Delano Schools to give voters levy info

School District 879 (Delano Schools) is getting ready to inform district voters about the two operating levy questions that will be on the ballot in the Nov. 6 General Election.

Superintendent of Schools Matt Schoen Monday, July 23, described for the Delano School Board the information efforts that he has been planning with Communications Specialist Traci Lawman and Business Manager Mary Reeder.

At the meeting, the School Board also took up other business. Here are some meeting highlights.



Efforts to inform voters about the proposed operating levy will begin on Aug. 10, when the Welcome Back newsletter will go out to all district residents. The introduction and front page will be devoted to operating levy facts. At the end of September, Delano Schools will mail another newsletter giving more information. In mid-October a required first class mailing will include a sample ballot, explanations of the ballot, tax impact statement and levy facts. The Delano Public Schools website at will be updated to educate voters.

Voters in School District No. 879 will find two operating levy questions on their ballots during the Nov. 6 election — one of which, if approved, would not increase property taxes.

Question No. 1 will ask voters to authorize renewal of the $426 per pupil operating levy that is set to expire in June 2013. Voters who say “yes” to this question would not be voting for a tax increase because they already have been paying for an operating levy of this same size for the past 10 years.

If district voters were to approve Question No. 2, they would be voting for a property tax increase. This question asks voters for an additional $325 per pupil operating levy money. Passage of Question No. 2 will be contingent upon passage of Question No. 1.

If passed, both operating levies would be in effect for 10 years. The amount of the $325 levy would increase each year by the rate of inflation, but this would not happen with the $426 levy extension. The two levies would go into effect for taxes payable in 2013.



The School Board called for an election on Nov. 6 to fill six School Board seats. Three of the seats will carry four-year terms and three will carry two-year terms.



Community Education Director Diane Johnson said that 164 students are registered for summer Tiger Kids Club, an enrollment that surpasses prior years. Fall registration will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 7. Registration deadline is Aug. 20 for students wanting to start TKC on the first day of school. If registering later, students would start TKC on Sept. 10.

Wee Tigers Preschool has 110 students registered for fall, and some space was left, as of July 23.

An Aug. 21 screening date has been added for students who have entered the district over the summer and would start Kindergarten in September.

The Destination Imagination Open House will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the Delano Middle School Media Center.



Supt. Schoen reported on Operation Tiger Chem that took place in mid July at Delano High School. The operation revolved around a simulated explosion in the DHS chemistry lab. Minnesota Homeland Security worked with local, state and federal emergency response agencies in the mock operation.

Schoen called Operation Tiger Chem a great experience for the agencies and the school leadership to have this learning opportunity.



Delano Senior Center Director Gail Sinkel described how the Senior Center partners with Delano Community Education and Delano Public Schools.

Delano Community Ed offers adult enrichment programs at the Senior Center. Also, a number of intergenerational programs bring students and seniors together. Elementary students join seniors for lunch; DMS and DHS bands and choirs perform at the center; DMS students have Senior Center pen pals; SHARP and National Honor Society students assist with special events, serve lunches and deliver Meals on Wheels; College in the Schools students are in a joint writers group with seniors and preschool classes join seniors for lunches and activities.

The Senior Center has existed for 30 years, Sinkel said.