By: Aaron Rupar
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Up until the end of last year, Faribault schools employed two Somali liaisons. But the district cut one liaison position for this school year, meaning that the sole remaining liaison has to split her time between the district’s high school and middle school.
The liaisons facilitate communication between Somali students, their parents and teachers and administrators.
Wardere argued that one liaison is insufficient.
“Many parents who are new here have a language barrier, so it is difficult for them to understand how the system works,” Wardere said, adding that an additional liaison “is worth whatever you spend.”
Wardere was joined by roughly a half-dozen Somalis at the meeting. He said that he spoke on behalf of a Somali community group.
The school board will formally consider the liason issue during its December meeting, at which Superintendent Bob Stepaniak is expected to advise the board as to whether he believes an additional liason is indeed necessary.
In departure from past practice, prom likely to be held in St. Paul
It appears that after many years of taking place at the high school, the 2011 Faribault High School prom will be held at Valentino’s in St. Paul.
Senior class president Marisa Amacher told the board that the senior class voted on whether to hold prom at FHS, Minneapolis’s IDS Tower or Blaisdale Manor, or Valentino’s in St. Paul. The overwhelming majority of students voted for the St. Paul location.
This presents a couple of issues for administrators. One, of course, involves transportation. Amacher told the board that she has arranged for Faribault Transit to provide seven coach buses so that all students can be accounted for and safely transported from Faribault to Valentino’s and back.
The second involves cost. Whereas the FHS prom typically costs a couple about $70, that cost will roughly double if the prom is held in St. Paul.
While the price increase won’t affect every student, Amacher said that she is working with local businesses to set-up aid opportunities for financially-strapped students so they can make it to prom.
“It shouldn’t be just for the financially blessed,” she said.
Ultimately, the decision about where to hold prom will be made administratively, but Stepaniak said that he is leaning towards acceding to the will of the students.
“We are leaning towards approval once we get some of these things ironed out,” he said. “This is a one year commitment, and we will see how it goes.”
In other action...
The board scheduled a special meeting to discuss the potential expulsion of a student for Monday. Stepaniak did not disclose the circumstances surrounding the potential expulsion, though he said that they will be discussed at the special meeting.