School District: Crossing guard program is municipal responsibility - The Herald-Independent: School

School District: Crossing guard program is municipal responsibility - The Herald-Independent: School

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School District: Crossing guard program is municipal responsibility

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Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 3:15 pm

The Monona Grove School District will not take responsibility for managing the crossing guard program in Cottage Grove.

State statutes imply crossing guard programs should be the responsibility of the municipalities, according to Monona Grove Superintendent Dan Olson at the July 23 board meeting.

“It isn’t the school district’s responsibility,” Olson said. “Crossing guards are employees of a city or village, they need to be trained to control traffic – we don’t control city streets. That’s the village’s responsibility.”

The Village of Cottage Grove Board of Trustees had discussed briefly at its meeting on July 15 the possibility of turning the responsibility over to the school district. Olson said he met with Village Administrator Matt Giese to explain the matter.

Olson also updated the board on the summer construction projects and said they’re all on schedule. The district is making security upgrades to all schools, but is specifically restructuring the entrances at Cottage Grove School, Monona Grove High School and Taylor Prairie School. The district is also remodeling the district office in the Nichols Building.

The district office remodel is waiting on approval from the city’s Plan Commission. The plans will go before the commission on Aug. 12.

Little free library at GDS

The Monona Grove Board of Education approved a proposal from Girl Scout Troop 1076 to install a little free library at Glacial Drumlin School.

The little free library will go in the community garden with a completion date of spring 2014. The project is the troop’s Silver Award Project. The project comes at no cost to the school district.

The goal of the project is to boost literacy and build community.

Glacial Drumlin School Principal Renee Tennant said she enthusiastically supported the project, in a letter included in the board packet.

The girls in Troop 1076 plan to seek donations for supplies and hold a book drive in order to fill the library.

Algebra curriculum

The board of education heard a report about the new algebra curriculum that will be used at Glacial Drumlin School and Monona Grove High School.

Big Ideas Algebra will replace the current curriculum. According to Andrew Briddell, district director of curriculum and instruction, Big Ideas Algebra is in alignment with the common core state standards; includes a wide range of resources for teachers, students and parents; and has the academic rigor the district is known for.

The total cost for Big Ideas Algebra is $18,402.67, which is included in the annual textbook budget.

According to Kris Olson, teacher at Glacial Drumlin School, the current algebra textbook, which was adopted in 2005, is not aligned with the common core state standards and does not meet the needs of the students.

“The book has a lot of information that is left out,” she said. “It’s been a struggle for parents and students.”

“Big Ideas is a research based program. It’s not a mile wide and inch deep,” said Nikki Hafele, algebra teacher at Monona Grove High School. “There are fewer topics throughout the book covered in great depth.”

Annual athletic report

Activities and Athletic Director Jeff Schreiner presented the year-in-review for 2012-13 athletics at the board meeting on Wednesday.

Highlights on the report included the boys swim team winning the state championship. “We finally pulled it away from McFarland,” Schreiner said.

He also acknowledged individual winners at state as well as teams that won conference titles and regional or sectional titles.

Looking ahead, Schreiner said there are a number of underclassmen returning next year, putting Monona Grove in a position for another very successful year in 2013-14.

“We’re pretty well represented in each of our sports [in the conference],” Schreiner said.

Going into next year, Schreiner said the athletic department is working on defining key areas that will transfer from sport to sport, including leadership, community, commitment and spirit.

“Our kids can transfer from sport to sport and understand how we want to work together as one body,” Schreiner said. “We want a common thread of understanding through all sports.”

Schreiner highlighted the academic success of 2012-13 student athletes, noting that the average grade point average for all of Monona Grove’s programs were at 3.0 or above.

“Student athletes are getting after and achieving a high GPA,” he said.

A complete report is listed under BoardDocs, on the district website (

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