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North Branch Schools

home : schools : schools August 22, 2017

12/30/2016 11:25:00 AM
$64.9 million bond issue approved for vote

The Chisago Lakes School Board took a big step towards their bond referendum vote for May of 2017 at the regular school board meeting on Thursday, December 15.

They finalized the question that will be presented to voters on the ballot. The question will read like this on the ballot:

Shall the board of Independent School District No. 2144 (Chisago Lakes Area Schools), Minnesota be authorized to issue general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $64,950,000 for acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including security upgrades at all facilities, construction of a new elementary school, remodeling and a building addition at Taylors Falls Elementary, and a career and technical education addition along with a community center addition at the High School?

Voters will be asked to check yes or no and will be informed on the ballot that a ‘Yes’ vote on the question would increase their property tax.

“The question tells people what we are doing, but in a way that’s easy to understand,” said Superintendent Joe Thimm. “We are trying to be transparent throughout this whole process.”

Director of Business Services Heide Miller also echoed the sentiment Thimm had about the wording of the question. “I think that if someone doesn’t know anything about the question going into the ballot, they’ll know what they’re voting for in the booth after they’ve read it,” she said.

The vote will be on Tuesday, May 9 and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Lacrosse takes major step towards varsity status
Boys and girls lacrosse took a major step towards becoming a varsity sport at Chisago Lakes High School. Currently, the popular sport is only a traveling Lakes Area Recreational Association program.

Cory Reedy, who has been a coach in the program and a part of it since the inception with LARA, presented facts to the board to a very warm reception.

They’ve ran Introduction to Lacrosse camps, and he pointed out that there is 79 boys lacrosse programs sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League and 78 girls programs.

The biggest questions coming in were related to Title IX, cost and sustainability of the programs. The boys program has boomed and although the girls program has saw steady growth, it isn’t quite at the numbers of the boys, so the board had some concerns on that front.

But Reedy assured the board that the program had enough numbers to be successful long term. In tracking the number of participants since the program joined up with LARA, the boys went from 35 athletes in 2012 to 147 in 2016. The girls had no participants in 2012 and only six in 2013, but they currently have 81 for the 2016 year.

Reedy said those numbers in both sports should calm any worry about both sustainability and Title XI.

As far as the cost, LARA has pledged to provide $10,000 per year over the first two years to support the program, and the lacrosse booster club pledged $10,000 in the third year.

Reedy brought up Chisago Lakes’ own mantra in his presentation, saying “We are trying to engage, empower and educate these kids and give them as many opportunities as possible,” he said.

He also pointed out that as lacrosse growth has ballooned, baseball and softball programs have remained steady, shooting down the notion that lacrosse was ‘poaching’ players for other spring sports.

The board members had very positive comments in the discussion period, and Thimm said, “[Adding lacrosse] looks very positive.”
The official vote on lacrosse being the next official sport in Chisago Lakes will be held at the February board meeting.

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