Aitkin School

The Aitkin School Board met on Nov. 25 to hear several presentations from guest speakers, which included Scott Sosalla, Police Chief Tim Catlin, Steve Wilson and Stephanie Nelson, Gary Blake and Kim Meirose.

Sosalla presented rough plans for the high school renovation at the board’s last meeting. He came back with more details and a rendering of what the high school’s entrance will soon look like, if the new plans are approved.

Thus far, the board members’ reactions to the designs are promising, but, as Director John Chute noted, “We need numbers.”

Sosalla planned to have rough cost estimates by the next school board meeting on Dec. 16.

Next, Aitkin Police Chief Tim Catlin discussed continuing the partnership between the Aitkin Police and the school in regards to the school resource officer.

The board members had few complaints about the presence of the resource officer, and agreed to continue hosting the officer at the school and splitting the costs with the city.

Steve Wilson and Stephanie Nelson were up next, to present the Junior Achievement Program.

The program’s focus is to teach students about good work ethic, entrepreneurship and other life skills to help them in their future.

According to the presenters, one of the largest challenges facing Aitkin businesses, such as American Peat Technology and Lundberg Plumbing & Heating, is finding good help. The Junior Achievement Program seeks to remedy this problem.

The program started in Aitkin County last year, but until now has only reached up to seventh grade. Now, program volunteers are looking to advance to the rest of the high school. The Aitkin School District will be working with the program in the future.

Gary Blake presented an update on Aitkin’s alternative school.

Blake reported that 20 students utilize the alternative school program, 12 of whom are full-time there. Last year, about 28 students were active in the program.

Finally, Kim Meirose reported “lots of wins” in visual arts so far this year.

Briefs

• Consent agenda and several policies were approved.

• A Truth in Taxation hearing will be held at the AHS media center on Dec. 16 at 6:15 p.m., followed by the regular board meeting at 7 p.m.

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