Hoping to persuade voters to give the green light to a $49.9 million school bond referendum on Nov. 6, the Detroit Lakes School Board is in the process of finalizing times and locations for a series of six public informational meetings on the project, to take place between Sept. 25-Nov. 1.
At a work session held after the board's regular meeting on Monday evening, lead architect Brian Berg laid out nine possible dates for the meetings, and stated that he felt they should be held on different days of the week as well as in different locations around the district.
"I think it would be a good idea to hold another meeting in Callaway," Berg said; the board agreed.
The board members also decided that one meeting would be held at each of the four existing school sites targeted for improvements as part of the proposed building project — Roosevelt Elementary, Rossman Elementary, the middle school and high school — and one more site still to be determined.
The first meeting is tentatively slated to take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, with additional meetings on Sunday, Sept. 30; Wednesday, Oct. 3; Monday, Oct. 15; Tuesday, Oct. 30; and Thursday, Nov. 1.
Times and locations still had not been finalized as of press time Wednesday morning.
At Monday's regular meeting, the board also learned that they would need to hold a special session to finalize the preliminary 2019 school district budget and property tax levy by the end of September, as is required by state law.
That special meeting will be held at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26 in the school administration building on Lake Avenue.
Renee Kerzman, the district's curriculum, instruction and technology director, also gave an overview of students' overall performance in last year's Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) tests.
"Across the district, our progress scores were really good," Kerzman said, adding that in science, all grade levels tested at 10-20 percent above the state average, while in math, four of the seven grade levels tested scored above state average, and in reading, five of seven grade levels tested above average.
Kerzman added that she would be taking a more in-depth look at the MCA results as part of the World's Best Workforce report she is preparing for the Minnesota Department of Education, which will be presented to the school board later this fall.