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Martin Co. West plans meeting on Welcome site

SHERBURN — Martin County West Schools will hold a virtual public hearing on the future of the Welcome school building.

The event is slated for 6:30 p.m. June 8. Instructions about submitting questions and comments for the hearing will be on the school web page.

At the school board meeting this week, the group voted 5-2 against waiting to hold the hearing until people can gather in person. Those in the majority believe waiting for the state’s social distancing restrictions to be rescinded will create too long a delay given the needed repairs. Meanwhile, the liability issue of having students in the building is immediate.

Buildings and grounds committee members noted that results from a survey show 67% of district residents responding support closing the Welcome building instead of repairing it.

Turning to other business, the board:

o Heard a report from Superintendent Allison Schmidt, who said the prohibition on large gatherings means there are no immediate plans for a retirement event to honor Principal David Traetow.

o Heard a report from Traetow, who said graduation will be a virtual ceremony at 2 p.m. May 31, with a video of seniors walking across the stage. Diplomas will be handed out in front of the school in the parking lot as seniors drive by. Fire and police departments will lead a parade.

o Heard a report from Michelle Baker, who said summer school is in the planning stage. There will be a credit recovery available for grades 9-12 students, and a possibility of the ACT test being held in October.

o Heard a report from Chad Brusky, Trimont principal, who said the school received a $4,000 grant for virtual reality goggles that will be used for studies on the body, cells and landmarks. He also reported that Kathy Neppl will move to teach kindergarten in Sherburn next school year.

o Learned the last day of school is May 29.

o Approved hiring Jonah Mayo as ag/industrial technology instructor and Danielle (Kegel) Burley as second-grade instructor for next school year.

o Approved hiring Jake Whitehead as a temporary summer custodian.

o Dissolved cooperative cross country with Martin Luther High School since MLHS will co-op with Granada-Huntley-East Chain next year.

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