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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
April 27, 2010     The Ortonville Independent
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April 27, 2010

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......... , + " d i Editorial comment EDITORIAL... The Ortonville School Board decided to conduct a community survey to see how their constituents feel about the possibility of the Ortonville School going to a four day school week. However no surveys are being sent to the taxpayers, instead a survey is posted on the school's website. Unfortunately, this means that many citizens who do not have internet access will not have the opportunity to be heard, unless they actually go to the school and ask for a printed survey. People without access to the internet can not use someone else's computer to cast their vote, because each on- line survey is registered so that only one survey may be completed by each computer. Every citizen in the Ortonville School District should be given equal access to take this survey. This is too great of a decision to be made by a few. There is no way of even knowing if the respondents are members of the Ortonville School District. Respondents can come from anywhere in the world who have internet access. Surveys should be mailed to. all households in the Ortonville School District so all the taxpayers have an equal opportunity to voice their opinion. Everyone Needs a Voice It's a great idea to use the school's website to solicit input from people, but it shouldn't be the only way to get the survey results. The results will not be representative of the entire district. The only way to do this is to send out a mailing to every household in the district. According to the post office, it would cost the school about $950 in postage to send out a mailing with a pre-paid return card inside. Is that too much to spend on such an important issue as this? That's less than 50 per household. Maybe an even better way to let the people of the district get their wishes across is by putting the question on the ballot in November This would truly let the people decide, and it wouldn't cost anything. If you do have internet access, please take the time to complete the survey. Contact your School Board members and let them know how you feel about the possible four day school week. Ortonville School Board members include: Marlowe Klepel, Jay Ross, Kathi Thymian, James Nelson, Dabble Hoffman, Mike Hamson, Kevin Rademacher, John Plathe, Timothy Henrich, Glen Radermacher and Richard Johnson. Letters to the editor To the Editor: In last week's Ortonville Independent, the newspaper published an editorial opposing the four-day school week. Our country is great because we can have dialogue such as this, and people can air their views. In fairness, however, I think that some additional information is needed. Here are some facts that may provide balance to the argument: 1. There seems to be a view that the students would "lose" a day of school. While this is literally true, the students actually get more instructional time throughout the year. With the way teacher contracts are structured, this is probably the only way schools are able to actually add instructional time without adding time (and salary) to teacher contracts. In the case of Big Stone City, we are able to keep 'our total teacher hours the same, while at the same time adding 20 hours of instructional time for students throughout the year. This adds 1200 minutes of instruction for our students for "free". It also needs to be said that in our current schedule there are already 13 weeks which are shortened to four or fewer days. 2. We recently surveyed all of our parents. We had a return rate of approximately 90 percent. One of the questions we asked was to rate their top three concerns regarding the four- day school week. The top three concerns mentioned were: Longer Day (30 percent), Fewer days in school (20 percent), and keeping children occupied (19 percent). Finding/paying for daycare was fourth (out of five) with 17 percent. This means that 83 percent of respondents did not think that finding daycare would be a top-three concern. We do realize that the additional daycare would be a major hurdle, but at least according to our results, it may not be the problem that is being portrayed. 3. An assumption is being made . that this is only being considered for financial reasons, and that since both schools are financially viable at the moment it would be foolish to implement this until we have to. A question-If you were financially viable on a personal level but could look into the future and see tough financial periods looming, what would you do? Would you continue your budget as is until you were forced to change, or would you try to be proactive? I cannot speak for the Ortonville District, but as far as the Big Stone City School District is concerned, two points must be made: 1.) We are trying to be proactive. 2.) This is not only about finances. 4. In your own workplace, if you were given an opportunity to get an extra 40 hours of professional preparation without it having any impact on your other job duties, would you and your job performance benefit? With the four-day school week, the teachers at Big Stone City would get an extra 40 hours, a full week, of professional development without adding any time to their contract. In fact, they get 40 extra hours of professional development, the students get 20 extra hours of instruction, and there is no added time to any contracts. Studies have shown no real statistical significance in academic performance when comparing four and five day school weeks. However, I think we would all agree that more professional development and preparation time for teachers would lead to better instruction. Personally, I think that academic performance is tied more towards how class time is used, not how much time there is. Longer periods or more days make no difference if class time is used ineffectively. 