The Redwood Area School District continues to move forward with the planning stages of a new application that would ex-tend the flexible learning year (FLY) school schedule into the future, and members of the Redwood Area Board of Education received an update of the process during its meeting Monday night.
According to Darcy Josephson, RASD director of teaching and learning, the school board directed school administration to investigate the possibility of extending the FLY concept in conjunction with the 24 other school districts who are involved.
“We are currently putting together a report for the Minnes-ota Department of Education,” Josephson said, adding that report is going to be submitted in September.
Josephson said the application the FLY schools would fill out if they get the go ahead to move forward is much different than the original application.
“The application is very much data driven,” said Josephson.
The premise of the original FLY application was that the addition of 10 student contact days in advance of the state mandated Labor Day start would benefit students as they prepare to take high stakes tests in the spring. That data for the second year of the FLY program is currently being gathered.
Data from a community survey is also being submitted.
Information from that survey was also presented to the school board, and more than 400 students, parents and members of the staff responded.
Of those who responded to the survey 50 percent agreed or strongly agreed the FLY program would improve educational quality and 54 percent agreed or strongly agreed that students and educators are ready to go back to school in August.
Josephson reminded the school board the FLY concept is not just about starting school early, as it focuses on staff development. She said prior to the start of the school year the staff from all 25 districts gathered together to hear national speakers and to network with other teachers who teach the same subject in an effort to learn from each other.
Josephson said the decision to officially move forward is going to be discussed at an upcoming board meeting, adding the application would be submitted in January and the schools would hear from the department of education in mid- March if the application had been accepted or rejected.
In other action during its meeting, the school board:
• Approved a re-quest to excuse the members of the Class of 2013 from mandatory attendance for the dates of May 14-16 based on each of them meeting all course requirements.
• Set a date of Nov. 26 for the public hearing on certification of the 2012, payable 2013 levy.
• Approved the employment of Travis Fluck as an assistant football coach at a salary of $2,416 and Laura Miller as a varsity assistant girls basketball coach at a salary of $2,814.
• Approved the employment of Mandi Kuehn as a middle school program paraprofessional for 178 days at 6.5 hours per day at a rate of $9.25 per hour and Christina Elberling as a middle school program paraprofessional for 171 days at 6.5 hours per day at a rate of $9.25 per hour.
• Approved the employment of Sue Osborne as the school level technology integration specialist at Reede Gray Elemen-tary School at a stipend of $4,121.
• Accepted the resignation of Jamie Steffl from her position as junior class prom advisor, Josh Junker from his positions as varsity assistant football and head baseball coach and Dan Paur as an RVMS para and assistant boys hockey coach.