A new school year

marshall schools

School districts start a new school year (or fiscal year) on July 1 each year, so we are now about one month into the “new” 2019-2020 school year…even though we are over a month away from students starting the year. One would think that the summer months are relatively quiet around the buildings in the Marshall Public School District. Summer is certainly quieter than during the months that school is taking place, but there is actually quite a bit of activity taking place in most/all of our sites … even in June, July, and August. Here are some updates and information that I would like to share this month.

At its meeting on July 16, the school board acted on a variety of relevant items.

• Representatives from the district’s financial advising firm (Ehlers) presented information about the bond sale that took place on June 20. Interest rates have declined significantly in the past few months, and a net interest rate of 2.83% (on the bonds sold) is substantially lower than the estimate used in pre-election estimates. As a result, total tax levies on the bonds will be $5,382,000 LESS than pre-election estimates. This was obviously welcome news!

• They approved our Long-Term Facilities Maintenance Plan, which outlines the work and projects that we will do over the next 10 years on our existing facilities — this plan is focused on taking care of our buildings and grounds and extending their life as long as possible without compromising anything for our students, families, staff, and community.

• Due to increasing enrollment, we were authorized to add a teacher in 6th grade.

• We were authorized to move forward with e-learning days this winter. That means that, if necessary, there may be days during the winter months where we are not able to have students and staff physically at their building/school, but we will still have school electronically through e-learning days. While this decision may seem like a “no-brainer” to some, there was a great deal of thought and discussion before approval by the school board. We recognize there will be some things that we may need to work our way through, but we think that these days will better accommodate our families than having to always make up school days during the year or extend them into June.

During the 2018-2019 school year, our district went through a (re) branding process that culminated in May 2019, when the school board approved a branding package for MPS. A team of staff members spent several months working on designs that are exclusive to our district. This branding package includes seven new logos and specific fonts and colors that are specific to MPS. This new brand is an opportunity for us to create a unique identity for everything Tiger-related, from our activities program to school-related communication. For the first time ever, MPS has a new brand that was created just for our school district!

When we welcome this year’s kindergarten students in September (the graduating class of 2032!), we anticipate having 24 new staff members in our district. This number includes 14 licensed staff, 8 support staff, and 2 administrators. We look forward to helping all of these new staff members get off to a great start, and we will continue to focus on our mission to educate, support, and prepare all learners for success.

I can be reached at scott.monson@marshall.k12.mn.us or at 507-537-6924. Thank you for taking time to read this and for the support shown for the Marshall Public School District. Go Tigers!