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

Student addresses school accessibility


At the meeting of the Barnum School Board on Tuesday, May 19, Dusty, a Barnum High School student with disabilities, demonstrated how difficult it is for handicapped students to enter and exit the doors to the building.

Dusty put a presentation together on an iPad of audio, video and lists of points to show the board that changes need to be made to the entrance doors to the school buildings.

In the presentation, it was said that, of the eight doors to the building, only one door by the district office had a button to push that would open the doors and allow easy access.

“There is only one door with handicap access, and that’s locked during the day,” Dusty said in the presentation. “I’m not only speaking for myself, I am speaking for others, too.”

A photo showed Dusty and several other students in powered wheelchairs in front of the doors.

The presentation was made during the public participation portion of the meeting. The board congratulated Dusty for a well-done presentation, but did not take any action.

In his report, Superintendent Dave Bottem expressed his disappointment that Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the education bill presented by the state Legislature before the session ended the previous day. A special session is planned.

Summer projects include the removal of the bleachers in the gym in mid-June, sanding and repainting the gym floor later in June, installing a security entrance to the high school, installing security cameras in both school buildings, upgrading the lighting, and installing new bleachers in July. The parking lot will be upgraded later in the summer, he said.

Lori Cawcutt and Janelle Coleman reported the students in Begindergarten advanced in their learning this first year of the program.

“The students in the four-days a week class did better than the students in the three-days a week class," said Coleman. “There wasn’t a huge difference in scores, but the students stayed in the routine better.”

Leaps and Bounds is the class that is held three days a week, said Cawcutt. “It was pretty successful,” she added. “We don’t want the students to have any struggles. We are excited to see what the kindergarten teachers will have to say in September.”

Board Chairman Pat Poirier had high praise for Begindergarten.

“The program is awesome,” he said. “I can see how far my son is. My other kids weren’t (that far at that stage). I really like this program. Congratulations.”

Cawcutt also spoke about a parent education program for parents of students up to the third grade that will start in September. A response has to be submitted to the state in order to create the program.

Athletic Director Dave Duesler spoke to the board about offering trap shooting to Barnum students.

“A couple of parents have approached me about it,” he told the board. “Other schools are considering offering trap shooting. It would be sponsored, not school funded. We have facilities in the area, such as the Moosehorn Rod and Gun Club and one other.”

Poirier told Duesler to find out the number of students who would be interested in the program.

In other business, the board approved changing the position for Aaron Lattu, high school social studies teacher, from part time to full time.

The next meeting of the board was set for Tuesday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m.


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