FAIRMONT– The Fairmont School Board held its August meeting on Tuesday where it reviewed its readiness for the upcoming school year.
The meeting began with a celebration of the success of Fairmont School Activities by Activities Director, Mat Mahoney.
“I thought back to our school year, it was phenomenal from an activity point of view. Our number of participants we’ve had kids in activities in general, the number of activities we have, it’s mind-boggling how things go and work here,” said Mahoney.
A total of six Fairmont Athletics teams have successfully declared; women’s tennis, women’s soccer, women’s track and field, football, wrestling and baseball. Members of Fairmont’s speech, golf and robotics team also traveled to state tournaments during the past school year.
Overall, the district has 22 athletic programs and 20 other fine arts programs.
“I think it’s important for our audience to be aware of all the other things we offer our students. Not just the classroom, but the other opportunities we provide our students to make them a healthier, rounder individual,” said Julie Laue, member of the board of directors.
Mahoney also said the new high school football scoreboard should be delivered by the end of August. The current table has been in use since 1994.
In his report, Superintendent Andrew Traetow began by stating that the school completed its school registration process earlier this week. According to preliminary enrollment figures, there are now 1,749 students enrolled in the district, up from 1,694 at this point last year. This number is a reflection of all students enrolled in all buildings at any part of the day.
Traetow then presented a series of updates on infrastructure projects. HVAC units on the roof of the secondary school’s vocational and technical training center are now expected to arrive on Thursday. Some work is continuing on the dusting of the center and a nearby drainage basin needs to be analyzed to ensure that it is functioning properly.
The new playground at Fairmont Elementary has completed installation and is now fully operational. The high school’s new common furniture is expected to arrive next week, and one of its science classrooms has been renovated. The renovated high school weight room is now operational, but is awaiting delivery of some final pieces. Work on the new entrance to the athletics center has been pushed back to summer 2023 due to a lack of resources.
Traetow also discussed ways the school district collaborates with the community.
“Over the past few weeks and months, we have been involved in several meetings and conversations regarding the development of community assets related to ideas and concepts with the community center,” said Traetow.
He said the district is in communication with the Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation, the YMCA, Citizens for a Strong Fairmont and the Town of Fairmont. Traetow said one of the benefits of these conversations is highlighting the connection between the school district and community education and recreation (CER); an entity within the district, but also noted that CER’s limited financial and personnel resources currently prevent it from expanding its operations beyond their current scope.
Traetow also said the district met with the community center foundation and the YMCA about a child care program the school could start before being taken over by another entity.
Traetow then provided an update on COVID-19 safety protocols. He said that in accordance with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, the school district will now report COVID-19 cases at the facility level. This means that the district will not report on each individual case, but will submit a total case count from each building.
Traetow said, “We will continue to be mindful of the impact that any level of disease impact has on our learning environments and will respond quickly and appropriately to ensure the safety of our students, staff and anyone attending. our student activities.
After the superintendents’ report, the board accepted a $5,500 donation from Fairmont 3M for STEM and robotics programming.
The board later renewed its agreement with Counseling Services of Southern Minnesota (CSSM) for the upcoming school year. Board member Mari Myren emphasized the value of service to the students in the district and noted that there was no cost to the district.
“This support is wonderful and we have had a great working relationship with (CSSM). We have someone on site in our district serving our students, there is always parental communication that needs to be part of that and all the paperwork that goes with it. These services are always engaged with the family before any of these services are granted to students, and this is just a great asset as we strive to provide the best possible learning environment for all of our children,” said Traetow.
The board also renewed the district’s joint agreement for school nutrition programs with St. John Vianney and St. Paul Lutheran Schools for the coming year.
During the personnel discussion, the board accepted the resignations of art teacher Terri Linse and three paraprofessionals; Barb Brady, Heidi Steuber and Shayna Wolfe. The board approved the contracts of agriculture professor Nick Pease, art professor Sherry Carlmark, substitute teacher Katherine Osborn, substitute teacher Thad Abel, business teacher Audrey Nawrocki, preschool teacher Chelsey Jenson, elementary school teacher Chelsea Thayer and women’s hockey head coach Eric Householder. The board noted that the district has now filled all of its openings for the upcoming school year.
Before council adjourned, they reviewed their assessment of Superintendent Traetow. The board’s report was very positive.
“Everyone was extremely satisfied with the work he did. Our decision to (have him) in this position has been completely validated. We have a few suggestions, but overall we are very satisfied. said board member Rufus Rodriguez.
“The learning curve was steep. It was a very productive year, it was not without its challenges, it was not without its bumps in the road. I think this is going to happen every school year and how we handle this collectively as a board, with our staff and with our community is of utmost importance. said Traetow.