School Board briefs: Board grants $5,000 to band, choir

The school board unanimously voted to grant $5,000 to two high school music programs so they can perform early next year before the Minnesota Music Educators Association. They are the PHS Concert Choir and Symphonic Winds ensemble. This convention represents the best in performing ensembles from every corner of the state. The Concert Choir and Symphonic Winds will present their performance (tentatively titled “Reimagining Classical Musical Forms”) at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14. The concert is free and open to the public. Tickets can be acquired through the PHS Music Department after the first of the year.

The performance is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, Principal Pete Olson said.

“As a former music geek, this is awesome,” School Board member Erin Johnson said.

“This is like the football team and basketball team both advancing to the state tournament,” Olson said.

“If a team were going to a state tournament we would probably be willing to chip in so the team could represent Princeton in a good light. This is the same here, and the finance committee supported this,” said School Board member Jeremy Miller.

The $5,000 will be used to purchase music and hire professional musicians to accompany the Princeton students. The high school could have covered the costs through its general fund, but that would have resulted in some other programs being cut in order to stay on budget, Olson said.


Open enrollment

The board approved 13 open enrollment requests. Four Elk River, four Milaca and a Fargo, N.D. student were granted admission to Princeton Schools. There were four requests made for students to leave the Princeton district, with two of those being for transfer to the Fergus Falls School District which operates the online high school, IQ Academy.


Overload classes adjusted at HS

The high school has a system in place where each year it budgets instructional dollars for the teaching of classes on an overload basis. This year the district budgeted for 11 overload classes over the course of three semesters, to be taught by PHS teachers.

The board approved a request to hire a vocal and instrumental instructor for the second and third trimesters with funds that would generally have been paid to teachers for teaching the extra classes. This move came with the approval of music teachers who were interested in having more time to spend with their students.


In other school board news…

• Bremer Bank donated $200 to the high school art department.

• Fall play organizers are giving the Fastsigns sign company a free ad in its play program in exchange for a reduced price of signage the company is producing for the fall play.

• The board heard first readings of revised policies for students with food allergies and special dietary needs and student transportation safety.

• The board heard a presentation from elementary and high school teachers on how 672 new iPads are being used in the schools. Board members used interactive QR codes to learn more about the electronic devices.

• A cooperative sports program was approved for girls hockey. Princeton will team with Becker and Big Lake when it fields a girls hockey team this year. The Union-Eagle ran a story on the issue in its October 18 issue. It can be viewed at