The Westonka School Board heard from Activities Director Jeff Peterson at its meeting on April 11 that the viewing deck overlooking Soule Field called “Pop’s Porch” was finished in time for the opening pitch of the baseball season that same day.

“Pop’s Porch” honors former Westonka teacher Dick Halvarson who taught and coached in the district for 35 years.

In addition, the school board heard a recap of student activities from Student Representative Hallie Dierbeck. She shared that the Westonka Student Senate held a Survivor-themed school spirit week which began on April 11 with a basketball game between teachers and students as a fundraiser for the Westonka Prom. Prom will be held on May 7 at Minnetonka Apple Orchard with the theme “On Cloud Nine.”

In other news, the Teaching and Learning Committee briefed the board about state testing, which is currently underway in the district. In total, 13 tests will be administered to students in grades 3-11 in the areas of math, reading, and science. The committee also reported that the Westonka district received a $74,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Education as part of the Governor’s Discretionary American Rescue Plan funds. The funds will be used for Summer Academic Intervention Plans for identified students in grades K-12.

In a business report, Finance Director Kathy Miller announced that the district gained 13 students in April, mostly at Shirley Hills Elementary School. She also communicated that results from the demographic study that the board approved will be presented at the July 11 meeting. The Facilities Committee plans to administer a community facilities survey as well to help prioritize areas of improvement.

Finally, the board voted to raise prices on school lunch and breakfast in order to try to keep up with inflation. The board also approved offering a Snowboard/Freeski lettering program to Westonka students in grades 7-12. In addition, the board approved adding a concessions coordinator position under the Activities Department. After meeting with other schools to see how they structure their concession stand, the district plans to hire one person to manage concessions and recruit parent volunteers whose kids aren’t participating in a game to work the concession stand in order to raise money for their respective programs.

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