September 14, 2017


Signing bonuses provided

Bus drivers needed in ISD 2142


The 2017-2018 school year has started in St. Louis County Schools and this year filling the need for teachers has been better than in the past. Most positions were filled early on. But the need for bus drivers to drive the students to school is high. The ISD 2142 board, at their regular meeting Monday at 6 p.m. in the Cherry School, took action to hopefully take care of that need. An Employee Referral Program was approved that will pay all current ISD 2142 employees, except principals, the Transportation Director, the Superintendent, and Human Resource personnel, $300 upon the referral of a Bus Driver candidate's successful hire and completion of all pre-employment licensing and training requirements. The award will be dispersed to the employee within 30 days of the candidate's conditional offer of employment. The employee must be employed by ISD 2142 during the candidate's first 30 days of employment to be eligible for the award.
Also, all Regular Route Bus Driver candidates who have been made a conditional offer of employment based on the successful completion of a Bus Driver's Endorsement will receive a one-time $75 training stipend upon successful completion of all licensure and training requirements prior to employment. In addition, all Regular Route Bus Driver candidates who have been offered conditional employment will receive a one-time $500 signing bonus upon successful completion of all pre-employment licensure requirements and training.
Supt. Steve Sallee reported that the district is trying to get the three fitness centers located in North Woods, Cherry and South Ridge eligible for reimbursement through the employee's health insurance plan for membership. The cost to the district would be around $1,050 a year with a $7/month fee. He told the board that the year started out successfully and smoothly.
Cherry Principal Michael Johnson reported that 14 students were denied open enrollment into Cherry since the school is full. He did say that grades 10 and 12 were smaller than other classes.
Football is coming back to Cherry, but not next year. There are 10 players in grades 9 to 12 and 30 in grades 7 and 8.
Principal Johnson had two students of their highly successful Student Council, Aliisa Mayry and Paige Chadwick, give a report on their work and awards. They received a Student Council of the Year Award for the third time, and the "U Rock" award. They also hold three blood drives a year, plus give out scholarships to graduates. He noted that, "Shelly and the Custodial Staff have the building ready and looking great for the start of school." Principal Johnson is justifiably proud of his school in his second year as principal. He also made note of the big rock sign in front of the school that two former Cherry students provided through their new company. It is quite "awesome."
Two change orders for the Northeast Range heating project were approved which provided a cut in costs of $4,400.
The Principals Contract for 2017-2019, which had the same increase percentage-wise as the teachers contract, was unanimously approved.
Probationary teachers hired for South Ridge were Trevor Matheny for 0.4 FTE Social Studies and Christina Nelson for 0.5 FTE ECFE Child Educator. Susan Ellefson was hired 1.0 FTE as a long-term sub for Social Studies Cherry, and Robin Williams 1.0 FTE as a long-term sub for South Ridge Elementary.
Support staff hired for South Ridge were paraprofessionals Brenda Harteau, Erin Jackson and Aili Hakala, and Brenda LaSart for Tower-Soudan, plus Stacey Jabbar as teacher aide for Tower- Soudan, and Patricia Nemec as van driver for South Ridge.
Alissa Boyhtari was hired as assistant coach for cross country at South Ridge.
The resignations of North Woods paraprofessional Cassandra Ableman and Donald Chosa - Indian Academic Assistant, Dawn Simpson - NER paraprofessional, and Tower-Soudan custodian Michael Mattson were approved.
The meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m.

St. Louis County Schools ACT scores are below state average again


The students in ISD 2142, St. Louis County Schools, who are planning to go on to college were around the state average in their test scores and above the national average, with the exception of the Northeast Range School.
The average ACT score for Minnesota students was 21.5 and the national average was 21.0. For the County Schools, North Woods college-bound students scored a 21.0, Cherry a 21.0, South Ridge a 22.0, and Northeast Range a 19.0.
A perfect ACT score is 32.0, while a 22.0 will usually assure getting into college.
There were 109 who tested in St. Louis County Schools, while 61,101 tested statewide. County Schools saw the average English score drop to 17.8 from 18.0 last year, with the state average rising to 20.4. For mathematics, the County students scored a 19.0 against the state average of 21.5. Reading for the County saw an average score of 19.8 against a state average of 21.8, while in science, the County students had a 19.7 score against a state average of 21.6. Overall, St. Louis County Schools had an average ACT score of 19.2 compared to 21.5 for the state.
Forty-eight percent of those tested in St. Louis County Schools are ready for College English Composition against a state average of 63 percent. In algebra, 26 percent of County test takers are ready for college algebra compared to 48 percent statewide. In social studies, 37 percent of the County students are ready for college compared to 50 percent statewide. Biology saw 28 percent ready in the County compared to 42 percent statewide, while those meeting all four were 15 percent compared to 31 percent statewide.
ISD 2142 schools had a high ACT mark in 2015 with a 22.0 average against a state average of 22.7. This year's 19.2 is the lowest in the past five years.

Canadian Northern Railroad work requires Hwy. 1 detour in Angora beginning Sept. 18

Motorists traveling on Highway 1 in Angora will be detoured Monday, Sept. 18 through Tuesday evening, Sept. 19, while repairs are made to the railroad tracks just east of Highway 53.
The detour will use Highway 87 and Highway 78. Warning lights will be in place to assist with traffic control. Motorists should follow the signed detour route.
For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit


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