District to pilot “digital learning days” on Feb. 20

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

The Caledonia school board discussed the idea of having digital learning days at the district.

“The administrative team has researched this for quite some time and we have contacted several other school districts to see what they do on these types of days,” said superintendent Ben Barton.

The admin team would like to see the district use such days in the event of multiple snow days.

While the process is still fluid, the way it would work would be students would be given various assignments on the one-to-one devices (iPads).

In the event of a snow emergency, students would have some assignments which would need to be completed at home and the day would count as a school day.

For those students who are too young to have the devices, several things could be considered including such things as “helping your mom with chores, or take home materials if the snow event allows.”

The district is going to have a pilot digital learning day on Feb. 20.

“We will survey the parents after that one is held and get their feedback on this type of learning day,” Barton said.

At the moment, because the district has had more snow days than they adjusted for in the calendar, students will have to go to school an additional day in June.

In the future, should the digital learning day be a success, this could be avoided.

Other news

• Mrs. Meinertz updated the board with regard to curriculum stating that they have started scope and sequence work in the different subject areas for vertical alignment teams. They have started planning for the Winter Warrior Way Olympics, which will take place on February 10th. The Reading Corp grant was submitted. As part of the PK3 cohort, they have been looking at how to promote equity and positive identity development for all children. The student council has decided the fundraising focus of the year will be raising money for Paws for Independence, which is an organization based out of Caledonia. Students plan to fund a dog for another child with epilepsy and clues will be created for a final prize for the classroom that brings in the most money. She attended the Bridges Out of Poverty session, which was a thoughtful and eye-opening training about poverty.

•Mrs. Morem informed the board that the choir students performed at the Dorian Festival in Decorah. They received several compliments from the community stating it was the best help they ever have received with our volunteers at Christmas time. The Knowledge Bowel younger group placed and competed at the next level. She attended the MASSP Conference. The Spelling Bee winners will compete in the Regional Spelling Bee February 7th at 1 p.m. Congratulations and best of luck to Brody Johnson and Brady Augedahl who will be competing in this Spelling Bee. ACT prep has started. An FAFSA meeting for seniors and their parents will be held on February 1st. The middle school students held their first middle school dance on January 14th and thank you to the parent volunteers and Erin Nolden for the great success of this event. The high school students will be having their first dance on February 11th.

• The spring coaches contracts were approved. No major changes at the top for the upcoming sports season.

• Mrs. Carol Nelson explained to the board the role of paraprofessionals in our school district. She stressed the importance of having the school district implement more training for new paraprofessionals and having their hourly wage increased in order to stay competitive with other local businesses that have higher starting wages.

• Thank you to Merchants Bank for their generous monetary donation to the Caledonia Area Public School District Media Centers. Thank you to the 299 Foundation for the donation of funds to purchase a second iPad Cart of 25 iPad Air 2’s for the Caledonia Elementary School.