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October school board meeting wrap-up

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Three officers representing the Two Harbors Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff's Office kicked off the Lake Superior School District board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17, with discussion about DARE, an education program facilitated by law enforcement officers and intended to prevent drug use.

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The officers asked for more money for the program for next year to cover transportation costs incurred while travelling to Silver Bay, Two Harbors and North Shore Community School. The officers often work overtime to teach the program, and they said they would like to add an end-of-the-year party with pizza and bowling.

No action was taken, but board members agreed they would consider the proposal when budget details are being ironed out.

Leah Bott, the Lake County coordinator for the Statewide Health Improvement Plan, gave the board an update on her most recent efforts to make the county and school a little healthier. Students have been working hard on the school garden in Two Harbors, and a similar garden in Silver Bay is flourishing.

Bott said she hopes to institute a new program for third-graders using an Arrowhead Regional Development Commission grant. The program would teach the students about bike safety and give them each a free helmet. Bott said she hopes it will encourage more kids to bike to school safely.

Kris Lee, the media and technology coordinator for the district, gave an update on a number of new initiatives in Two Harbors and Silver Bay. The district has been the recipient of support and grants from the Blandin Foundation after Lake County was named a Blandin Broadband Community. The grants have purchased iPads for the district and could help Two Harbors become a wireless community, implementing Wi-Fi in more places across the city.

The board then moved onto old business, approving its monthly bills. Awarding garbage bids for the school year was on the table, but only one bid was approved. John's Sanitary Removal of Silver Bay won the contract for picking up the school's garbage in Silver Bay, but the board requested more information from the second bidder, Maher Trucking of Two Harbors, before they awarded the Two Harbors bid.

The board discussed allowing a district school bus to drive six miles round-trip each morning and evening to pick up four students who attend school in Two Harbors but live in the Duluth School District. Their parents currently drive them to the district line each morning and evening and have put in a request to have their kids picked up.

Business manager Lance Takkunen told the board it costs $3 per mile to run a bus, and the board agreed to gather more information and take action on the request at a later date.

Superintendent Bill Crandall reported on a meeting he had with county commissioners and Two Harbors city councilors regarding the Halsted football field and bus garage at Seventh Avenue and Fourth Street. The parties involved are discussing a land exchange. Crandall said many options are on the table, but one would involve handing that land over to the city in exchange for land adjacent to the Lake County Fairgrounds. The district then could build a bus garage and field on that land. Discussions are ongoing, Crandall said.

"I would like to see us continue negotiating with the city and the county," board member Cyndi Ryder said. "We need to make darn sure this comes out a win-win for everybody."

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