Does RC school district need to update its mission?

Rush City schools may be fine tuning the district’s mission statement and five main goals this year.

At its Oct. 17 meeting, the School Board agreed by consensus to ask the Board Advisory Committee to review the current language, offer suggestions and send it back to the board for further action.

“We look at this ever year, and I wanted to see what the board thinks of it now,” said Superintendent Vern Koepp, complimenting the group that came up with the mission and goals as they stand today. “Community input is good.”

At present, the mission of Rush City schools is “to provide each learner with appropriate educational opportunities to reach his or her potential.”

In light of its goals, the district is “dedicated to the task of providing an educational experience that allows the individual an opportunity to develop his or her capabilities to fulfill his or her aspirations.”

Here are the goals of the district as they are written today:

1. The curriculum of Rush City Public Schools shall be designed to promote the potential intellectual, moral and ethical, social, vocational, physical and personal development of all learners.

2. Fostering of positive attitudes toward learning shall be emphasized at all levels because the quality of education is determined more by the attitudes of the person teaching and by the student taught than by any other factor.

3. Individuals shall be encouraged to become effective and responsible citizens in a democratic society. Acquisition of critical and creative thinking processes, constructive use of leisure and work time, and enriched family experiences shall be emphasized.

4. Professional growth, loyalty to students, efficiency and creativity shall be fostered in district staff.

5. The curriculum, teaching methods and district’s co-curricular activities shall continually be evaluated and improved through the use of educational research and technology in order to provide students with educational experiences that enhance their position in a changing global community.

What’s going on at school

Koepp presented “Positive Points” or the good things that are happening at the high school and Jacobson Elementary, since the principals of each building, Brent Stavig and Melody Tenhoff, were not present at the meeting.

The elementary school is running with this year’s Book Pizzazz, a program that awards students who turn in their reading minutes with a personal pan pizza provided by Creekside Pizza. The board thanked Stefanie Lofgren and Creekside for this effort.

Twice a week throughout October, students in grades four through six have been invited to participate in elementary basketball and physical fitness programs as organized by Mark Henrich.

Board members acknowledged Kim Sarago, who received this year’s Education Support Staff Recognition and was recognized by the staff for her efforts.

Starting soon is Community Partnership’s Youth FIRST program, a weekly after-school event with fun activities that focus on helping students make good choices.

At the high school, Stavig complimented the band program and its director.

“They look like a college band at our events,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, teachers appear to be benefiting from efforts including the AIR system, which can be used to assist educators in areas they struggle. Stavig also noted he’s hearing and observing “great things” about the Chromebooks that were purchased for teachers.

Rachel’s Challenge is returning Oct. 24 to conduct a second year of training for FOR club members, and homecoming proved to be a success with good participation at related events by the student body.

In other news, the board:

• Approved employment of Craig Mell as seventh-grade girls basketball coach.

• Reviewed a thank you note from Friends of Minnesota Barns, who appreciated the use of a bus and a driver on an East Central Minnesota tour of barns.

• Approved a fundraising request for the boys basketball program. Coach Jeremy Albright asked to do a fall food fundraiser (selling items such as pizza, French bread and cookie dough) with Adrenaline Fundraising this year instead of a clothing sale. The two-week sale will start around Thanksgiving, with the goods delivered sometime before Christmas. The basketball season starts Nov. 11, about two weeks earlier than usual.

The next regular School Board meeting is 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, in Room 201 at the high school.

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