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The school board sold bonds and approved the bond with an interest rate of 3.57%. This is below the estimated rate, saving tax payers $2 million over the 20 year bond. Closing will be December 6th.

Bids were opened for the new gym remodel. The new gym will be called the “East” Gym. The base bid and two alternates (one for 4 basketball hoops and one for new bleachers) recommended to be accepted are over $100,000 below budget. The school board will take action on the bids at the Tuesday meeting. The project is slated to begin December 1st and be completed around April 1, 2019. Please note that the area south of the Trades House to the parking spots by the DK playground and receiving room door areas will be used for staging construction equipment so there will be no staff parking in those areas. Thank you for locating other areas to park.

The school board will be interviewing a construction management company at the board meeting on Tuesday evening. The goal is to have a construction manager that works with the architects during pre-planning, work on bid plans, set a reasonable construction schedule, work with budgeting on the project, keep contractors on budget, keep contractors on schedule, provide daily quality control, etc.

The process of changing spaces to accommodate construction phases is beginning. As part of the plan, the art room will be relocated to the far NE room at BHS (next to the metal shop). The NE room will be renovated over the next 3-4 weeks. The current art room will be used by band during construction.

Posted by lori.eix  On Mar 28, 2019 at 10:18 AM
  

The vote on the school referendum plan is just days away. What will this vote mean to our community? How will it impact our students? Why is it needed?

Overall, the Aug. 14 school bond referendum seeks to equip our community with collaborative learning environments and sought-out activity spaces that engage and elevate our students and our community. It focuses on right-sizing our school facilities and equipping us with spaces we need to meet educational needs today and into the future.

Here’s a look at five of the key impacts of the vote on Aug. 14:

1. New Auditorium
Benson Schools had to close the auditorium in May 2017 after the ceiling collapsed on the 1928 building. In the past year, there have been over 100 requests for uses for an auditorium. A new 600-seat auditorium would provide enhanced experiences for our students and the community with dedicated performing arts space for concerts, theater and dance performances. It would significantly improve accessibility to make it easy and more inviting for all to attend. The auditorium would be available for community use and be a place that brings our community together and draws others to Benson.

2. Added Security
School safety remains in the national headlines and a top priority for Benson Public Schools. This plan creates new secured entrances at both the elementary and high school buildings to give our students and families added peace of mind. The offices for Community Education, activities, school resource officer and the high school also will move next to the new main entrance for convenient access by parents and community members.

3. Combined Preschool-5th Grade Building
This plan meets the community’s request to move 5th grade students to the elementary school in a dedicated building that will serve our community’s earliest learners through 5th graders.

4. New Early Learning Center
In the past four years, Benson Schools has grown to serve 87 percent of local 4-year-olds and engages children from birth to equip them in the critical early years and prepare them for success in school. The new early learning center would be added on to Northside Elementary to more efficiently meet the needs of the community’s earliest learners in a safe and dedicated space that provides a smooth transition to kindergarten.

5. Collaborative Learning Environments
Benson Public Schools offers the most college level classes and career enrichment activities in the area. Seeking to continue to equip our students for their futures, this plan includes collaborative learning spaces for grades 7-12. In these spaces, students will experience more hands-on activities where they can work together to problem solve, seek new information and become the critical thinkers the modern-day workforce needs.

A special thanks to each of the 45 members of the Community Task Force who volunteered hours to evaluate our district’s learning and facility needs, discover what’s working in other schools and develop a plan to meet the community’s vision.

\Click to learn more about the process, the plan and the impact. Vote on Aug. 14.

Posted by dzimmerman  On Aug 09, 2018 at 3:56 PM
  
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) awarded Innovation Research Zone status to Benson Public Schools, starting this school year. Benson is one of only three rural district collaboratives that received the innovation designation.

“This year Benson Schools is embarking on a journey to build a culture of innovation that will serve as an example for others in our state and beyond,” said Dennis Laumeyer, superintendent of Benson Schools, which received the designation in partnership with Montevideo Public Schools.

The Minnesota Legislature enacted this new program in 2017 to enable school districts and charter school an opportunity to test new ideas in K-12 education. This designation is designed to remove barriers and give the school recipients some flexibility in state mandates.

“We excited about how this will enable us to further unleash our students and staff to develop their strengths, uncover new opportunities and be leaders in learning,” Laumeyer said.

Designated schools research and implement innovative approaches to learning. These new approaches can be based on existing models or an emerging practice not yet supported by research.

“This designation will enable us to get better results for our Benson students and help other schools in Minnesota implement innovative practices that achieve desired learning outcomes,” Laumeyer said.
Posted by dzimmerman  On Aug 09, 2018 at 7:25 AM
  
Benson Public Schools is asking the community to vote on a school referendum on Aug. 14 as a part of the primary election. Some voters, particularly those living in area townships, will receive ballots in the mail from the county. If you receive a mailed ballot, complete it and mail it back to the county.

Other voters can cast their vote at their polling location on Aug. 14 or by visiting the their county election office any time during regular business hours before Aug. 14. Click to find your county election office.

Anyone can vote absentee before Aug. 14 and it's easy to register to vote on the spot.

Here's a look at how you will vote based on where you live:

Swift County

Benson Armory:

Benson P-1

Benson P-2

Benson Twp.

Torning Twp.

DeGraff City Office:

DeGraff

Kildare Twp.


West Bank Town Hall:

West Bank Twp.


Mailed Ballot:
(Mailed on July 10)

Camp Lake Twp.

Cashel Twp.

Clontarf

Clontarf Twp.

Danvers

Dublin Twp.

Kerkhoven Twp.

Marysland Twp.

Six Mile Grove Twp.

Swenoda Twp.

Tara Twp.


Pope County

Hoff Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed July 16)

Langhei Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed July 16)

Rolling Forks Twp. - Precinct


Chippewa County

Mandt Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed around July 25)

Grace Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed around July 25)


Register to Vote
Are you registered to vote? Click to check your status online.

Click to register to vote today.

Vote Absentee
Voters also can vote early by mail by applying for an absentee ballot from the Minnesota Secretary of State. Ballots will be sent starting June 29 for the Aug. 14 Primary Election. Ballots will not be counted if they are received after Aug. 14. Click to request an absentee ballot.

Preparing to Vote
Voters can begin preparing for the vote by viewing the sample ballot and learning more about the plans. Attend an upcoming information meeting on July 18 and Aug. 7 and get your questions answered.

Click to view a sample ballot.

Click to learn more about the referendum plans.
Posted by dzimmerman  On Aug 08, 2018 at 2:13 PM
  
Click to view the details of this long post: more» 
Posted by dzimmerman  On Aug 08, 2018 at 8:01 AM
  
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