Next Maple Lake school year set to end in May


Maple Lake students who are not excited about going to school in June have something to look forward to in 2015. According to the 2014-15 calendar approved by the Maple Lake School Board on Monday, March 10, the last day of classes will fall on Friday, May 29, weather permitting.
“Potential makeup days are Feb. 16 and June 1, 2 and 3,” Superintendent Mark Redemske said.
“I think it would be good for the public to know, if we miss days, these are the days we’ll make them up,” Chair Arnie Michalicek said.
Board member Ben Elsenpeter asked how many days would have to be missed to use any of those makeup days.
While Michalicek said missing just one day could trigger the use of a makeup day, citing the district’s 181-day contract with licensed staff, Redemske said, “If we came back for a one-day week, it would be difficult.”
An extra day could be used for a teacher workshop, Michalicek said. As the 2014-15 school calendar stands, June 1 is the last teacher workshop day.
“One thing we need more of is staff-development time,” Redemske said, adding that floating staff-development days may be used.
As for notable dates on the calendar, classes will start Tuesday, Sept. 2; fall break will be Oct. 16 and 17; Thanksgiving break will be Nov. 27 and 28; Christmas vacation will run from Christmas Eve to Friday, Jan. 2; and spring break will be Friday, March 27, to Good Friday on April 3.
Redemske noted that Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Monticello and Wright Technical Center have spring break at the same time as Maple Lake, while Annandale’s vacation will be one week earlier. 
In addition to approving the school calendar, the board also heard from Wright Tech Director Ray Przekurat.
He shared that, while Minnesota high schools send 62 percent of their students to four-year colleges , only 31 percent of Minnesotans have a four-year degree or higher, matching the national average.
“I’m not saying that’s a bad thing to do, but we also need to have a backup plan,” Przekurat said.
He believes Wright Tech can be a part of that backup plan by offering 12 different programs, ranging from automotive technology and welding to early childhood and health science technology.
“You hear a lot about the skills gap,” Przekurat said. “We’re trying to fill that gap.”
He said the center is adding youth apprenticeships.
“We’ve hired a work-based learning coordinator,” Przekurat said. “He’s started meeting with industries, including in Maple Lake, and talking about apprenticeships.”
Przekurat is also writing a grant for distance learning.
“We have fiber optic and just need hardware,” Przekurat said.
For more information, individuals are invited to visit and visit the Wright Technical Center page on Facebook.
More information appears in this week's Messenger.