RTSA Jefferson School

The Red Wing School Board approved the closure of Jefferson School during Monday night’s meeting. Board members also discussed the Red Wing Ignite’s Learn and Earn program, and the position of early childhood director.

Here is what you need to know:

Closure of Jefferson School

The Jefferson School reopened during the 2020-2021 school year to accommodate COVID-19 safety requirements for K-6 students. It was planned that Jefferson was to reopen for one year only.

As COVID requirements lessened and things started to look semi-normal again, the School Board started discussing the permanent closure of Jefferson. 

The main reason the closure has been highly recommended is because the district is facing $2.2 million in budget cuts for the 2022 fiscal year.

Keeping Jefferson open could require $200,000-$300,000 from the general fund, which would result in those funds having to be cut from other areas in the budget.

Jefferson also has no kitchen, is the smallest district building, and has many short- and long-term maintenance requirements that would need to be addressed if kept open.

With all the reasons above, the board approved the closure prior to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

“It is sad to see it go back into being closed, but I think it is the best decision,”  Board member Anna Ostendorf said.

Learn and Earn

Burke Murphy, workforce lead for Red Wing Ignite, presented about the company’s Learn and Earn program that gives Goodhue County high school students the opportunity to gain skills in an academic and live workforce setting.

Students in the program first attend an OSHA-10 soft skills training course at Minnesota State College Southeast and then go on to work for two different community industries. The students are paid $10 an hour and earn college credit for the OSHA course.

Any student can apply.

Early childhood director

The board approved moving the contract for the early childhood director, housed at Colvill Family Center, to be held by the school district instead under the Goodhue County Education District. The person will report to Red Wing Community Education Director Dawn Wettern; community education oversees early childhood birth to age 5 programs.

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