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Chisago Lakes Schools

home : schools : schools July 21, 2017

2/16/2017 1:07:00 PM
Referendum meeting information set; lacrosse to be a varsity sport in 2018

The Chisago Lakes School Board is starting to put the information wheels in motion to get the public informed on the May 9 bond referendum.

The district is hoping to build a new elementary school to replace Lakeside, fund additions and renovations at Taylors Falls Elementary School and the Middle School, a manufactuing and agri-science lab, along with a community center, at the high school, and district-wife safety and security upgrades.

The bond would come in at $64.95 million for taxpayers within the district. There will be three informational meetings upcoming. The first will be a gathering on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Taylors Falls Elementary Cafeteria. The second meeting will be on Tuesday, March 28 at the Chisago Lakes High School Performing Arts Center, and the third will be on Tuesday, April 4 in the Lakeside Elementary Gymnasium.

There is also a boatload of information on the school’s website, including a handy tool that allows a resident to enter in their property value and find out exactly how much their taxes would change, broken down montly and annually. The calculation will factor in the line items that will be coming off of resident’s tax bills, also, inclduing two previous school bonds.

Superintendant Joe Thimm will also hold two ‘Coffee and Conversation’ sessions focusing on the bond issues an questions. The first will be on Saturday, Mach 25 at Wagon Wheel Cafe in Chisago City from 8:30-9:30 a.m., and the second will be Saturday, April 29 at the same time at Northwoods Roasterie in Lindstrom.

All of the information will culminate with a vote on Tuesday, May 9. Thimm stressed that what he’s hoping for is that everyone who goes to the polls that day is informed and will know exactly what they are voting on.

The district approved a new sport that will start competing in 2018. Lacrosse, which has built a large following through Lakes Area Recreation Association and other traveling programs, was approved for varsity play for boys and girls in the Spring of 2018.

LARA and booster clubs will help get the varsity sport off the ground by providing $10,000 total to the district in 2018 and 2019 towards the cost, and then in 2020, the district will take over the cost completely.
“It’s a great activity and the participation numbers are solid,” Thimm said.

The school board went over some of the emergency procedures for the district, also. They’re implementing a new mobile alert system to inform all administration and local law enforcement agencies in quick fashion of major trouble at a building. The main reference was for an active shooter, but the system works for any type of major catstrophe that needs to be addressed quickly.

The district also has the reunification location for all the buildings as Lakes Free Church. There needed to be access for a large amount of families to go in and out to pick up students in case of a school evacuation. Currently, each building had their own evacuation location near their own building, but then the students would be bussed to Lakes Free Church for reunification with their families.

“We don’t have all the details ironed out quite yet,” Director of Business Services Heide Miller said. “But there will be more details to come.”

The board also recognized one of their own. Jerry Vitalis is in his 40th year serving on the Chisago Lakes School Board. The always-witty Vitalis had a few jokes about his longevity, but praised his current and former colleagues for helping him so much along the way. Thimm presented Vitalis with a plaque honoring his service, and there was also a celebratory cake.

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