Public meetings next week [UPDATED]Published 9:35am Wednesday, November 28, 2012 Updated 11:39am Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The community is invited to attend three public meetings set for next week to gather public input regarding the Outdoor Facility Bond Referendum, a new athletic conference, the 2013 tax levy and our technology plan.
The first meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, in the Kennedy Secondary School auditorium.
At this meeting, the School Board will be seeking comments on the Outdoor Facility Bond Referendum. Should the project be changed? Should the school board bring the referendum back to the voters? If yes, when would be the appropriate time for another vote?
Immediately following the Outdoor Facility discussion, the School Board will hear input on the possibility of joining a new athletic conference. Currently, we are members of the Central Lakes Conference (CLC).
The CLC has recently voted to go to a North-South football Conference which places Fergus Falls in the same division as Bemidji (1,145), Moorhead (1,356), Brainerd (1,685), Grand Rapids (947), Alexandria (1,126) and Fergus Falls (730).
The numbers in parentheses are the enrollments for each school in grades 9-12 during the 2011-12 year. This year, our student enrollment is 705 and is projected to decrease to 571 by the year 2020-21.
Most, if not all, of the other schools in our division are growing. The concern some of our coaches and school board members have is the ability to field competitive teams in ninth grade, JV and varsity.
The Fergus Falls School District has applied and been accepted into the large school football Heart O’Lakes (HOL) Conference starting in 2014.
The schools we would be playing football include: Park Rapids (405), Perham (413), Detroit Lakes (737), Crookston (365), East Grand Forks (514), Pequot Lakes (427) and Thief River Falls (550).
If Fergus Falls does accept the invitation to join the HOL Conference in football, it would be dependent upon expanding the conference to more sports so our athletes would benefit from a conference affiliation.
We are in preliminary discussions with East Grand Forks, Crookston, Thief River Falls, and other schools to form a large school division of the HOL.
Other upcoming public meetings include the Fergus Falls Public Schools Taxes Payable 2013 (formerly Truth in Taxation) to be held at 6:01 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 in the Otter Community Room at Kennedy Secondary School, followed at 6:15 pm by the Technology Plan and Internet Safety Policy meeting (to discuss specific technology protection measures to block or filter internet access).
New school lunch
There has been much discussion and communication to the public regarding the new school lunch program. I recently met with members of the Student Council regarding their concerns.
The students would like salt, more bread, and pickles to return to the lunch line. Unfortunately, the decreased sodium guidelines will not allow a salt shaker to be used or pickles to be on the menu. Bread is placed on the menu as often as possible, but all school districts have a weekly grain cap this year.
Our District offers a new Grab-and-Go breakfast open in the KSS concession stand each morning. Students can easily pick up their breakfast as they enter the building without taking a detour to the cafeteria.
We are also serving the Otter Value Meal each day in the lunch line.
The meal allows all students to get an ala carte entree (taco, healthy pizza, cheeseburger) plus fruits and vegetables at the regular meal price.
Another option the District has added this year is the sack lunch for Kennedy Secondary School students who are attending away activities.
In order to participate, students need to sign up in their school office by 9:15 a.m. The sack lunch will then be delivered to the Activities Office where it can be picked up before students leave for their event.
The cost is $2 and would include a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, fruit juice, and veggie.