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

By Natascha Watercott
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Board approves superintendent agreement


At the April 18 Willow River school board meeting, the board approved the superintendent agreement with Elementary Principal Bill Peel to serve as Willow River’s superintendent/elementary principal for 2017-20. Peel had been interviewed on February 28, and it was recommended he be hired for the position contingent upon licensure by the state of Minnesota.

The board also approved an official statement in support of the Moose Lake/Willow River Sports Cooperative Agreement that was presented at the Moose Lake school board meeting on April 24.

Prekindergarten possibility

Superintendent Phil Johnson discussed the potential for a pre-kindergarten program for all 4-year-olds. In his notes, Johnson stated the program would be half educational, half daycare and would run the entire upcoming school year, starting this fall, if approved at the next month’s regular meeting.

He explained a portion of the funding would come from a proposed tuition fee of about $1,000 per school year; families in the free and reduced program would not have to pay tuition. The program would include free busing (children would ride regular bus routes) and breakfast and lunch served at the school.

Qualifying children would eat meals at the free and reduced rates, and the remainder would eat at regular price.

“When mom and dad both work, they’re paying $5,000-6,000 a year in daycare. This is $1,000 for nine months and it’s the school schedule. It’s lunch, a bus ride; it’d be pretty tough to not take advantage of that and for free and reduced kids it would be free. So that really makes it open to everybody,” said Johnson.

The program will be potentially approved and discussed more in depth at the May 16 meeting at 6 p.m.

Upcoming activities

Peel also announced that field trip season has started. First-grade students were going to the Children’s Discovery Museum in Grand Rapids with more field trips to come during the rest of May. There was also someone from the Department of Natural Resources scheduled to visit for Arbor Day to teach students about planting trees.

Prom and the grand march are scheduled for May 13 at 5 p.m.

Graduation will take place on May 26 at 7 p.m.


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