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Two into one

By Staff | Oct 20, 2013

The Blue Earth Area School board revisited the idea of dropping out of the South Central Conference.

Activity director Rob Norman spoke with the school board about the latest developments on the subject at their meeting last Monday night.

The idea to merge the SCC?and Southwest Conference was orignally presented to the School Board on Sept. 9, and time spent out of the classroom for activities continues to be a concern.

“It gets hard to support students’ activities six days a week,” board member Jesse Haugh says. “Let’s get it back to having school Monday through Friday so we can have weekends back for family time.”

However, Norman has been working with activity directors in the other interested schools to try to work out the best plan for everyone.

The other schools involved in the possible merge include; Fairmont, New Ulm, St. James, St. Peter, Waseca, Jackson County Central, Luverne, Marshall, Pipestone, Redwood, Windom and Worthington.

“We have been talking a lot about the projected miles we may travel if this happens,”?Norman says. “And, the time lost in school.”

He explains to the board that the biggest change in time lost for student athletes would be in baseball or softball. Playing in the SCC?the baseball team lost zero minutes and softball lost 60. If the two conferences merged to form a new one, the baseball team would lose 190 minutes and softball 285.

“This is because many schools don’t have lights on their field so we would have to leave early in order to get the game in before dark,” Norman explains.

Although, they are losing classroom time, they still see more pros than cons.

“I’m thankful that we have enough schools interested that we can break off in divisions,”?he adds. “Otherwise who knows how much additional travel time we would have.”

The board has to reach a decision by November and Norman will be meeting with the superintendents from the other schools on Oct. 31.

“We need to give this a year and see what happens,”? says school board chairman Frankie Bly.

In other business;

The school board heard a technology update from technology coordinator David Sparks.

He says the school has purchased 90 more Chromebooks, 34 iPad Minis and six regular iPads as a result of their 1:1 project.

The 1:1 program involves students and teachers in one classroom using iPads for one quarter and Chromebooks for another.

Dar Holmseth spoke to the board about community education, saying this has been the best attendance in fall classes so far.

“We’ve never started out with a fall as good as this one,”?she says.

Holmseth also reminded the board that they will not be offering GED testing after Jan. 1.