6/20/2013 12:04:00 PM Changes coming next year at CLMS
by JEFF NORTON
by JEFF NORTON Things may look a little different at the Chisago Lakes Middle School this upcoming school year. The school is moving from trimesters to quarters and is getting rid of cat-themed core alignments that have been a staple at the school.
In a presentation to the board, Middle School Principal Jodi Otte explained that going to quarters instead of trimesters was just less confusing for the staff and the parents. The middle school has had the quarter system before, so it should be a smooth transition. The cores, which grouped students together with all of the same teachers in each grade, is going by the wayside strictly for financial reasons. Otte explained that at one point last year, one of the cores had classes with eight students in it and one with 12 students. “It didn’t make financial sense any more and we couldn’t balance it,” she said. Instead of Bobcats, Lynx, Jaguars, Panthers, Cougars and Lions, there will just be grades six, seven and eight and the teachers will instruct only by grade, not by core.
Board member Lori Berg was a bit concerned about mixing grade levels at lunch time, but Otte assured her that lunch time would still go by grade. Otte also presented the middle school’s academic dashboard, which was mostly positive.
In the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment testing, all grades were well above the state average in math, and sixth and seventh grade were above the state averages in reading. But, the eighth grade readers were just a tick behind the state average, causing some concern on the board. “It’s the first time in my 10 years that we’ve been below state level,” Otte said. “We’ve done the same thing we always had, so I don’t suspect it’s anything in the curriculum. It could’ve been a bad day.” Incoming Superintendent Joe Thimm added, “We have to look at reading. We’ve hit a wall and we have to work on this as a team.” However, Director of Curriculum Sara Schmidt did have some Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Reading comparisons to neighboring districts. Chisago Lakes was at or near the top from second grade through eighth grade in percent of students meeting their Tier 1 reading targets.
School lunch prices will see a small hike next year. Elementary, middle school and high school lunches will all go up five cents. Elementary will raise from $1.95 to $2.00 and MS and HS lunches will go from $2.15 to $2.20. Adult lunches and breakfast prices remain the same, although Food Service Director Kathy Burrill said she would reexamine breakfast prices for next year. Because of the few snow days this past winter, the board made their policy regarding Kids Club more consistent. If school is delayed two hours, then the start of Kids Club is also delayed two hours. There was some confusion in January when the district was delayed two hours because of inclement weather.
The board named Jason Riebe as the new Taylors Falls principal. Riebe was previously the assistant principal at the Chisago Lakes Middle School for the past three years. The UW-Stout graduate has worked in Stillwater, Chisago Lakes, and Rush City in various capacities. In Riebe’s spot, the district announced the hiring of Ryan Carlson as the new assistant principal at Chisago Lakes Middle School. Carlson was previously the Administrative Dean at Chaska Middle School and the Strength and Conditioning Coach at Minnetonka High School. He earned his bachelors degree from University of Minnesota-Duluth, his masters from the University of Minnesota and his admin license from Saint Mary’s University. Prior to his work as a dean, Carlson taught health and physical education for 10 years in Eastern Carver County Schools.