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GFW School Board listens as residents and staff discuss a variety of topics

by Doug Hanson
During the opening of the GFW School Board meeting on March 20, the directors listened as 24 residents and staff spoke mostly about promoting the upcoming referendum, but also about the two-way immersion program being discuss and one parent questioning the selection of material for the health program.
Following those comments, Elementary Principal Jennifer Thompson shared some great things going on at the elementary school. She mention that nine enrichment classes were held afterschool on Tuesdays with the help of staff members and community volunteers. A variety of classes were held including art, Spanish, making your own board game, science experiments, and more. She also talked about celebrate to reading month in February which included a magician and also an author.
Thompson reviewed the variety of staff at the elementary. She emphasized that the District uses a Multi-Tiered System of Support to target which students may need help in reading, math and social emotional needs. Students are tested fall, winter and spring to see which students may need help to be successful.
Thompson then introduced Mary Leitheiser, Kristin Hentges and Mandy Blumhoefer, who are literacy coaches for the teachers. They reviewed how they bring more resources to the classrooms and student‘s families. They were followed by Melissa Larabee, a social emotional learning interventionist, who explained her role at the school.
Then came an updated on the curriculum review process for a new English Language Arts and Science Curriculum. High School Principal Brittany Galetka and Thompson discussed the new curriculum.
Once the informational items were concluded, the Board approved the consent agenda. Part of that agenda was the hiring of Tara Rettmann and Leighton Messner as junior high track and field coaches, plus Kelly Krzmarzick as the assistant baseball coach. Also Sydney Mauer resigned as junior high volleyball coach.
The Board approved the new consent agenda policy and prine vendor bid, the achievement and also the integration plan for 2024-26. After some discussion the new curriculum for English Language Arts and Science was tabled until the Board had more time to review.
The Board approved the donation from Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation of $400 for the fentanyl presentation, two anonymous donations of $2,000, one for the elementary school and one for the MS/HS and a $500 donation by the Winthrop Honor Guard for the Junior Class.

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