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School Board to vote on new position

By David Luessen

The Jamestown Sun

The Jamestown Public School Board decided to vote on a possible new position for the district at the board’s next meeting Jan. 20.

On Monday the board discussed the need for a paid position for the Jamestown Parent Awareness Center, an advocacy group for parents of students in Jamestown Public Schools. Currently the group, which formed in 2011, is all volunteers, but a request was made to the School Board to add a PAC member to the school payroll.

Board member Gail Martin said the district is not in good enough financial shape to pay for the position.

“The financial task force is looking at areas right now on reducing $3,000 to $4,000 a year,” Martin said. “We don’t have the money for it ... We’re struggling.”

School Board Vice President Diane Hanson said she was not only concerned about the monetary expense, but she also did not like the idea of an advocacy group being financially tied to the school district.

“They shouldn’t be under the umbrella of the district,” Hanson said. “If they are advocating for parents and students they should be outside of the district. It makes no sense to me that they’re tied together; I don’t see that ever working correctly.”

Board member Roy Musland said the PAC’s work requires a lot of effort that should get some support from the school district.

“This group of people who’ve been working on it, have invested a lot of time and done a lot of positive things for our school,” he said.

Board member Shelly Jystad said she had not decided yet whether she supported a paid position or not, but said the PAC could help retain students who have been leaving for schools in outlying districts.

“If this is an advocacy group that can help better mediate, articulate, educate, have discussions so that we as a district can better meet the needs of our students so that they don’t choose to leave our district it could have a huge financial impact.”

The board will vote on the position at its next meeting on Jan. 20, at the Thompson Community Room in Jamestown Middle School.

The board also approved a 4 percent raise for administrative, non-teaching professional and central office staff, accepted the 2014-2016 school calendar and approved the school’s new mission statement, “Learning for All.”

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at