Below are summaries of actions from the Thursday, Dec. 19 meeting of the Big Lakeo School Board. They were compiled by Gloria Vande Brake.
• The majority of those attending the meeting supported the school’s Hornet Pride Award to Liberty Elementary Principal Carly Gordon and gave her a standing ovation.
• Gordon and Liberty Assistant Principal Teresa Smock-Potter updated the Board on their literacy activities among the students and showed videos of students practicing phonics and vocabulary with other students.
• High School Principal Robert Dockendorf presented three new courses to be offered in 2020-21 which were approved by the board. Visual journalism, AP biology and integrated science for 9th graders. AP Chemistry and career planning will likely be offered in 2021-22.
• Community Education Director Brad Schnitzler summarized their early childhood and preschool programs, youth and adult programs and programs for adults with disabilities, noting that they have received a 30 percent increase in unduplicated participants in the last four years.
“It’s exciting to have families from Anoka, Becker, Buffalo, Clear Lake, Crystal, Elk River, Maple Lake, Maplewood, Monticello, Otsego and Zimmerman attend our Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) programs,” noted Early Childhood Program Coordinator Kelly Kazeck. “That program has 68 new participants and 31 babies.”
“ECFE in the Park has nearly doubled in the last three summers,” Kazeck continued. “We serve 210 in Little Learners Preschool and our Hive Time Child Care is 4 Star Parent Aware Rated and we get Big Lake Public Librarians providing story time monthly.”
Program Coordinator Allen Berg reported that Big Lake ranks 5th among 17 schools in their contact hours in the Adult Basic Education programs. In addition to assisting adults with completing their GED, they also provide citizenship and drivers permit studies.
• Matthew Hammer of Ehlers updated the board on a tax-neutral, 16-year $7.67 million bond for Middle School HVAC and other security and maintenance improvements, which will be finalized in February at an estimated interest rate of 2.7 percent.
• Activities Director Logan Midthun asked board input on Viking Coca Cola and Bernick’s Pepsi proposals for beverages at the school concession stand. Profits from last school year’s concessions totaled $34,790, of which the athletic programs and the sports clubs with volunteers in the stand received half.
• The Board approved eight cheerleaders and two coaches to compete in the national cheerleading competition in Orlando, Florida in February.
• The High School Choir led by Director Mary Ebanks, sang Christmas carols before the start of the Board meeting.
• With the resignation of Superintendent Steve Westerberg, the Board has scheduled a work session and special meeting on Tuesday, January 7 to meet with a superintendent search firm.