February 24, 2014 Community news from the prairie to the lakes  
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  WCA is enjoying lots of success  

It has been quite a winter for West Central Area’s Activities Director Pat Anderson. At last Tuesday’s school board meeting, he produced a report detailing how productive WCA extra curriculars have been, as the basketball teams prepare to host playoff games and the wrestlers set their sights on St. Paul and the State Tournament.

The girls basketball team picked up another win Tuesday night and improved to a 13-6 record. They will be seeded second in the Section 6A South playoffs, which start March 5, and most likely, they will host their first game.

The boys basketball team is having one of their best seasons ever. They also picked up another win Tuesday night and went to 18-5 overall, and 11-2 in the Prairie Conference. They are seeded second in the Section 6A playoffs, which open February 26 at WCA.

Anderson has been particularly busy setting up travel and accommodations for the West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville wrestling team, as they head off to the State Tournament this week. The team finished the regular season 24-2, winning the Section 6A title for the first time in 19 years. The State Team Tournament starts Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul when the Knights take on Zumbrota-Mazeppa at 11:00.

There will be a community send-off for the team Wednesday, February 25 at 8:30 a.m. in the Secondary school auditorium. A welcome home is planned for Sunday, March 1 at 2:00 p.m., also at the Secondary School auditorium.

WCA will send both student and adult fan busses to St. Paul on Thursday. They will leave at 6:45 a.m. and return when the Knights are finished wrestling for the day. Call the school before 3:00 p.m. Tuesday to make reservations.

West Central Area also hosted the Sub-Section and Section One Act Play Contests on consecutive Saturdays in January and February. The latter brought eight schools from as far away as Kimball to the school to compete.

And the WCA Speech season is just getting underway. The speech team had one meet already and are competing in Morris Saturday, Feb. 21.

Community Education
WCA Community Education Director Harold Nelson outlined what his program has been doing this past month. He said the Community Education sponsored LEADS Program gained two more members, making 26 participants. At their last meeting the group talked about all the assets there were in the area including: schools, parks, farming companies, local businesses, and quality health care, just to name a few.

“We then talked about building relationships to help expand these assets and building relationships with our legislators,” Nelson said.

He said there are 55 elementary students participating in the Little Knights Basketball program at WCA North and 28 at South. Chelle Dewey runs the program at North and Greg Sabolik at South with help from WCA varsity players who volunteer their time.

He said there will be a FAFSA workshop for high school seniors and their parents at 7:00 p.m. Monday, March 2, at the Secondary School’s media center.

Nelson reminded the board and anyone watching the video at home that Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre will be holding auditions for Peter Pan for all WCA students in grades 3 through 12 after school on March 10 in the Secondary School Auditorium. After one week of practices the play will be performed Saturday, March 14 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Other business
The board accepted a donation from the Elbow Lake Community Healthcare Auxiliary for the upcoming Youth Frontiers Kindness Retreat for WCA 4th and 5th graders.

The board also accepted a letter of resignation, effective, February 19 from Secondary School paraprofessional Sue Maier, and a Child Care Leave for Secondary School Special Education teacher Maggie Dahl.

The board passed a resolution from the Minnesota Rural Education Association asking the legislature to allow school districts the option of starting the 2015 school year before Labor Day. This year Labor Day is September 7 and current state law states public schools cannot start the school year until after Labor Day, which means the first day of school would be September 8.

“This resolution does not mean that we are able to start earlier, nor does it mean that we would if the Legislature allows us this option,” said Superintendent Pat Westby. “It simply means that we would like the option to do so if our district chooses.”

Superintendent Westby said the upcoming parent/teacher conferences are wrong in the official school calendar and they will be March 2 from 3:30 until 7:30 p.m. and March 5 from 12:30 until 7:30 p.m. School will be dismissed on March 5 at 11:30 a.m. and there will be no school on March 6. Westby said parents will be reminded of these changes through the instant alert system as the dates get closer.

Westby also gave a tribute to Special Education paraprofessional Ann Sorenson, who passed away last week, saying, “She was a true asset to our kids and school district. She loved what she did as a paraprofessional.”

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February 24, 2015