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School board to buy property for trades center

125 N. 3rd St. will be part of the new CTE Center in New Ulm.

NEW ULM — The District 88 School Board will consider a resolution to purchase property located at 208 N. Valley Street and 125 N. 3rd Street.

Superintendent Jeff Bertrang is recommending approval of the contract for deed purchase of the property. This property will become the new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center.

The CTE Center will provide students and adults with education in the areas of manufacturing, machining, construction, automotive repair, small gas engines and autobody repair. Construction education would include training for plumbing, electricians and carpentry work. The center will provide hands-on learning and provide opportunities for adults who may be considering a career change.

The district will continue to work on the CTE Center: on remodeling specifications, reviewing course options, listing equipment needs for each program and refining timelines for the start of school in the fall. The March study session will include more details on the plans for classes, staffing, programs offered and potential scheduling options.

The board will also receive an update on COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the school. Approximately 70% of staff have received the first shot of the vaccine. The majority are expected to receive the second shot by March. The staff includes contracted staff, substitutes and bus drivers.

According to the superintendent’s report, several elementary classrooms have quarantined since the district returned to full in-person instruction on January 4. The reason for the quarantine is linked to students not being kept home and later testing positive. There is no indication of COVID spread in the buildings.

A resolution will be considered that would direct the administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and position. If approved the administration could decide on which teacher contracts to terminate, not renew or place on unrequested leave of absence.

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