February 24, 2024

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

WCA School Board prioritizes building repairs

Excitement was in the air as the elementary schools got to cheer on our state bound wrestlers.

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C. A. Ray

Grant County Herald

The West Central Area School Board prioritized a list of building repairs and upgrades, for all three buildings, they hope to get done this spring or summer. The Building Committee, along with Facilities Manager Chad Norenberg and Superintendent Paul Brownlow, met and narrowed down the list from one much longer presented at last month’s school board meeting.

Portable wall partitions, which have been ordered and have arrived will be installed at South and North to break up larger rooms into smaller spaces.

Some of the lights in the gym at the Secondary School are being obscured by batting cages that are stored under them. These lights will be realigned so light can get through.

One of the four outdoor courtyard lights was damaged by snow removal equipment this winter and needs to be replaced. However, the 25 year-old lights are no longer being manufactured and  would have to be custom made, which would take weeks, if not months. Therefore, it was decided it would be better to replace all four lights with new LED lights. Hopefully this can be completed before graduation.

The lights out in front of the gym at north will be upgraded and a broken toilet in a boys bathroom will be replaced. 

A toilet at south also needs its flushing mechanism replaced.

Sidewalks need repairs at all three sites, and all three buildings have leaks in their roofs that need to be repaired this summer.

“We are trying to keep what we have dry and safe,” Norenberg told Superintendent Brownlow.

Staffing

The WCA school district continues to experience staffing shortages that are only getting worse. Last month, the school board accepted the resignation of a junior high English teacher and Wednesday, they accepted the resignation of Peter Ray, Senior High English teacher. The board also accepted the resignation of Head Baseball Coach Andy Koloski, and assistant coaches Lee Sykora and Lucas Beirel.

They also accepted a contract with Karla Nadgwick as a special education paraprofessional at South.

Administrative Reports

Activities Director Jake Foslien reported that not all spring coaching positions have been filled and umpires are needed for JV and JH home baseball and softball games.

Softball and track practices start March 13, with baseball and golf getting underway March 20.

Foslien reported that the JV band will be at the NDSU Festival March 8, and the 6th Grade will take their class trip to Deep Portage Learning Center, March 8-10. 

The choir concert will be March 13, and the band concert, March 20. The Large Group Band and Choir Contests are in Morris, March 15.

Knowledge Bowl Sub-Regions are March 14 and the West Central Conference Speech Meet March 16 at WCA. Sub-Section speech is March 31, also at WCA.

The Region 6A Visual Arts contest is March 31 in Alexandria.

Technology Coordinator Kevin McNamara reported that distance learning has improved this year, as both teachers and students find ways to learn new things when there is no in-person learning.

“There are tons of cool stuff going on,” he said.

McNamara, who is also the voice on the phone who calls families with school late starts or closing notices, explained how the system works. He said Steve, the manager at Palmers Bus is the first one out checking road conditions and he calls Mr. Brownlow. The two of them make a decision. This decision is forwarded to McNamara who records a message that goes out to well over 1,000 homes. 

“It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get to everyone. That is about as quick as it can go.”

Superintendent Brownlow informed the board that the school has now used all five e-learning days the state allows without having to make up days.

“From now on, we will have to make up snow days,” he said.

Brownlow added that staff will have to make up Thursday’s no school day, because of the State Wrestling Tournament, unless they went to the tournament to supervise.

“If our teams keep going to State, we may have to reevaluate how we do things.”

Brownlow informed the board that in April they will have to start thinking about how much to ask for in a fall levy.

“We will have to discuss options and start the process at our April Committee meeting.”

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