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Busy night for Alexandria School Board

The Alexandria School Board’s December meeting was a busy one.

Every action was approved, including the final 2013 tax levy certification.

0 Talk about it

Many presentations were made during the meeting, covering areas of current and future happenings in the school district.

Most notably, a committee has made a decision to have the new Alexandria Area High School be a closed campus during lunch hours. This means students wouldn’t be allowed to leave the school grounds over lunch time.

The 2013 (payable 2014) tax levy certification was approved at $11.297 million, which is a 0.73 percent increase from the final 2012 (payable 2013) levy. This is the same as the preliminary levy that was approved in September.

The major factors in the 0.73 percent increase are a new state-mandated student achievement levy and proposed health and safety projects.

District 206’s certified levy is 29.1 percent of the district’s total adjusted net tax capacity. The state average is 40.3 percent.

The Alexandria Area High School Advisory Committee has been actively discussing whether or not to have an open or closed campus during lunch hours. Currently, the decision is for a closed one.

Many different angles were looked at when making this controversial decision. Unexcused tardy students, police reports, parking lot conditions, staffing needs, and security are all among these factors.

The committee also ran a test timed lunch with two groups of students at the new school. Both groups arrived back to the front doors of the school with only two minutes remaining of the allotted 40 that will be available.

It is pointed out that this was the time remaining without any traffic in the hallways or parking lot. Alongside that, neither group had finished their meals.

There are still details to be worked out regarding the policy, including open hours and off-campus internships. The committee is aware this may upset students, but members are optimistic that when they are in the new school – and see the five different options at lunch – they will be happy.

Though there wasn’t any school board action on closed lunch, the school board emphasized that the decision is not based on any lack of trust for students.

Annie Harman
Annie Harman is a reporter for Echo Press and The Osakis Review. She grew up in Detroit Lakes and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a degree in print journalism and history in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at annieharman
(320) 763-1233
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