WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     WWG  — Elementary Technology person Courtney Locke talked to the board about the status of technology in use at the elementary building.

    She says they currently have around 18 iPads in most of the classrooms. However she noted that the board will have to consider upgrading some of the older first generation iPads that are about eight years old. The older units are just not as effective to use as the newer versions.

    The  school’s  3D printer is presently being used in the third grade class. She says they are currently looking at having a summer program in 3D printer use.

    There had been a problem with a couple of projectors for  the smartboards which had to be replaced. She said they will probably be looking at replacing some of their smartboards due to the technology changing. Some of those are eight years old.

    Board member Jim Kleven asked if there were leasing programs for the iPads. Locke says there are, but they are not cheap, and at the end  of the lease they are not worth much to sell or to keep.

    Classroom Facebook is going well, all of the teachers are using it, but kids ask why they are not included in photos that go out. The problem is most of those kids have not returned their permission slips. Students just need to get that done if they want to be included in the content.

    A board member asked Locke which she felt was better to use — smart boards or iPads? She said it is hard to say which is better, as they are used in different ways. Locke felt that is a question that would be better answered by the staff. They are both used to some degree in all the classrooms.

    Prior to the regular meeting, the Strategic Planning Committee met to work on a mission and vision statement.

    Two representatives from MSBA were on hand to provide guidance on the project. There were about 20 members there, and the members were divided into several small groups to brainstorm ideas for the language for the mission  statement and vision statement.

    At the end of each item two statements were selected by the group for the representatives  to compile and print out for the next meeting before returning to work on a goal setting session.

    Athletic Director Leo Theisen talked about the winter sports activities. The girls basketball team ended the season with wins over MLA and MCC,  then losing to HLO in the sections. They ended the season with a 4-21 season.    

    In wrestling Jace Paplow finished 4th at the section tournament and recently picked up his 50th career win.

    The boys basketball team will begin section play Saturday going in ranked second in the section.

    Theisen told the board the numbers for both girls and boys basketball are at a point where the district needs to keep up with where it is at with both programs.

    Theisen noted that spring sports for softball and track begins March 13 and March 17 for golf and baseball.

    He noted the Tim Orth Memorial Foundation will hold their annual benefit game with players from the Tomahawk and Red Rock Conferences. The event will be held in the Wabasso Activity Center, Friday March 17 doors open at 5:00 p.m. Girls game at 6:00 p.m. and the boys game follows.

    Theisen announced new alignment in the South Nine-man  Football District. There are now 28 teams with three divisions. West, Central and East divisions. WWG is in the West Division, other teams are HBC, Edgerton Ellsworth, Fulda, HLO, MLA, Madelia, Renville Co. West, new this year is RRC, RTR and Maccray.

    Elementary Principal Paul Olson’s report

    Parent  Teacher meetings will be held Monday and Tuesday, March 13 and14. Summer Lunch program will be held at both school sites.    

    Superintendent/principal Woelber talked about getting some new Mac laptops through the Education Foundation. He said they also could order some Chrome Books with a cart that would work well for Social,  English and Geography classes. They cost around $400 each compared to over $1,000 for Mac Books.

    Woelber told the board he would look for a newer van to replace one  that is going out of service after this year. He said he would like to look for a good used bus to save some money. He though they might  want  to look at a larger mini bus that could be used to consolidate some of the van routes. Drivers can get a special CDL license just to drive the mini busses. He also said the district could still use more drivers.

    Woelber would like to get away from the block schedule. He feels it would be much easier to schedule using a seven or eight period schedule. In some classes, that requires a lot of hands on, they could be scheduled for double periods.

    Woelber talked about the concurrent classes, noting that several kids ended up with D’s in their college algebra class. When students take this option they have to take it more seriously, they need to realize that college courses are difficult. The ‘D’ in college is considered a failing grade. It doesn’t go on  their college transcript, but it does go on their high school transcript and they will have to take it over when they enter college.

    Woelber said the detention program is going very well.

    Board Chair Maydra Maas attended a Board Officers Training meeting. Maas and Kerry Knakmuhs both attended a MSBA Negotiations seminar February 8.

    The board passed a resolution discontinuing and reducing educational programs and positions. Language Arts Reading in Secondary due to retirement. Music Reduction from 2.2 to 2.0 positions.

    The board approved a revised estimated 2016-2017 budget with revenues of $5,950,577.00 and Expenditures of $6,290,564.00 of $339,987.00 in the negative.

    Request to change the P.E. Health graduation requirement 9-12 from 2 credits to 1 credit.

    Woelber gave a list of priority items for capital outlay for 2017-2018  school year.

    • Phone and PA system in Walnut Grove.

    • Desktop computer lab in Westbrook.

    •  Security cameras in Westbrook.

    • Rock in parking  lot at Westbrook.

    •  Sewer work at high school in Westbrook.

    • Van     purchase for Walnut Grove.

    •  Finish wall on north end of Westbrook gym.

    • Phone  system in Westbrook.

    •Main entrance door in Westbrook.

    •  Auditorium plaster repair.