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Lake Superior School Board; October 10, 2023

Ekalath Sophaphanh from ICS, met with the School Board last week to review plans for Bus Garages in Two Harbors and Silver Bay. The upgrades for both garages will in­clude new overhead doors, new heating and mechanical systems, bathrooms, energy effi­cient windows and new roofing and siding. The garage in Two Harbors will be contained in the current building’s footprint. The Sil­ver Bay facility will have an addition that will include office, storage, and bathroom space. The Board approved the solicitation of bids for the project. Once bids are secured, construction on the garages will start in the Spring of 2024 and will likely last for 3 to 4 months.

Minnehaha Principal Brett Archer present­ed an overview of recent MCA testing data to the board. Proficiency scores in reading and math were strong prior to the pandemic but, as is the case across the nation, scores slipped during the lockdown. Students read­ing proficiency scores are rebounding but district personnel acknowledge that there is still work to be done. The same is true with regard to math proficiency. District staff are focusing their work in professional develop­ment on strategies that will continue to help students rebound from the deficits imposed by the Covid pandemic. It should be noted that MCA scores are impacted by students who opted out of testing. While families have the right to have their students not take the test, those students, because they are enroll­ees, are counted as “Not Meeting Standards” when tabulations for each school are made. Often, proficiency tests can contain specif­ic detailed suggestions for improving one’s reading or math proficiency. Such informa­tion can be helpful to teachers, parents and to students who want to strengthen their aca­demic skills.

Four Lake Superior School District Teach­ers were recognized for achieving tenure. They are Ben Hudson, Tim Bott, Celina Thies and Laura Wieck. Candidates for ten­ure are evaluated over a three-year period by a peer review committee and decisions to award tenure are made in consultation be­tween the committee and the school board. Tenure is based on evidence of teacher effec­tiveness.

Replacement playground equipment has been installed at Minnehaha and at William Kelley. Online guitar and piano lessons are being offered through the Community Edu­cation Department and Homecoming was a success despite the rain.

The next School Board meeting is sched­uled for November 14th at William Kelley High School. The meeting starts at 6:00.

Rick Evans
Rick Evans
My wife, Marsha Kinzer (a proud DEHS Greyhound, class of ‘77) introduced me to the North Shore on vacation in 2012. It became our regular escape when the stress of our careers in education became overwhelming, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the breathtaking scenery, the nice people, and “salad” containing Jell-o and marshmallows. So you can either blame or thank my loving wife for my being here, because when we needed to choose a retirement hometown, Marsha advocated hard for her beloved Duluth, and here we are, six months later. Yes, this will be my first northern Minnesota winter. Yes, I welcome thoughts and prayers. Government, public policy, and social justice weighed heavily in the curriculums I taught at the high school level over a thirty-eight year career. In addition, we were a laboratory school focused on critical thinking in conjunction with technical and scientific writing. So when I found myself adrift on the great ocean of retirement and spied a raft, I jumped at the chance to take up what I’d left behind…minus the bad teachers’ lounge coffee. My position at the NSJ allows me to combine my passions for government and writing, and it’s helping me to feel less out of touch in new surroundings. When I’m not being “Cubby” (Marsha’s favorite new nickname for this green reporter) I enjoy pointing at eagles and saying, “Look, honey. There’s an eagle.” I’ve had an active side hustle as a professional musician for almost as many years as Charlie Parr. As a guitarist/singer/songwriter, I graced the stages of clubs and festivals around southern Wisconsin, including an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. Should I even mention A Prairie Home Companion, or am I the only one here old enough to remember what that is? Look! An eagle!
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