Superintendent search launches with survey, focus groups

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com The search for a new Sartell-St. Stephen school district superintendent is off to a fast start. A survey should be online Friday, Jan. 8, and focus-group meetings will take place next week, according to a schedule the school board approved Jan. 4. The district hired consultants School Exec Connect to conduct the search after Superintendent Jeff

Superintendent announces retirement

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com The Sartell-St. Stephen school district superintendent told the school board he intends to retire at the end of June. In a letter to the school board, Jeff Schwiebert, who has led the district for seven years, thanked the community for its support. During his tenure, Schwiebert oversaw the funding and building of a new high school,

A festive walk around Lake Francis

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photo by Mike KnaakA ribbon of lights greets visitors who walk the trail around Lake Francis in Sartell. The 33-acre Country Lights display runs through Dec. 31. Because of Covid-19 restrictions some of the traditional events, such as a warming house and a Santa visit, aren't happening this year and visitors are asked to observe social distancing and mask guidelines.

Pre-k, kindergarten registration moves online

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com Preparations for next fall’s pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will operate differently this year to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. The usual registration and orientation for students at Oak Ridge Early Learning Center will take place virtually this January and February. Early childhood registration for 3- and 4-year-olds will take place online from 6-7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25.

Sartell mother, daughter write book of positive messages in troubled times

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com In the years ahead, when Sartell parents and children look back on the trying and challenging times of 2020, they will also be able to remember how the community never lost hope, thanks to a book by a third-grade teacher and her daughter. Shannan Houghton and her ninth-grade daughter, Lilly, created “Grounded,” a book that tells

Sartell-St. Stephen schools launch equity audit survey

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com The Sartell-St. Stephen school district’s long-planned equity audit launched Dec. 7 with an online survey. Students in grades three through 12, parents and community members will be asked to complete the online survey by Dec. 21. The survey is one component of an equity audit conducted by consultants Equity Alliance MN to identify where schools are

School district given clean bill of health

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by Mike Knaak news@thenewsleaders.com The Sartell-St. Stephen school district was given a clean bill of economic health by the annual external audit of the district’s finances. School board members learned the outcome of the audit at the Nov. 16 meeting, which showed that expenses for the district’s 2020 fiscal year came in at 3.6 percent under budget. Another indicator of