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MCW looks to fill openings

SHERBURN — At a special meeting last week, the Martin County West School Board appointed a new board member to replace an outgoing member. After advertising for the opening, applicants sent letters and applications and the board voted on the top three. The board ultimately appointed Nathan Brieze to fill the board’s opening for this year beginning in March. Mr. Brieze will have to apply in July and be elected next November for a regular full term.

The board discussed the progress of the superintendent search which was closed on Feb. 19. There are 18 school districts in Minnesota searching for new superintendents. It was mentioned that the district should market itself to candidates. A discussion was held concerning whether the job description should be used as it is currently listed as superintendent/principal. The board mentioned the flexibility of having someone physically at each building and a suggestion to hire an assistant to help with the large to-do list was mentioned. The description of being superintendent was mentioned as an incentive to candidates.

Having administration in each building was desired, and keeping the chain-of-command was mentioned, as well as having a point of contact to deal with issues.

At the board’s regular meeting, Ed Waltman from the search firm of South Central Service Coop explained some of the expected schedules for the superintendent search if the board approved them. It was proposed that there would be a special meeting on March 1 to approve the candidates to be interviewed. The next scheduled meeting on March 3 would be to interview those candidates approved earlier.

Final interviews, if needed, will be on March 8. After the March 1 meeting, the names of the candidates will be released to the press and public. Then any feedback from the public would be available to the board.

The meeting continued with presentations from the elementary

staff asking that the school board assures a principal at the elementary school buildings.

In other action, the board approved letting bids for a new 71-passenger bus and approved adding a second section to the food science classes next semester.

Chad Brusky, the interim superintendent, reported that staff was

halfway through being vaccinated for COVID. The county gets 100 doses per week to split between the educators in the county.

Brusky then mentioned the Minnesota Department of Health waiting list for vaccinations called Minnesota Connections that would be on the school’s website.

Brusky also shared that there will be an opportunity for any failing student to make up credits in an after-school and/or summer school program from the state.

Michelle Baker, Jr. Sr. High School Principal, reported that the first

week of in-person learning with all students in the building was successful. Feedback was positive even when they started seating charts for the month at lunch. There were a couple positive tests but the students are all being cautious and quarantining and the amount is minimal.

The students are aware of exposing others and have stopped some activities that would do that and all are moving forward.

Baker mentioned that they have met with seniors and senior’s parents about the senior class trip. Since Washington D.C. is not COVID-free that option was canceled.

She shared that the seniors brainstormed and put together an itinerary for a trip to South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore and some other fun activities there.

In other news, ACP testing is scheduled to be held at the Regional Worship Center and plans to get that facility set up for COVID protocol, etc. are underway.

Chad Peterson, Sherburn Elementary Principal, has started a para-professional program called Active Supervision that encourages walking around and being active with students. This would help positive learning environments, reduce behavioral problems and support teachers. In March, Peterson hopes to have an “Irish-I Wish I had more time to Read” program. He moved the nurse to the office to be closer to students and that has helped with parents too.

The next regular school board meeting will be 6:30 p.m. on March 15.

The board encourages community and school participants to read the school district website at www.martin.k12.mn.us/ for news and information.

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