School board votes to add activities

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

Following a recommendation from Activities Director Bob Scripture, the New Prague Area School Board voted to add several activities for the 2006-07 school year.

The district will add one-act play, adaptive softball, seventh and eighth-grade soccer, knowledge bowl and a girls swimming program for next year.

New Prague High School had previously offered swimming through a cooperative program with Montgomery-Lonsdale High School. However, Montgomery-Lonsdale voted to drop swimming due to low participation rates. The large majority of the team was made up of New Prague swimmers last year.

New Prague will need to negotiate an agreement with another district, probably Montgomery-Lonsdale, for rental of the pool for practices and home meets.

Earlier in the meeting, several people spoke during the open forum to address the swimming program. Scott Baer, a swimming parent, said the recent activities survey given by the district showed a strong interest in swimming. Katie Trewartha, one of the captains of the team for next year, said participation in swimming has helped make her a better student by learning discipline and time management. Josh Franz, who has been head coach of the Montgomery-Lonsdale/New Prague team the last seven years, encouraged the board to keep the program going.

Franz was asked if he would be available to coach for next season. He said his top priority is to find a phy ed teaching job, but that he would be glad to continue as coach if his job situation allowed it.

Board members also encouraged the swimmers and their families who were at the meeting to try to work with them on an indoor pool in the district. A proposal for an indoor pool as part of the high school addition was voted down by district voters last fall. It was agreed that a pool in New Prague would be important to sustaining the swimming program in the long term.

Of the other additions to the program, one-act play restores a program that was dropped in budget cuts three years ago. Adapted Softball was added to the adapted sports program that began this year with floor hockey, and knowledge bowl will provide a competitive interscholastic component to a program currently offered through community education, since the Missota Conference has a knowledge bowl league. The seventh and eighth grade soccer program will set a foundation for the eventual addition of a varsity program at the high school. Board members were concerned about a shortage of athletic fields for soccer. Board member Bob Reed said the district was going to need to look at developing field on land the school district owns west of the community center.

Special Services budget

Special Services director Darren Kermes presented budget proposals for his department. He supervises six different types of programs, including Alternative programs, English as a Second Language, Health Services, 504 programs, social services and special education, which is by far the largest portion of the budget.

The district plans to expand offerings in Alternative Education, expanding the Learner Experiencing Academic Progress (LEAP) Program at the middle school, and other programs. Additional hires would also serve in other areas due in part to the new buildings.

As for special education programming, Kermes talked about what the district offers and how it works with other agencies, including the Minnesota River Valley Special Education Cooperative (MRVSEC) and the Carver-Scott Education Cooperative.

He said there are a lot of rumors about the district dropping out of MRVSEC, which he says is not true. He said the district looks at the number of students in its various programs and as the district grows, it looks at what programs it can offer at a lower cost on its own rather than by tuitioning the students to MRVSEC or other program.

Since starting on this path, the cost per pupil has kept at a steady pace, about $11,500 per student. In 2003-04, that was the second-highest of the eight comparable districts, but now, it is in the middle of the pack.

And we’ve done this while expanding logical program offerings

Suel Printing Company

Copyright © Suel Printing Company
All Rights Reserved
200 Main St E
New Prague, MN 56071

Phone: 952-758-4435
Fax: 952-758-4135

Latest articles

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 10:24pm
Fri, 05/25/2018 - 5:17pm
Fri, 05/25/2018 - 3:42pm
Fri, 05/25/2018 - 3:25pm

Please Login for Premium Content