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School District receives 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant

There was great news last week for the Three Forks School District.

At the June School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Uthlaut announced that the district had been awarded a renewal for a five-year 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant worth $503,082, which is used for the after-school and summer enrichment programs.

Uthlaut said Lisa Malmquist worked hard to ensure the requirements were met to secure the grant, which is huge for the district to get.

The grant will fully fund the first three years of the programs with $111,956 per year. Year four will be funded at 80 percent ($89,565), and year five will be funded at 70 percent ($78,369).

With a record 165 students in this year's summer program, Uthlaut stressed the importance of the grant and not having to ask people to pay for it.

"That's a huge win for us and the families that use those programs," she said.

At the conclusion of the school year, Uthlaut told the board they had two days of administration planning and work on meeting dates and times before the start of the 2024-25 school year.

According to Uthlaut, on August 20, the district will host a back-to-school parent meeting. At this meeting, she said hot topics will be discussed, including the use of AI, a weapons policy review, tardies and attendance, the new ROOMS app for parent communication, detention, and after-school tutoring, the discipline policy, and changes to the cell phone policy. The meeting will be followed by an open house where students and parents can visit classrooms.

Uthlaut reported that a mandatory parent-student sports meeting is scheduled for August 12, and sports physicals must be completed by August 16.

Regarding open positions with the district, Uthlaut said they have vacancies for one or two special education teachers, a 2YK Early Learning Teacher, and the High School Secretary position.

Uthlaut also discussed facility and maintenance projects that will take place over the summer, including the demolition of middle school sidewalks and the old middle school entrance, as well as parking lot resurfacing.

Uthlaut said a carpet project is scheduled for the middle school entrance and classrooms, adding they did find asbestos in the teachers' lounge, but it was not going to be a significant issue.

She added that a possible elementary carpet project may happen, but after meeting with the building rep, they are waiting until the completion of the parking lot project in case something goes wrong.

The finishing of gym floors should be completed in early August.