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The CommuniCAT should have arrived in your mailbox this week. In the cover story, we explain how the inequities in special education funding are negatively impacting our budget. This is due to a new special education formula that is causing our cross-subsidy to rise at an alarming rate.
The cross-subsidy is the amount of money that the district pays out of general education funds for mandates that are not funded by the state for special education costs. There is much more information about the growing issues with the cross-subsidy on our website, including how to contact our legislators along with stories about how this is impacting school districts across the state. [go to website]

This lack of special education funding has impacted the budget to such a degree that we recently had to make a 2.86% budget reduction. Every department made reductions, including activities.

Our conversations about activities actually led us to a place where our growing district was heading. We are looking at a redesign of how we offer some of our middle school sports. We will be moving from some of the competitive, traveling teams to be more intramural focused and have instructional based play. The Activities Department along with Community Education and the Middle School leadership team are working on what activities will look like as we move forward. The plan will be announced in the early summer and take effect in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.

Many middle school athletes compete in both school sports and an association/community education sports during the same season. Over time, participation in middle school programs has declined while other community education and association programs continue to grow. With this in mind, starting in the 2019-2020 school year, Middle School boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls golf, girls softball and boys baseball will not be offered as a school ran activity. These sports will be offered through association/travel and community education along with intramural opportunities. The Middle School will continue to offer football, volleyball, cross country, swimming, gymnastics, dance team, wrestling and track and field.

With this redesign for the 2019-2020 school year, students will have more flexibility in their after school schedules as each new offering will not be as much of a time commitment as compared to previous years. Students also won’t have to be spending time traveling for the activity. This opens up opportunities for all middle school students to try sports that they may have wanted to try but have never had the chance. We will be looking at providing opportunities that better match the interests of the total student population at the Middle School, 6th-8th grade.

We will share details of the overall plan for Middle School activities once it gets finalized.  

Even if you don't have children in a certain school, I would encourage you to click on the individual school links below. In there you'll learn about how the Middle School had a banner year for their Pennies for Patients campaign and how our elementary students are learning about gratitude and there are lots of incredible performances on the calendar coming up at the high school. 

Speaking of performances, it's time to celebrate the accomplishments of 30 elementary and middle school choir students who made the 2019 State Girls and Boys Honor Choirs. The performance will be held on Saturday, May 4th at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. There are 250 students from around the state who were selected to participate. What an honor to have such a large representation from Waconia! Congratulations to students and teachers!!!!

We are so proud of our students, staff and parents for making this such a great school district for kids! 


Pat Devine

Special Education Funding in Minnesota
Link to March 25 School Board Work Session Agenda
HERO Coalition March Newsletter
Newsletters from our Schools

Bayview Elementary
Laketown Elementary
Southview Elementary
Waconia Middle School
Waconia High School
Community Education
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Waconia Public Schools
512 Industrial Blvd
Waconia, MN  55387

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