Little Falls School Board briefs

Business conducted by the Little Falls School Board Tuesday night included:

• Hearing a report on the Daily Five program implemented at the three elementary schools in the Little Falls District to help students with the beginning framework of literacy. Lindbergh Principal Jill Griffith-McRaith said the program includes students reading to themselves, reading to someone else, working on writing skills, listening to reading and working on spelling and vocabulary;

• Listening the Christina Bemboom, special education director, about her department’s goal to look for instructional gaps before considering the presence of a lifelong disability in students. Her goal is to better serve the Little Falls students and not just make sure the paperwork is done;

• Hearing Little Falls Community Middle School (LFCMS) Principal Nate

Swenson speak about shaving minutes off each school period and using the extra 32 minutes at the end of the school day as a “skinny period” to provide both remediation and gifted opportunities for students;

• Learning from Technology Director Mark Diehl that there were 154,901 visitors to the Little Falls Web site between July 1, 2012 and Tuesday; there are 1,540 computers, iPads, iPhones, and other electronic devices used in the Little Falls Schools not including personal devices; that the district has 51 virtual servers powered by 13 individual physical servers which Diehl is looking at reducing to five physical servers; and that all this is taken care of by four people working within the technology department;

• Learned that because of the Little Falls sign ordinance, the block of three Little Falls school buildings may be rezoned from a Residential-3 zone to a Business-3 zone or possibly change the signage used by the district;

• Hearing concerns with student and personnel safety at Lincoln School during elections. As the school is a designated polling place, it was recommended security officers be present at both doors when open for voters. A firm decision will be made during a later date;

• Naming Dave Girtz, LFCMS media specialist, and Little Falls School Board Chair Sharon Ballou as trustees with the Thoma Family Endowment which funds the District’s media centers;

• Voting to accept $30 from the Just Give Organization; $97.12 from the Razoo Foundation; $600 from Wells Fargo on behalf of Patrick Furnstahl; $318 from the Stumpf family; $75 from Coborn’s; $400 from Benedict Lapos; $4,000 from the city of Randall; $100 from Omann Insurance Agency LLC; $114,258 from the Gordon Larson Foundation; and  $30 from Jann Pesho Carson;

• Allowing elementary school music teacher Rachel Kerr to take a two-year educational leave of absence to work in Muscat, Oman.

The next School Board  meeting will be held at the Morrison County Government Center Monday, March 4, beginning at 5 p.m.