early start calendar.

A committee met over several montsh and on several occasions, regarding which possible calendar the district should adopt.

The committee’s task was to review if there was support for an alternate calendar or remain with the traditional school calendar.

After much input, the committee made the recommendation to go with an August to May calendar.

The committee included school board members, community members, administration and educators.

Through the Department of Education, the calendar would be eligible to be approved for a period of three years.

However, future school board and administrators could make the decision to return to the “traditional calendar” at any time.

Six school board members voted to approve with member Jared Barnes voting to abstain.

Elementary lockers

Elementary principal Susan Link laid out the need for new lockers in her building.

“Our elementary lockers are rusted, the wrong size, chipped and dilapidated,” said elementary principal Sue Link. “We still have the original lockers which are 57 years old. Because we have used our budget for a new heating and cooling system, and other important projects, we do not have funds for lockers.”

The solution to the need is to reach out to community to help.

“We are starting a “Donate a locker,’ campaign,” said Link. “We will raise $40,000. It will be a 90 day campaign. we need to order the lockers by mid-march to get them installed this summer. We have 300 lockers, so each donated locker will be $135.00.”

The board were in support of filling the need through fund raising efforts and other means.

The board asked Link to provide them with a formal proposal regarding the matter.

Other news

• The board recognized the Caledonia Lions for volunteering 89 hours taking tickets at various fall sporting events.

• The board approved the twelve-week maternity leave request for Danielle Newman beginning October 28, 2019, through January 17, 2020.  

• The board also approved the agreement as presented to purchase education services with Hiawatha Valley Education District for the 2019-2020 school year in the amount of $137,425.23.

• Caledonia and Spring Grove renewed their contract for cooperative athletics. The sports include: boys soccer, girls soccer, boys track, girls track, gymnastics and softball. Costs will be split between the two districts with Caledonia serving as the host school.

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