Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Funding sources for upgrades addressed


Barnum Public Schools Superintendent Dave Bottem told the school board he will seek funding sources for replacing the boiler in the elementary school and upgrade the ventilation and air handling system. The meeting was held on Tuesday, September 16.

“Those things have to be done,” he said. “The referendum didn’t pass so we have to find alternative funding sources. I will check to see if some of the projects can be included in a Health and Safety levy.”

Supt. Bottem added he will present a report about the projects and possible sources of funding at the November meeting of the board.

Rachel's Challenge

High School Principal Brian Kazmierczak reported that a program on Rachel’s Challenge, an anti-bullying campaign, had been held the evening before the meeting. The program was sponsored by Lake Country Power.

“I’ll be the adviser,” he said. “I don’t feel comfortable in asking a teacher to be the adviser. The kids will eventually run the program. The training gives strategies to students about how to step in and stop bullying.”

Test scores

A report showed test scores were down in math, reading and science.

In math, the Barnum High School (BHS) students were at 42.2 percent, compared to a state average of 62.5 percent.

In reading, the BHS students were at 52.6 percent, compared to the state average of 64.8 percent.

In science, the BHS students were at 42.3 percent, compared to the state average of 60.5 percent.

“Our PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) are led by teachers on our new Data Team,” wrote Kazmierczak in his report.

At the meeting, Kazmierczak reported that the Data Teams will clarify what the PLCs are, and start with mapping.

“We will spread out the responsibility of the test scores,” he said. “It won’t be just for the reading teachers.”

Goals have been set to increase the test percentages in all three areas by 2015 to meet state expectations by 2017.

“The changes and the additions that we brought into the school this year are to help us achieve these increases,” he wrote in his report. “Our priority is student achievement. We will work through the PLC model to begin this process. We are going to find holes in our instruction, and then we will fill them.”

Kazmierczak added that Infinite Campus will be used to let parents know their student has a missing assignment. The parents will receive up to three messages.

“We are seeing a better relationship between the teachers and students,” he added. “The students don’t want to be on the list of missing assignments.”

Kazmierczak and Elementary Principal Tom Cawcutt reported that there have been changes in the World’s Best Workforce information.

“They don’t know what a summary will look like,” said Kazmierczak. “It will probably look like a Systems Accountability Report. It is on hold right now. The information (about the test scores) is on the website.”

Kazmierczak asked the board to consider four half days during the school year for the PLCs to meet. Supt. Bottem supported his request. No action was taken by the board.

Counselor position

Cawcutt reported four candidates for the elementary counselor position were interviewed. The name of the person recommended to be hired will be approved at the next board meeting, he added.

In other business, the board approved last year’s 2013-14 World’s Best Workforce report, and set the proposed 2014 levy, payable 2015, at the maximum.

The next meeting of the Barnum School Board was set for Tuesday, October 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the board room.


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