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Big decisions coming for school district

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If this week's Monday night workshop was all about talk, next week's regular board meeting seems likely to bring some big decisions for the Farmington School District.

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Board members heard final recommendations Monday for new elementary and middle school boundaries, asked some final questions about a proposed new high school schedule and got a list of finalists for three new school names.

Oh, they also set a process for filling the vacancy that will be created when board member Terry Donnelly departs in January for his new seat on the Farmington City Council.

A few highlights: Board members appeared settled on what was been identified in earlier discussions as the White option for new elementary school boundaries and the Black option for the two middle schools that will operate starting next fall.

In brief, the White option will send students from the Dakota County Estates and north Riverbend neighborhoods from North Trail Elementary to Akin Road Elementary; students from Parkview Ponds, Mystic Meadows, north Vermillion Grove, Middle Creek, Akin Road, Pine Knoll and Middle Creek Estates and Autumn Glen from Akin Road to the new elementary school that will open next fall; students from Eureka and the rural parts of southwest Farmington, Providence, Summer Glen and Percine, Empire Glen and Lu Dan Acre, Riverside Estates, north Downtown, Edmar and Butternut/Cabrilla/Burlington from Farmington Elementary to the new school.

Under the Black option for the middle schools students from Meadowview Elementary and Farmington Elementary will go to the current high school building. Students from North Trail and Akin Road will go to the current FMS West and students from the new elementary school will be split between the two.

School schedule

Board members also appeared well on their way to approving a new schedule for the high school. Though the precise schedule was never identified discussion seemed to suggest a proposed five period day with an optional morning Zero Hour. The year would be split into three trimesters.

Also, the board appears likely to approve a schedule change that will have high school students starting class at 8:20 and ending their school day at 3:05. Middle school students would still attend class from 7:35 to 2:25. The only change at the elementary school level would be to stitch Meadowview Elementary from an 8:30 a.m. start time to a 9 a.m. start.

School names

A committee set up to receive suggestions for the names of three schools presented its finalists Monday. The current FMS West and FMS East, which will become an elementary school next year, each got four finalists because they have one in common; the current high school has three finalists. They are as follows: FMS East Rambling River Elementary, Edgewater Elementary School, Akasanpa Elementary (means across or over the river), Bridgewood Elementary. FMS West Vermillion Middle School, Edgewater Middle School, Kakanpi Middle School (means fabulous), Clear Lakes Middle School. High School Robert Boeckman Middle School (named for the ISD 192 superintendent from 1969-1989), Denmark Middle School, Prairie View Middle School.

Vacancy

Finally, the board set a tentative schedule for replacing Donnelly. The board set Dec. 9 as the target date for interviewing applicants. Each board member will contribute a single question to the process. Applicants will also get to offer opening and closing statements.

Look for more complete versions of each of these stories in this week's print edition of the Independent.

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