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Menahga school gets $200k grant

MENAHGA -- The Menahga School District has been awarded almost $200,000 to be used for technological advances.

Superintendent Mary Klamm told the school board Monday that a $199,000 Enhancing Education Through Technology (E2T2) Grant will allow the district to purchase SMART boards for almost every teacher in the school.

More specifically, 10 more boards will be added along with calculators for math students in grades 6-12 and Netbook computers for 10th to 12th graders.

"That will make our whole school an online school," Klamm said. "At this time next year, our high school will not look the same."

Keeping up with new technology means hiring professional help to train the staff.

The grant will allow Menahga to hire a half-time technology integrationist who will hold training sessions to implement SMART Board use.

In other business, the school board:

• Certified the 2010 tax levy at a 5.59 percent increase from 2009.

The levy total is $822,345 with a total general fund budget of about $6.6 million and operating cost per student of approximately $8,700.

• Pledged to participate in the "Race to the Top" program.

The Minnesota Department of Education has an opportunity to receive $175 million in federal funds by participating in Race to the Top.

Ten to 15 states are competing to receive some of the $4.3 billion in funds available through this program.

MDE has asked school districts around the state to pledge to implement the program. By agreeing to participate now, the Menahga School District may be awarded about $228,000 over a period of four years or an additional $796,000 with an agreement to participate in Quality Compensation for Teachers (Q Comp).

"I believe if the state gets this, this will be the only kind of funding that schools will see," Klamm said.

• Learned that participation in online college in the high school has doubled since last year.

Klamm said many students have been taking classes with the University of Minnesota Crookston this year, which made registration difficult. But all students are now registered for the classes of their choice.

• Heard elementary principal Joleen DeLaHunt announce that the Family Access online grade book will be up and running by the second semester in the elementary.

• Amended the number of credits students are required to achieve in order to graduate. The policy previously stated that 24 credits are required, 14 of them come from required courses and 10 from electives.

Because the board eliminated study hall this year, students in the graduating class of 2011 will be required to achieve 25 credits; students graduating in 2012 will need 26 credits; and students in the graduating class of 2013 and beyond will be required to achieve 27 credits.

Klamm said the changes were necessary to avoid achieving graduation credits before the actual graduation date.