Skip To Content

For Video :

PDF Agenda Packet:

A former Sped Teacher at the FUTURES school spoke that he submitted a resignation on Nov. 12th for family and mental health related reasons. He gave a six week notice (he would work till Dec. 22nd), and during that time he was disappointed no one called to try to retain him. He was later told that he would be terminated for failure to teach for not full filling his contractual obligations. The only contact he received was from the district was an ethic violation notice for not fulfilling his contract to work through the end of the school year. He is one of few Male and BiPOC teachers. He wanted to let the public know he tried to submit his resignation before they terminated him, he has worked hard to build up his reputation in this community as a good teacher and a good coach.

There were apprehensions about for testing and vaccine mandates as well as masking young children. There were concerns about the schools sincerity on 1st amendment rights, since they limit speech at the school board meetings. Additionally, a speaker addressed concerns about white privilege’s and how privilege is more about family structure and community support then it is about race.

Another speaker said he believes in and thanked the school board. He wanted D.E.I in schools because this country was born of two sins. We have achievement gaps and he would like our leaders to error on the side of caution.

Linda Howe Wensel MTA president said that the school board has to negotiate accepting the grant funded pay, as found in state statute 122A.70 or school policy 466, with the MTA before they can accept such funding. She also mentioned the MTA representation on Calendar

(Elizabeth Hanke’s) Comments and Questions – I did email my questions to Mondi Schwart and Aaron Hyer and I have not yet received a response.

For Prairie Winds during their presentation could you give us an idea on the size of your student population VS Student Behaviors reported and about how many students can those behaviors be attributed to?

For the “n word Community group. “ I would also like to know how many students display such behaviors and how often is this an issue? Are students who speak such derogatory language being written up for their behaviors? Is the most common behavior you are seeing displayed at your school?

I assume most of your students are good people who work hard and build each other up. In what ways do you spotlight and encourage good behaviors?  Do you see good behavior more frequently than bad?

Lastly, Are there ways for parents to volunteer in your school?  What is that process? (This Gets Answered later on, Board Member Schuck, asked to have this answered) A student success specialist can line you up with mentorship opportunities. There is always need for help and we welcome volunteers. Just call or email the office or the principal.

Office email – [email protected], Principal’s Secretary [email protected] Mondi Schwartz, Principal- [email protected]

I personally volunteer in schools but through the YMCA mentorship program.

I am speaking on the agenda itself.  The school board mentioned that they would be putting together round table discussions. (Board Member Sapp did address this later in the meeting)

Round Table type discussions would help to break through the noise, tune down the language that sounds like a station tuned to anger.  It would be an opportunity for us all to take a breath and see each other’s struggles.  We need these conversations, respectful debates to provide us all an opportunity to work together to resolve these issues, for our schools, our community, our families and most importantly our children.  We cannot allow our differences, our ideologies, our individual struggles drive us further apart, to the point we each stand alone.  We are meant to stand together, to show our children their purpose and their potential.  The darkness of our fears has left us stumbling, lost and turning against each other.  By choosing to only see each other by the color of our skin, or our party affiliation, we lose our way. But today, we choose a different path, we market and schedule round table discussions where we can all shine a light on the issues that plague us and discuss ways we have overcome our own struggles and ways we can help each other. Today we remember, it is our common humanity, our love that will drive out hate.  And in Honor of MLK, “love is the only thing capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Chair Person Sapp – Later mentioned that they intend to have their first Round Table Meeting on Saturday the 29th at 9am. They intend to have this at the Lincoln Comminity Center and more information should be coming out later.


Prairie Winds Middle School ReportClick to View

Monde Schwartz and Aaron Hyer

For the First slide it was just reinstated that their goal is to raise the achievement of all students.

There are nearly 1,100 students at PWMS.

No mention of the number of suspensions or incident reports. Or the most common behaviors they are seeing displayed in their school (beneficial or negative) It was stated that POC are suspended at a greater rate than other students.

WEB is a program where 8th graders mentor 6th grader.

Second step Lessons are skill and mental health, SEL lessons.

The multi tear system divides that school of 1100 into teams of 150, to form smaller communities.

Community circles meet once a month and the “N” word community circle is this months topic, happening on 01/25/2022. This has been vetted through several groups. They are excited to put this in front of kids.

Allyship is February’s Community group.

Board Member Schuck later pointed out that Parents can volunteer for the Parent Equity Consulting Groups. This group meets with Board member Erin Roberts.

There are also Racially Divided Affinity Groups where staff (of the same race) meet with the students. Teachers talk about how they can work through their system and work through issues with people that look just like them.

Staff Equity was talking about celebrations and traditions and how we celebrate to include everyone’s traditions.

PWMS Racial Crisis Response plan could be used in the instance of a racial charged media post that students find emotional. As a way to support and work through those feelings

Using the Layer support system, where they work with outside family and therapy services, they were able to significantly reduce truancy of one of their students.

Staff Celebration-They love their students and show their love by holding them accountable.

