Dist. 84 board discusses elementary schedule

SLEEPY EYE — District 84 school board members discussed the 2019-2020 elementary school schedule for grades K-4 for nearly an hour Wednesday.

Superintendent John Cselovszki began the discussion by saying more than 200 people attended “a great elementary open house.”

Board member Darla Remus said she learned about the new elementary school schedule that includes two hour, uninterrupted blocks of math and reading time and 30 minutes of daily common staff planning time.

Remus said she didn’t know about the longer reading and math blocks that reduced physical education classes to two days a week and a 30-minute music class each week. Art time remains the same as it was.

“Big changes like this should be addressed by the board,” Remus said.

Cselovszki said the point was well taken and that the new schedule was created to enhance personalized learning.

“We never reported the (elementary) schedule to the board in the past. We discussed it with staff,” Cselovszki said. He said the new schedule includes an uninterrupted hour block for students to eat and play outside. If the weather is not good for outdoor play, students will spend the time in a classroom.

“Kids get some time to eat now. I’m all for that piece of it. My daughter loves personalized learning. I haven’t heard anything against it,” board member Bryan Sellner said.

Board member Jeremy Domeier said music and theater classes “drove” him to stay in school.

Remus said statistics show music helps students do better in other subjects.

“We’ll try this and see what happens,” Cselovszki said. “We did this to help kids achieve more in math and reading. My staff truly believes more time on core subjects means more achievement. We’ll analyze it at the end of the year.”

Board member Brian Nelson said he felt the discussion was a good argument for a longer school day.

The board unanimously approved, motion by Domeier, seconded by Nelson:

• Hiring Gwen Rossbach at a full-time kindergarten teacher $54,743; Shirley Tennant as an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) long-term sub, 34 days $7,336.52; Rachel Linder as a high school special education para, 6.75 hours $12.38/hr.; Maria Christina Gonzalez as a high school special ed para, 7.0 hours $12.38/hr. and the immediate resignation of para Brandon Streich.

• The resignation of high school math teacher Bradd Goedde and hiring math teacher Kevin Cerny.

• A $500 anonymous donation to the Sleepy Eye FFA.

• Hiring Brody Anderson as a assistant varsity football coach $3,147; the resignation of fall musical director Mary Mulry and hiring fall music director Morgan Kokesch $1,833.

• Declaring the following items as surplus: tennis ball machine, kitchen stove, meat slicer, mixer, and miscellaneous small items.

• Open enrollment of two students from Cedar Mountain, St. James, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart and Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop and one from Springfield and Comfrey.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.