FAIRMONT– At the Fairmont School Board meeting on Tuesday Superintendent Andy Traetow noted the district must extend its school year due to experiencing too many snow days.
In Traetow’s report he noted the district must now extend the school year after last week’s snowstorm exhausted its planned snow days for the year. To meet state standards the district must now make up two additional days at the end of the school year in June, but these potential make up days have been a part of the school calendar since its approval last year.
The first committee meeting to draft next year’s school’s calendar was held on Feb. 24 and discussion at the meeting centered around four different proposals for a calendar. Ultimately the group leaned toward one with little changes compared to the calendar for the 2022-2023 school year.
“The feedback that we received is trending toward a calendar similar to what we have this year, considering some different ideas to continue to meet the needs of our students, staff and our community,” said Traetow.
The committee will meet again on March 20 where it will consult with building staff about possible improvements.
Traetow also noted planning for the high school’s May community service day has begun after being on hiatus since the spring of 2019. He also highlighted the performance of Fairmont’s speech, robotics, music and theater programs.
During the meeting the board also highlighted Melinda Stewart, a high school Spanish teacher and instructional coach who was selected as Fairmont’s Teacher of the Year. Stewart was selected in November but was eliminated in the selection process for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Stewart was nominated by former student and current high school English teacher, Miles Duffey. She expressed gratitude for all the recognition and congratulation she’s received from her students and her peers.
“It deeply connected to what matters most, my students. It’s been fun watching how excited my students have been for me,” said Stewart.
Outside of the classroom Stewart co-hosts a series of Spanish lessons for Fairmont staff members, including Superintendent Traetow. Her work was highlighted by several members of the board.
“I know my daughter always looked forward to going to your classes and as she is now in college in Grinnell she continues to take Spanish,” said board member Dan Brookens.
“As a current student of Senora’s I wanted to say personally say thank you for all the hard work you put into teaching and it’s truly evident everyday in your classroom,” said student representative Solveig Senf.
In other business, the board approved:
— Contracts for Bryce Allard as a long term substitute business teacher, Joice Forster as a long-term substitute preschool teacher, John McDonough as a science teacher and Nichole Lewis as an evening custodian.
— Retirements for elementary head building custodian Tom Seifert, high school science teacher Anne Holm and elementary teacher Bethany Huse.
— A donation of $500 from the ECFE Advisory Board for the bike helmets, $5,000 from Profinium Financial for cover the cost of the robotics team traveling to the world competition in Houston and $200 from Service and Exchange Club for Project Trust T-Shirts for students.