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Rob Lech Superintendent, Jamestown Public Schools Says the district’s demographics, budget and taxes are key areas for public input

JPS survey; Input sought for district’s long-range plan

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The Jamestown Public School District is seeking community input for its long-term planning, through an online survey at the district’s website at www.jamestown.k12.nd.us.

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Superintendent Rob Lech gave a presentation prior to Monday’s regular School Board meeting to share information related to the district’s academic and extracurricular planning, staffing and facilities and taxation changes over the next three- to five-year period. Lech’s presentation can also be viewed on the website.

The survey will be closed on June 27, and the information will be presented to the public and reviewed by the board at a future board meeting. The survey focuses on two topics: district demographics and district budget and taxes. Respondents are asked what implications and suggestions they might know or have for those topics.

“These are the two areas that are key areas for us to study to get that public input on,” Lech said.

One of the biggest changes that will be discussed by the board in the near future is a possible shift to grade-level elementary schools in place of the district schools that were established in the 2005-2006 school year. Lech said there were 970 students in grades K-5 in the 2013-2014 school year, the highest number of elementary students in the last nine years.

“To be very candid, we are at capacity where we’re at, K through five,” Lech said. “We do have a little bit of space for growth in terms of Washington, but we’ve really got quite a few K through five kids right now, and that’s good news for the district.”

Lech said the middle school and high school should be able to accommodate that larger group of students moving through the system, but the board won’t know exactly what needs have to be met at the elementary schools until a demographic study is released later this year.

Board meeting

Outgoing School Board members Roy Musland, Tonya Ostlie and Shelly Jystad were awarded certificates of excellence in appreciation by the Parents Awareness/Prevention Center for their time, support and dedication to the Jamestown Public School District students and families during their School Board terms.

“How do you say goodbye to someone that has done an outstanding job for our community and our district and supported the parents center and the families in our schools,” said Nellie Degen of the parents center, addressing the three members. “We hate to see someone going, leaving the district, but sometimes it’s time to move on, because that’s your choice.”

The board also:

* received information from Amy Walters, a member of the Two Rivers Activity Center board of directors. The current design for the center requires twice as much land as the district allotted. Walters said the architectural firm will either make changes to the design, or more adjacent land will have to be acquired from either the Jamestown Regional Medical Center or the district.

* heard a report on a Daily Bread pilot program which aims to provide meals over the summer for at-risk students and families in need. Families can acquire meals from a freezer at Washington Elementary without having to fill out any forms or other paperwork.

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at dluessen@jamestownsun.com

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