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Crisis kits to arrive in classrooms

St. Croix Central crisis kits will be in classrooms next week.

In January the St. Croix Central School District re-evaluated its crisis plan, part of the plan included having a "crisis kit" in each school classroom. After months of planning, the crisis kits are almost ready to be distributed to classrooms.

Elementary School Principal Steve Sanders showed school board members a sample of the district's crisis kits at the regular school board meeting on Monday, April 18.

Sanders said the crisis kits were a collaboration between local police chiefs Rick Coltrain and Daniel Burgess; school principals Scott Woodington, Glenn Webb and himself; special education teacher Shannon Donnelly; as well as elementary school nurse Denver Garfield; and buildings and grounds superintendent Greg Green.

Items included in the kit are a hand-crank flashlight, the crisis management plan, a class list, staff cell phone list, writing utensils, paper, name tags and a first aid kit.

There will also be a kit in each school office.

Sanders said the district hopes to get hooks in each classroom where the crisis kits can hang in an easily accessible area.

"We are hoping to have all of those (the crisis kits) out to each building by the end of the week," Sanders said.

Sanders ended his presentation of the crisis kit saying, "Hopefully they never get used."

In other news:

• The school board approved the resignation of Lyndsey Ihrke, C-team volleyball coach, and Jill Parent, elementary paraprofessional.

• The school board approved the retirements of Barb Bartos, elementary media specialist/librarian; Cheryl Dougherty, fourth grade teacher; Jodie Falde, kindergarten teacher; Jeanne Larson, elementary music teacher; Connie Mueller, sixth grade teacher; Vicki Ohrt, first grade teacher; Judy Ptacek, eighth grade teacher.

Board member Howard Kruschke told the board that the teachers retiring from the district represent an average of 27 years of service, with a total of more than 300 years of experience.

District Administrator David Bradley said that "we're sad that the circumstances have caused 10 of our 11 teachers who have chosen to retire this year, to make that decision early. That's very unfortunate. With just over 100 teachers, and 11 retiring, we're losing 10 percent of our teaching staff."

Bradley said the years of teaching experience the district is losing is irreplaceable.

• The staff recognition and retirement night is at Pheasant Hills Golf Course on May 25, starting at 4 p.m.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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