5. Finally, the structure of the four- day school week gives three hours per week for struggling students to get extra help from staff on an individualized basis. Students would have three hours on most off days to come in and get help from a teacher or a paraprofessional. This is help that a student would have to try and get after school otherwise. There are challenges in the four- day school week model. I think I can assume that the leadership from both schools would acknowledge that. The added time for primary grades is a big concern. Although there may be opportunities to schedule sporting events on off days, there will be times when students have to miss school for sports, just as there are now. Other concerns, such as the assumption that every child will get into trouble given an off day, that teachers will just have extra days off, or that getting children to hockey practice in other towns on time would be difficult are either false or deserve some extra thought. I think it does deserve to be mentioned, however, that more than 20 districts in South Dakota have made the switch to four-day school weeks; to my knowledge, none of them have the desire to switch back anytime soon. As with the Ortonville school board, the Big Stone City school board is concerned with how the public feels regarding this issue. Anyone interested in seeing the results of our surveys can view them at r%20day%20school%20WeekSurvey. pdf. We want to make the best decision for the students and patrons in our district. If I understand correctly, Ortonville residents and patrons will be receiving surveys from the Ortonville school in the near future. I would encourage all who receive these surveys to become as informed as possible, make up your own mind, and let your voice be heard. I want to thank all of the Big Stone City School parents and citizens who took the time to complete and return the surveys that we sent out. We were able to utilize the surveys to get helpful data on where our parents, community members, staff, and students stand on the issue We remain uncommitted and will follow the lead of Ortonville in terms of the four-day school week. If you have any questions regarding the issue or anything else, please feel free to contact me at the school or at daniel.swartos @k 1 Information is also available on our website:http://www.bigstonecity.k 12.s Sincerely, Dan Swartos, Superintendent/PK-8 Principal Big Stone City Schools Steaks, Roasts, Hamburger Pork Chops & Roasts 25 LB. BEEF BUNDLE 20 LB. PORK BUNDLE $79.95 $39.95 ONCE AGAIN... MANY THANKS Recent new and renewal sub- scribers to The Independent which we gratefully acknowledge with thanks for your loyalty: Helen Mueller Alvin Block Herb King Evelyn Pendergast Jackie Adelman Alan Dimberg Mark Gustafson Donald Mitteistaedt Curt Rothi Gary Alberts Dorothy Jorgenson Brenda Powers Paul Ell Harold Christensen John Nelson David Klepel Tom Tietjen Brian Dimberg Raymond Lunde Gertrude Rausch Judean Eastman Beverly Hamm Angle Stotesbery D. Braun Alice Hansen Judy Nichols Darrell Tober Marlys Johnson Dave CloDs Donald Swanson /'f,> many, 1 fa,:::gny _ ! oor'ro000n To the Editor: A new ministry partnership has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the fact that an estimated 176,000 Christians around the world were martyred-killed for their faith-in a one-year period from the middle of 2008 to the middle of 2009. That's 482 deaths per day, one every three minutes. Martyrdom didn't go away with the Middle Ages. "It's so hard to believe that in this day and age so many Christians are losing their life for their faith. It's as though we in the U.S. live in a different world from the rest of the Body of Christ. "We want to ask the question that is on a few people's lips- will persecution ever come to America? And if so, what can we do about it?" The report cited North Korea, which reportedly uses Christians as guinea pigs to test chemical and biological weapons, as the world's worst persecutor of Christians. Open Doors estimates there are 100 million Christians worldwide who suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Tom Karels Odessa Feathers removed from old material, cleaned, i sanitized and deodorized. Choice of new material. All types of bed pillows! Pillows may be brought in ahead of time/ OTREY LAKE GALLERY \\; 232 NW 2nd Street Ortonville, MN j HOURS: M0n.-Fri. 8AM-5:30PM; Sat. 8AM-5PM ORTONVILLE, MN PHONE (320) 839-2653 [iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii0000i!i00iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiMii00ii000000!i00iiiiiiii00iii!!!!!!0000!!!!!000000!000000000000i00M00Miiiiiiiiii] ]iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii0000i00iii00i!00i!!!ii00!i00!!iiiiiiiiiiii! ii!iiiiiiiiii00000000!i!ii00i0000iiiiiii] tli II ill iii00il00iiii0000ilT00000000i ill 00iiiiiii!0000iiiiiiiiii00iiiiiiiiiiiii00!!!00i00!i00!iiiii!i00!iiiiiiiii00iiiiJiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii00iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii00I00i00iiiiiiiiiiiiiii0000iIiii00!iii0000i ii0000i00liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!il iiiiiiiiii] ii,i,,iiii!00,iii!!:,iiiii,,i,,!i Per Lb. .,-. --00a.o0 00oca,,, 00row. Per, Pc, HALF A HOG ..................... 89 DELl TURKEY Per Lb. _____ .=_n-l.mhurn_r Patties ......... Locally Grown Beef-Per Lb. -- OUARTERS & SmES...