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Pequot Lakes: School board supports NJPA College in the Schools grant

In its meeting Monday, April 18, the Pequot Lakes School Board unanimously approved the submission of a National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) Innovative Funding grant application for the purpose of developing open education resources for College ...

In its meeting Monday, April 18, the Pequot Lakes School Board unanimously approved the submission of a National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) Innovative Funding grant application for the purpose of developing open education resources for College in the Schools (CIS) courses.

"Every year in the spring - this is our third year in a row - the NJPA has hosted an innovative grant funding cycle," superintendent Chris Lindholm said. "That due date is at the end of this month ... At Pequot Lakes, we have a significant CIS program, and this is of great value to our district. What the grant says is they want us to use innovative funding dollars from the NJPA to fund the time the professors at CLC (Central Lakes College) and our CIS teachers put in to research open education resources and bring it into their courses. I believe it is a win for the district on a couple of fronts."

Lindholm argued the grant would benefit the district by cutting down on paper resources like college textbooks, as much of those resources are available online. Also, the district can return to the Higher Learning Commission before its previous ruling goes into effect, requiring CIS teachers to have a master's degree and at least 18 graduate credits in that topic to teach the course, arguing that the teachers had a hand in writing CIS curriculum and furthering the point that they are qualified to teach such courses.

The board also conducted its first reading of a proposed policy regarding memorializing deceased students and staff. The council is expected to take action on the policy in June after two more readings.

""It is always a highly charged, emotional time, and there are people who want things - understandably so - from the place of their grief," Lindholm said. "(It is important) Having guidelines put together that create some guidance on how to handle those situations so we honor those people and those who are impacted, but we also, most importantly, remember that maybe 85 percent of the people in the system don't even know the person. They deserve to go on teaching and learning ... All of the professionals in this line are unified in their stance that the most important thing for children in a situation like that is making sure school is a place of normalcy that can return to normalcy as quickly as possible."

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Board members also approved 22 donations to the district, 11 of which will go toward the school robotics team.

Board member Susan Mathison-Young was not in attendance.

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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