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Yes for Students Committee Supports Minot Public School Realignment Project

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Yes for Students Committee Supports Minot Public School Realignment Project

Posted: Oct 20 2021
Yes for Students Committee Supports Minot Public School Realignment Project
A coalition of community supporters is urging Minot voters to support students by voting yes on December 7, 2021. The Yes for Students Committee today announced its plan to advocate for the passing of the Minot Public Schools Realignment Project and supporting a yes vote on all three questions on the ballot for the special election scheduled for December 7.
 
Minot Public School Board scheduled a special election after a unanimous vote at the September 2021 school board meeting. The bond referendum includes remodeling and adding school facilities to create a third middle school and two 9-12 grade high schools in Minot. A second question includes a pool and athletic complex. A third question allows the District to increase the debt limit.
 
“It’s time we get this done and vote yes for students but also vote yes for our community. A strong school system is necessary for a strong community,” said Marv Semrau, Yes for Students committee member. “The last successful bond for building a high school was in 1969.”
 
The Minot Public School District was gifted the Cognizant building for $10, providing millions in savings toward a second high school. In addition, the District was awarded $10 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) Funds that will be used towards the realignment project. ESSER Funds must be expended by 2024.
 
The Minot Area Chamber EDC board of directors passed a resolution of support. Board chairman, Jonn Knecht shared, “We are grateful to have passionate citizens in our city championing the Minot Public Schools Realignment Project and creating better opportunities for students.” Knecht added, “We know having a strong education system is a key component to our overall quality of life and economic development efforts.” Randy Hauck, chair of Minot’s Military Affairs Committee stressed the importance of a strong education system and the tracking of this by the Department of Defense and Air Force Global Strike Command.
 
The challenges outlined by Minot Public Schools include adjustments that are needed at both the middle school and high school levels. Middle schools are overcrowded. Ramstad Middle School is at capacity and Jim Hill Middle School has 14 classrooms utilizing portable, makeshift spaces. High school challenges tie to the current configuration which transitions students between 9-10 grade at Central Campus to 11-12 grade at Magic City Campus. Minot Public School District is one of the few districts in the country with a split high school campus. In addition, Minot is the largest district in the state, limiting academic and extracurricular opportunities for students.
 
Jill Wald participated in the Minot Public School District stakeholder planning meetings and shared, “Ideas were shared from a broad section of the community and there was a lot of discussion and engagement from all who attended the planning session. Overwhelmingly the discussions centered around opportunities for students with two high schools opening up opportunities for two first chair band positions to two basketball teams.”
 
The election will be held at the Minot Auditorium from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 7. Absentee ballots are available through the Ward County Auditor/Treasurer’s Office. Applications for absentee ballots can be found on the Ward County website, wardnd.com under Auditor/Treasurer Department election section starting Thursday, October 28. Early voting will take place November 29 – December 3 and December 6 at the Ward County Administrative building from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day.