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Morris Area School Board cuts section of M-W-F kindergarten

MORRIS - Due to low interest, Morris Area Elementary School will not offer a separate section of Monday/Wednesday/Friday kindergarten next school year, but parents interested in that option will still be able to choose to send their student only three days a week as part of the KinderPlus program.

Cutting back the number of kindergarten sections will allow the district to add another section for second grade, which the Morris Area School Board voted in favor of on Tuesday. This classroom shift will bring the total number of elementary sections to 25 for the 2012-2013 school year.

Only seven families expressed interest in a separate M/W/F kindergarten program this year. Although the district has run the M/W/F kindergarten class at this size in the past, the potential for more students next year makes the option unrealistic this year.

Morris Area Elementary School Principal Brad Korn called each of the families who expressed interest in the M/W/F kindergarten program. Korn told the board that the general consensus that the families would prefer a M/W/F section, but understood the financial and space constraints the school faces.

Although the board voted in favor of cutting the M/W/F section this year, they expressed reluctance to cut the program completely and hoped it would be available in the future.

School Board member Dick Metzger said he hoped the school would work with the families who would be participating in the M/W/F program to make sure they were comfortable with what is happening and how the program will be organized.

"I hope that in the future we leave that as an option as a long as its funded and see how it goes from year-to-year. I don't think we should look at it as a permanent decision," said School Board member Laura Carrington.

District, Regional Fitness Center to partner for Aquatics Coordinator

The board approved a memorandum of understanding with the Regional Fitness Center to hire an "Aquatics Coordinator."

In order to attract high quality candidates, Wayne Morford, director of the RFC, suggested including swim coach duties in the position description would be helpful. If hired, the new Aquatics Coordinator could take over coaching both boys', girls', and Tiger Sharks' swimming.

Activities Director Mark Ekren said one advantage of combining the position would help eliminate the "revolving door" with the swimming coach position.

"If we look at our athletic programs right now, the ones that have coaches that have been around for a long time have good numbers, they're growing and them seem to be getting better," said Ekren.

Other business

• The board authorized the district to "buy back" up to 15 of Morris Area Elementary Principal Bran Korn's remaining vacation days before his final day of work on June 29, 2012. The board also authorized the district to contract with Korn to work with incoming principal Ken Gagner for up to five days during the 2012-2013 school year.

• The board authorized Monson to open a line of credit with a financial institution if the district runs into a cash flow issue in June.

"We don't anticipate having to use this line of credit, however we need your authorization to basically allow us to establish this line of credit if we find that we have a cash flow emergency," said Monson.