Board member questions-

Board member Roberts believes that the “n” word community group is important to help students understand why derogatory language is hurtful. Just like why we do not use curse words.

She also asked about what the school does to get kids career ready? – The school does activities that drive long term focus to career goals. AVID is also meant f career building.

Minute: 21:12 Board member Schuck– Congratulated PWMS on reducing student truancy. The long term plan with student behaviors, is something that is very challenging, it is no something that is idealized in one day. It means that the layered support service has long term goals and we will not see those effects immediately but we need to be headed in the right direction. You can email the office to volunteer with the school. The student success specialist will help line parents up with a student to mentor.

Mondi Schwartz, Principal- [email protected]

Minute 24:46 Board member Reid- Thanked them for being courageous leaders and having conversations about the “N” word.

How do you support other underserved communities? Monde Schwartz – We believe we can serve both underserved communities and ethnic communities. Conversations around race make us all better. I think white people have a really difficult time, typically there is not a lot of conversations about race in white households. So I think this is a really good, safe place to have those conversations. So this is an opportunity to help kids from historically marginalized populations and kids from white households, not get so freaked out about it.

Reid I just want to make sure we are creating global citizens. He pointed out that equity is not just about race but about gender as well. And hopes they can create equity systems at the board level as well. He also expressed concerns about testing and truancy and making are underserved populations are being served. There was also discussion on supporting teachers.

Board Member Ratcliff just said that the love and accountability message really resonated.

Chair Sapp- Thanked them for their time and running a good school.

Superintendent Peterson- mentioned that Aaron Hyer, the assistant principal, was helping over at Dakota Meadows and provided much needed support. He thanked him for his flexibility and help.


B.  COVID-19 Update Click to View

5-9 year olds did not see a spike in infection like the other age groups.

Flyers went home with parents so they have an option of signing up for vaccine clinics at school. This is open to anyone that lives in the area.

Minute 5:00 Superintendent Paul Peterson – Along with a very well time snowstorm last Friday, that closed school. There were questions staffing wise if we were going to be able to have school anyway. They think we will see a peak in Omicron, and we can move forward. But until we see that we will have to have masking and other percussions. We will put forth contingency planning in case we need online learning.

This slide is small but they said they would be sharing it on the district website

Ms Wells- Said all their policies are suggestions from the CDC. They send it out to district leads first, then families and then the community at large. There is a lot of changes that happen all the time.

Board member Sapp- Wanted to reiterate that these clinics are not mandatory and that parents do need to sign a form to have their children vaccinated.

Board member Roberts- Said they could call their school, the Health Director or Communications director with any questions. She also expressed her thanks to the school nurses

Board member Reid- If a student has got a dose at a pharmacy or another location, could they come to the school clinic and receive their second dose during the first dose clinic. – NO, if the student already has one vaccine they should go back to their providers. We do not have health records on site and do not want to vaccinate someone out of cycle.

Board member Reid also asked How do we prevent or help students who are being abused at home if our schools get shut down. Travis Olsen said that teachers and counselors do still reach out to students, There is a MMS system and a safety and support activity meeting.

Minute 16:50 Paul Peterson spoke about classes or schools being shut down and what that process might look like. Some of our class rooms are already implementing contingency plans and others are just getting themselves up to speed. These plans are int he works but we hope we do not have to implement them district wide.

Superintendent Peterson said they were short staffed They had 20 staff out sick last week.

Board Member Schuck: Asked questions about getting kids back in classrooms after distance learning.

Minute 23:00: Hogan said some of the classes in Covid isolation are just coming back to class 01/19/2022 we will have to see what effect this has on testing and learning. He said they will be monitoring those students and those classes to see if they were able to stay up to date with online schooling. Our hope that the virus moves through that room, that this classroom will be able to come back and stay strong for the remainder of the year.

 Approval of Resolution Filling School Board Vacancy By Appointment Click to Vie

For full article view Mankato Freepress:

“A community leader in diversity and equity work is joining the Mankato School Board.

Bukata Hayes was unanimously appointed Monday to fill a vacancy on the board. He will be seated on Feb. 22. The seat will be up for election in November.

In his application letter, Hayes emphasized his prior work with the School District through the Diversity Council, which has included developing student lessons and teacher training.

Hayes cannot take office until Feb. 22 because state law requires time for a citizen-initiated petition to block the appointment. The petition would have to have a large number of resident signatures equal to at least 5% of the number of voters in the last state general election.”

To read the full article click the link above.


22-23 school calendar

For full article view Mankato Freepress:

“Jan. 19—MANKATO — The calendars for the coming two school years at Mankato Area Public Schools are set and include new days off for Indigenous Peoples Day and Eid al-Fitr.

The Mankato School Board on Monday adopted district calendars for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024.

. . .

Olson said district staff will decide the feasibility of switching in coming months. Considerations will include the impact on busing, child care programs and extracurricular activities.

The calendars as approved note the staff development days but do not specify if they’ll be late start or early release.” Kristine Goodrich

View Current Calendar Here.