Brown weighs in on weather

FAIRMONT — Superintendent Joe Brown explained to the school board on Tuesday how he goes about deciding school delays and closures because of the weather.

“Our No. 1 priority as a school district is to make sure that our students our safe and that our staff is safe,” he said.

Brown said he looks at the report from the National Weather Ser-vice and checks on the weather throughout the night.

“(In the morning), I always call the bus service first to see what they feel, and then I call the superintendent to the east at Granada-Huntley-East Chain, and then I call the superintendent to the west at Martin County West. We try to make a decision that’s the same for the entire county,” Brown explained.

He mentioned his decision Friday to bring students to school, and then within the hour to send them home due to safety concerns. Brown said in retrospect he feels like he should have called a two-hour late start Friday.

“They told us in graduate school this would be the hardest decision we’d have to make as a superintendent,” he said. “If we err at all, we’re going to err on the side of safety.”

Moving along to other matters, board member Nicole Green recapped a recent meeting that took place with several board members and E-2 staff members.

“They expressed how they’re appreciating the STEM position that Kari Duehlmeyer has been put on for Teacher On Special Assignment and how it’s really improving the science education in the classrooms,” Green said. “There was also a lot of talk about the mindfulness program that they’re been doing for a few years now in the E-2 part of the elementary school and how much it’s helping with students learning how to effectively and appropriately deal with the stress that they feel during their days.”

“I couldn’t believe the excitement our teachers have for our students,” said board member Julie Laue. “It’s just awesome.”

In other news, the board approved the following personnel changes:

o A leave request for high school English teacher Cyndi Johnson, effective now through the end of the year. Johnson has been with the district for 22 years.

o An extension of long-term substitute Melissa Luhmann’s substitute teaching contract through the end of the current school year.

o The retirement of Shari Swanson, ELL teacher at the elementary school, effective June 3.

The board accepted the following donation:

o Kwik Trip donated $151, as part of its Milk Moola program, to Fairmont Elementary to be used for student activities.