$1,79 Pioneer's Own - Per Lb. HICKORY SMOKED BACON ................................................. oV DANCE AtJ00t00t Or Ktx, REGISTRATION for the 2010- I ] Dance Season from 3-year-olds to adult Monday, May I0 4:30-7:00 PM at New Life Community Baptist Church THANK YOU To all my danoers a.d pare.ts for a fa.- tastI 2009-I 0 seasoe. I look forward to w0rki,g with you ext year! - Kerry Call Kerry Klepel, Instructor i JUST FOR Call or emafl any questions - 320.273.2124 or emall orton v/lie mn@jusfforkix, corn The Ortonville Independent (u s;s:,2=.-,,o) JAMES D. KAERCHER Publisher / Managing Editor SUZETrE KAERCHER-BLAKE Editor and Advertising Sales MIKE SWENSON Associate Editor / Advertising Rep Tues., April 27, 2010 Vol. 92; No. 15 Continuing the ORTONVILLE JOURNAL STAR Published Every Tuesday at 29 2nd St. N.W. Orlonville, MN 56278 Periodicals Postage Paid at Ortonville, Minnesota SUBSCRIPTION RATES $34.00 per year in Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Traverse and Swift Counties in Minnesota, Grant and Roberts Counties in South Dakota. $39.00 for all other counties in Minnesota and South Dakota. All others, $43.00 per year. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Ortonville Independent, Box 336, Ortonville, Minnesota 56278. NEW SUBSCRIPTION RATE SCHEDULE - ALL SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE BASED ON A FEBRUARY IST DUE DATE- Big Stone, Lac qul Parle, Traverse, Swift Counties in Mlnnesota and Grant and Roberts in South Dakota February ........... 34.00 August .............. 17.04 March ................ 31,20 September ........ 14.20 April .................. 28.77 October ............. 11.36 May ................... 25.56 November ........... 8.52 June .................. 22,72 December ........... 5.68 July ................... 19.88 January ............... 2.84 ALL OTHERS IN MINN. AND SO. DAK. February ........... 39.00 August .............. 19.50 Mamh ................ 35.75 September ........ 16.25 April .................. 32.50 October ............. 13.00 May ................... 29.25 November ........... 9.75 June .................. 26.00 December ........... 6.50 July ................... 22.75 January ............... 3.25 ALL AREA OUTSIDE OF MINN. AND SO. DAK. February ........... 43.00 August .............. 21.54 March ................ 39.49 September ........ 17.95 April .................. 35.90 October ............. 14.36 May ................... 32.31 November ......... 10.77 June .................. 28.72 December ........... 7.18 July ................... 25.13 January ............... 3.59 "PUBLISHER'S LIABILITY FOR ERROR" The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The Publisher's liability for other errors or omissions in connection with an adver- tisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue or the refund of any monies paid for the advertisement. DEADLINES Church notes - Saturday mail Display ads - Friday mail Correspondence - Monday mail Pictures - 5 p.m. Friday News - Friday afternoon Classified ads - Friday noon (Any ad brought in later will be too late to classify.) OFFICE HOURS & Monday: 8 AM-5 PM A Tuesday: 8 AM-5 PM A Wednesday: 8 AM-12 NOON; 1-5 PM A Thursday: 8 AM-12 NOON; 1-5 PM A Friday: 8 AM-5 PM A Holidays may affect office hours. LETTERS POLICY Letters to the editor discussing com- munity issues are encouraged. Letter writers should be aware that The Independent reserves the right to edit and/or condense letters for print. The paper also reserves the right not to pub- lish letters that are unsuitable or for which it might be held legally liable. Letters should contain the writer's printed or typed name, signature, address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be published. Letter writers are asked to limit them- selves to one letter per month. Please keep letter brief, perferably not over 350 words, and to the point. AD vs. NEWS The Ortonville Independent policy in determining what is advertising and what is news is based on one simple test: If an individual business or organi- zation charges for admission to an event for an item or for a service, it will be con- sidered advertising. In other words, "If you charge, we charge." Advertising is the life-blood of a news- paper. Without it a newspaper would cease to exist. The money a paper receives for subscriptions and single paper sales is used to pay for the ink and paper used in producing the product. It no longer does so because of paper cost increases. It still covers the cost of ink and a small portion of the paper used. Advertising to a newspaper is like crops and livestock to farmers; meat and products to the grocer; dresses, coats and underwear to the soft-line merchant and plows and tractors to the implement dealer. Without any of those items, the particular business would not be in busi- ness. ADS: We reserve the right to refuse any advertising without obligation to our decision. POLICIES: News: Our goal is to report the news fully and accurately as possible. The staff'is opinions will appear only on the opinion page. A Editorials: Opinions published on this page, whether locally written or reprinted from other sources is intended to stimu- late thinking and discussion among our readers. Opinions expressed by the edi- tor are her own and not necessarily those of other staff members. Opinions expressed in items from other publica- tions may be contradictory to the editor's own views, but are offered for their gen- eral interest I ND00]00L00)ENT ! I[ II Phone 320-839-6163 or fax 320- 839-3761 to place display or clas- slfled advertising in the Ortonvllle Independent or vla... e-mall For Sports e-mall For the Editor e-mail Check our web site: Page 4  INDEPENDENT Tuesday, April 27, 2010