Weather Forecast


SCC proposes 4K program

The St. Croix Central School District is seriously considering having a 4-year-old kindergarten program next fall.

St. Croix Central Superintendent David Bradley said a 4K program would be valuable to help ready 4-year-olds for school.

Bradley said the school district would contract with an experienced daycare provider to run the 4K program.

Both Discovery and Daisy Hill Preschools said they would like to be considered to run the 4K program next fall with SCC.

According to a document distributed at the Oct. 18 board meeting, Daisy Hill Preschool in Roberts has "expressed sincere interest" in contracting with SCC to be the experienced daycare provider to run the 4K program.

The school district currently has no space to handle the anticipated enrollment and would need another site to provide the necessary classroom space.

The school district would prefer the site be in Hammond. While the district has looked at three site options, it appears they are most interested in collaborating with Trinity Lutheran Church. SCC may lease a portion of the basement of the facility from the church and pay for all costs of the remodeling and needed classroom equipment.

Leasing space to the school district would provide the church with additional income above the additional utilities and other expenses the church might incur because of the program.

All the space would be shared space. The 4K program would use the space Monday through Thursday during the school year. The program providers would also be able to use the space at other times for parent meetings if approved in advance by the church.

The church and school district would work together to design and develop the remodeling plan.

The initial term of the contract would be three years. The district would prefer two-year notice of contract termination (if the church wanted their space back) in order for the district to find another suitable location.

St. Croix Central School District would pay the legal fees to develop the needed contract.

Board member Jeff Redmon said that leasing the property to the school should not effect the church's non-profit status as leasing the space is for educational purposes.

A proposal will be presented to the congregation Oct. 24. The meeting to vote is scheduled for sometime in December. The contract between the church and school district would be available for review before the congregation is asked to vote on the proposal.

The contract would include details about finances as well as information about how the two parties would deal with issues such as how the space will be shared, cleaning and maintenance, and length of contract and liability insurance.

In other business:

• Changing the St. Croix Central High School's 12-point grading scale to a four- point scale sparked a long discussion at the Monday night board meeting.

The school wants to change its grading scale to align their system with that of most post-secondary systems. Both parents and students attended the meeting to voice their concerns.

Although many students are in favor of the change, they worry that changing the 12-point grading scale to a four-point grading scale could result in them losing thousands of dollars in potential scholarship money by changing GPA ratios and class rankings.

Five students attended Monday night's school board meeting to express how they felt they would be "cheated out of money for college" as a result of change.

Board member Howard Kruschke said, "This is important input, because this is a big change."

The students explained that GPA ratios and class rankings are crucial when students apply for scholarships. The change could especially effect the top two students in the class vying for valedictorian and salutatorian titles.

While he understands the concerns, board member David Olsen said, "the good of the whole is going to be more important than the good of the one," as these changes pose no risk to the Class of 2014.

Bradley agreed with the students, saying, "The four-point grading scale is the right thing to do."

The dilemma the school district faces is how they will handle the consequences if class rank and GPA changes prevent students from qualifying for scholarships that they may have been entitled to under the 12-point system.

The high school juniors present want the grading issue resolved as quickly as possible, as they are currently applying to colleges.

High school Principal Glenn Webb presented a number of options for the board to consider. Further discussion of this topic is planned for a later date.

• The school board approved a tax levy of $5,833,952 for the 2010-11 school year with a mill rate of .01141734.

• SCC enrollment increased from 1,337 in 2009-10 to 1,370 in 2010-11.

• Property values in the area dropped 9.3 percent, which caused the mill rate to go up, even though the levy went down.