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Fairmont Schools review assessment

FAIRMONT– The Fairmont School Board met Tuesday evening. Board members Nicole Green and Rufus Rodriguez were absent, as was Superintendent Joe Brown.

The district’s instructional coach and Q-comp coach, Brooke Schultz, reported Fairmont Area School’s Q-comp annual report. The four components under Q-comp include career ladder/advancement options, job-embedded professional development, teacher evaluation and performance pay and alternative salary schedule.

After giving her report, Schultz shared that some questions she has asked include how they accelerate student learning moving forward, what skills did students learn that weren’t seen on a standardized assessment, and what practices were learned over the last year that can be carried forward.

Schultz said she has also been trying to think about reframing the narrative of learning loss, given the last year and a half of challenges due to Covid-19.

“Instead of saying that it’s a lost year, maybe say there’s unfinished learning or that we want to accelerate student learning rather than the negativity,” Schultz said.

“I realize this year was a year out of the record books completely, but have we experienced these learning trends, are we getting better as a district?” Board member Julie Laue asked.

“There have been a few years that we have met our goals, but trend-wise, on both our fast bridge and MCA’s, we have really shown nice trends, especially with reading. We have shown nice trends and nice gains in the past,” Schultz said.

However, Schultz said she believes the achievement goal is something that needs to be addressed.

The district’s business manager, Chris Muhvich, went over the 2020-21 revised budget, as well as the 2021-22 preliminary budget.

“For the final revised budget, the main changes to the general fund include the addition of the media lab, with $80,000 there, an additional $70,000 for tennis court lights and an additional $78,000 for updated billing for Southern Plains Education Cooperative,” Muhvich said.

Muhvich said that overall, the district will be withdrawing about $520,000 from its savings account.

“We had some very remarkable years so even shifting a little bit and using some of our

savings to weather the Covid storm, we’re still in great financial position,” Muhvich said.

For the preliminary budget, Muhvich said, “I’m estimating we will receive an additional $100,000 in tuition for students to come take some of our vocational classes or college in the school classes from other districts.”

The district received about $6.3 million in Covid funds, with $4.8 million remaining for the 2021-22 school year.

“We received a significant amount of Covid funds for a district our size. Not all districts received the same amount,” Muhvich said.

Muhvich went on to explain that the district received more money to target at-risk students.

In other news, board member Mari Myren said that two applications for student school board members were received. They were from Solveig Senf, an incoming junior and Lilli Steuber, an incoming senior.

It was decided that Briana Joseph, a senior and returning student school board member, and Steuber will sit on the board with Senf being an alternate.

The board thanked Joseph, as well as recently graduated student school board members Morgan Hoong and Weston Loughmiller for their time and assistance on the board.

Moving to other matters, the board approved a new policy, the grade replacement policy, effective June 1. Board member Mike Edman said that if a student re-takes a full semester credit-bearing class and receives a higher grade, the new grade will replace the original one on the student’s transcript.

The board accepted a donation from Compeer Financial for a $3,000 grant to the agriculture program.

The board accepted the following resignations:

— Ethan Kueker, special education paraprofessional

— Payten Crosby, 4th-grade teacher

The board accepted the following employments:

— Andy Walden as a high school dean of students. Walden has been employed with the district since 2018 as a high school social studies teacher.

— Kyle Leeson as an additional high school math teacher.

— Elizabeth Kvebak as a 4th-grade teacher.

— Halea Picha as a high school social studies teacher.

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