Board discusses electives, class sizes

/ 20 April 2012 / jennifer

Terri Buller, Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch, April 20, 2012 –

After a lengthy and sometimes spirited discussion, the board set an April 23 board meeting to make a decision on a policy regarding electives and minimum class sizes.

The current policy states that if an elective class is offered and less than 10 students are enrolled in the class, the class will not be held. In addition, if a class has the minimum number of students and is held, students will not be allowed to drop the class once they are enrolled.

Some concerns about the current policy came from board members and opened the door to discussion.

“In consideration of us going to a four-day week, I think it would be smart to wait a year (to reduce classes) to see if we can get creative with our scheduling,” board member Casey Coulson said. “It seems like we are cutting percentages slowly.”

There are currently 10 elective classes that are in danger of not being held due to small enrollment numbers for the 2012-13 school year.

“I think the policy is too restrictive,” board member Ron Geiger said. “Policies can be changed. There is nothing wrong with this policy as long as there is an exception (included in the policy) that a class can be conducted under board direction if the enrollment doesn’t meet 10 students.”

Superintendent John Cselovszki said that classes are offered based on supply and demand.

Coulson explained that certain electives can be as valuable as core classes.

“I don’t want to talk about making cuts. I want to talk about excellence,” Coulson said. “I don’t like the hard number. It makes sense in some circumstances, but not all.”

The board decided to hold a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the conference room to have more discussion and make a decision on this policy, as well as to approve the senior class trip for the 2012-13 school year to San Fransisco.

In other news, the board approved:

*the sharing of the Industrial Arts position with Springfield for the 2012-13 school year.

*the resignation of Kathy Oglesby effective Aug. 1, 2012.

*Randy Netzke as the junior high softball coach.

*the open enrollment of one student in.

*board authorization to begin a new three-year flexible learning year proposal for 2013-16.