WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     WWG — All of the Westbrook Walnut Grove campuses are ready to go after a summer long spruce up.

    There will be several changes in staff and room assignments, more computers have been added as well as more iPads.

    In Walnut Grove Angie Benson will vacate her librarian position and become the lead fourth grade teacher. Jocelyn Wester will work with Benson as a half time fourth grade teacher handling reading and math. She will also fill in for Mrs. VanDeViere in ELL.



    Cathy Kassel will fill in for Mrs. VanDeViere in reading and math along with Shelly Merrick.

    Mrs. Jorgenson, Mrs. Kells, and Mr. Ross will be blending the 5th and 6th  grade classes in a mini-middle school due to the large size  of the sixth grade.

    Anna Lee Plaetz will be a library para  as well as a class room para.

    Andrea Bents, Doris Zeug, Samantha Hall, and Kalea Thompson  have all been  hired as para professionals.

    A wall has been put up between  the two kindergarten  rooms that will provide more privacy and less noise between them.

    Olson said 52 iPad mini’s were purchased for the class room, making their student iPad ration of about two  to one in the elementary school.

    According to Olson there will continue to be an After School Academy which serves about 50 students.

    The school board also approved the afternoon healthy snack program that promotes fruits and veggies for snacks.

    Stephanie Comnick will be full time teacher for, special ed, and phy ed classes.

    Principal Bill  Richards says,  “we have two new professional staff members. Jessica (Olsem) Lales who will teach biology, anatomy, advanced biology, and horticulture.

    James Menton will be a full time Spanish teacher and will be  available for some administrative work as well.

    Computer  technician Duane Hannan is setting up a new access system to better control internet use with in the school.

    Professional Learning Community will be having sessions  every two to three weeks, at the same time students will be doing special activities. The PLC will focus on how to improve things for students throughout the year. In  the past they have tended  to wait until later in the year.  This will help with students coming in or out during the school year.

    Loy Woelber talked about some of the upgrades in the high school campus.

    The  ends of the gym floor are being refinished with polished concrete. New ceiling  tile has been installed in the gym foyer and band room hallway.

    The lunch room has a major upgrade with a new suspended ceiling and air  conditioning. This will be a nice addition to the school.

    Sheryl Woelber's classroom had the carpet replaced with a polished concrete floor.

    A bigger garage door is being installed in the old Walnut Grove shop room so busses can be run in for minor maintenance.

    A wall was put in the old boys locker room bathroom at Walnut Grove for the  public  and hmong visitor center.  Woelber said “there is also a room that could be used for public rental for office space.”

    A second reading loft was installed in Mrs. Quade's first grade class room. Last year one was installed in Mr. Jenniges' room.

    This year we will have five van routes, three for special ed, and two for open enrollments.

    Things are going good and we were lucky to find good people to fill open positions.

    Duane Hannan said we have 25 new lap tops and two classroom portable labs and one smaller cart in the secondary school building. There is one class size cart in the vocational campus.

    The new wifi access is in the process of being set up. It is managed through an off site cloud system. There will be separate access for guests, students, lab and staff. They will be able to manage the band width of each as well as content filtering. For guests and students there will be an acceptance page which  a person will have to agree to the terms of the system.

    We have to be able to control the band width for students and guests in order to have enough band width for academic classroom and staff needs. That’s our main focus, said Hannan.