SAUK RAPIDS (WJON News) -- Summertime is prime maintenance time for school districts.

Sauk Rapids-Rice Superintendent Brad Bergstrom says work is continuing this summer on replacing the brick on the exterior of the middle school. They are also repurposing the pool area inside the building.

We're also doing some work with our multi-use space where the pool used to be.  We're on schedule for that space to open right after the winter break in January 2024.

Bergstrom says they are replacing a boiler at Rice Elementary. And, the parking lot at the high school is also getting replaced, which is 20 years old already.

As for hiring staff this summer, Bergstrom says a number of the open positions are already filled with just a few open positions yet for special education teachers. He says they are getting more candidates applying for jobs than they were seeing in the past.

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School districts across the state are scrambling to implement policies for the upcoming school year that were passed during this year's state legislative session.

Bergstrom says usually when there are legislative changes districts are given time to adjust to the new policies. The normal procedure would be for the Department of Education to first look at it and interpret what it means, then the School Boards Association weighs in before it gets to the local level.

However, Bergstrom says this year many of the changes are going into effect right away.

A couple of the things that are out there include things like you can no longer expel a student in grades K through 3.  While it doesn't happen very often, it's no long an option no matter what the student does.  There are some pieces in there about recess.  It just goes on and on an on from there.

Bergstrom says any mandated policy change requires staff training, updating the student handbooks, and communication with staff and families. He calls this year, 'an immense amount of change, unlike anything he's seen in his 35 years in education."


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