Royalton using ZAP program

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer


Zeros aren’t permitted at Royalton Middle/High School. To aid students in following through with that resolution, the zeros aren’t permitted (ZAP) program was initiated with positive results.

ZAP is a study program students attend from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. With a high of between 30-35 students some afternoons in January and an average attendance of 17, results are visible.

“ZAP has definitely helped some of our students avoid failing classes,” said Middle/High School Principal Joel Swenson. “It provides extra supervised support three days a week for our students.”

About one-third of the students are self-referred, signing up to attend on their own. Teachers assign the bulk of students taking part in the program.

“This is happening across the board, in all departments,” said Swenson.

Parents have also been known to contact the school and request that their child be “ZAPed.”

“Our participation numbers have consistently grown over the past two years and it has become a stable program in our building,” Swenson said. “We still have some ideas to make it better and those will be developed at the appropriate time.”

Teachers Shawn Poppen and Sheri Menden and paraprofessional Mary Fruechte have been instrumental to the success of ZAP.

“They are heavily involved in the development and operation of the program,”

Swenson said.

While increasing participation is encouraging, Swenson said the goal of the program for students is “to work their way out of their need for the program.”


Other business coming before the Royalton School Board Tuesday included:

• Approving the hiring of Kelsie Herzog as human resource/payroll/superintendant assistant, a position for which there were 126 applicants

• Approving the hiring of Ann Marschel, Robert Skwira, Linsey Seawell, Greta Bergman, Laurie Larsen and Julie Hommerding as teachers, Joan Nichols as summer 2013 teacher, Vicki Blomme as summer 2013 paraprofessional, Ron Makela as head girls basketball coach and Kari Rohling as reading support teacher;

• Approving as volunteer coaches: Jessie Anderson, baseball; Terry Gorecki, baseball; Travis Holm, baseball; Scott Harren, baseball; Travis Johnson, baseball; Adam Hauber, baseball; Carla Gerads, tossball; Russ Gerads, tossball; Mel Yourczek, tossball; and Jeff Anshus, soccer;

• Approving adding 20 minutes daily to paraprofessional Andrea Czech’s day to meet a student’s requirements;

• Approving the principals’ 2012-2014 contracts;

• Approving a lease agreement with East Side Oil Company for the oil recycling station;

• Approving the resignations of teacher Matt Stockinger and assistant boys basketball coach Ron Makela;

• Accepting donations from the American Legion of $1,000 on insurance claim on baseball bats; Central Minnesota Credit Union of $100 for the rock climbing wall; Grand Casino Mille Lacs of $500 for the rock climbing wall and Walmart of $500 for the rock climbing wall;

• Approving the payment of bills in the amount of $373,254.89;

• Learning about two nationwide awards received by the high school’s Youth Energy Summit (YES) group for the oil recycling station they spearheaded on school property;

• Hearing that Mayor Andrea Lauer named freshman Autumn Lanners the first recipient of the Community Award. Emily Fussy was given the annual Citizenship Award;

• Approving by 4-1 vote the board chair, superintendant and/or business manager to enter into contracts regarding student activity accounts not to exceed $1,000. Absent Director Tom Justin expressed his disagreement by written letter, and Board Chair Michelle Carlson agreed that it was opening a door for problems;

• Approving the termination of Transportation Mechanic and Driver Shawn Storms for just cause effective April 26; and

• Approving a resolution denying reinstatement for Lucinda Miller following an extended leave of absence, as she did not notify the district prior to the deadline.

The next Royalton School Board meeting will be Monday, June 17 at 6 p.m. at the high school.