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Marathon board revises MVA athletic policy

Marathon Venture Academy (MVA) has for years said that middle schoolers who get an “F” are temporarily suspended from playing sports.

But what do you do now that the school has state standards-based grades?

The Marathon Board of Education last week Wednesday agreed that sports privileges should not be interrupted if student academic work is exemplary, proficient, developing or “not yet,” but only if his or her work is incomplete.

Board members said the “incomplete” seemed closest to the “F” or failing grade of yesteryear.

High school secretary Jackie Hanke said, however, any new policy should be clear. She said that “incomplete” work at the high school always refers to a situation where a student doesn’t complete a class, not where a student has very poor work.

Board members said they would consider policy improvements at next month’s meetings.

The board will, at the same time, consider how to name MVA citizen scholars under the new grading system.

MVA principal Sarah Budny and teachers proposed the following criteria for being a citizen scholar:

_ Earn a proficient or exemplary on 80 percent of all academic standards.

_ Earn a proficiency or higher on a final product for Complexity, Craftsmanship and Authenticity.

_ Have no lapses on 80 percent of their Behavior (Ethical People) and Academic (Effective Learner) check-ins.

_ Meet the Star reading requirements for the trimester. In other school board business:

_ Marathon High School FFA member Andy Goergen requested a Drive a Tractor to School Day.

_ Board members set open enrollment limits for the 2020-21 school year. The limits are: grades 4K and 5K, 14; grade 1, 4; grade 2, 7; grade 3, 8; grade 4, 2; grade 5, 10; grade 6, 2; and grade 8, 8. There will be no open enrollment caps on high school grades.

_ Principal Budny said students had a good first day using the new school addition, including a new cafeteria. Various logistic details need to be worked out, she said. Budny said the new cafeteria floor will need extra vigilant cleaning. It is a softer surface that doubles as a gym floor.

_ District administrator Parks said a steel post has been installed inside a new concrete block wall in the Marathon Area Elementary School/MVA gymnasium. The wall will support a Spancrete beam in the school’s second floor.

_ Board members approved a 2020-21 school calendar. It has a long spring weekend and a six-day Christmas break. Last day of school will be Thursday, June 3.

_ Board members approved a 2020 summer school proposal presented by Principal Budny. The plan will have students meet by grade for various academic, exploratory and movement instruction, but not teach students individual classes they can sign up for. She said a problem with the old summer school was that some classes had a large number of students, while other classes only attracted a handful.

The summer school will have two three-week sessions. The first three weeks are June 15-19, June 22-26 and June 29-July 3; a second session will be July 6-10, July 13-17 and July 20-24.

This schedule, she said, would give school custodians five weeks to get MAES/MVA ready for the fall.

_ Board members approved purchase of four security cameras for $2,025 and an additional computer server for $19,830 to store school security footage.

_ Board members hired Cally O’Leary, Eau Claire, as a new K-12 vocal music instructor. She will join the district Jan. 27. Board members accepted the resignation of Paul Fredrickson as co-student council advisor at the conclusion of the school year.