This school year is starting with new and upgraded facilities and an excitement to see how all this work on our schools will help us continue and improve on the proud traditions of Cloquet education. We are proud of the new and remodeled facilities, as we will be experiencing great new things for our students. We are just as proud that these projects are telling our students, community, and Northeast Minnesota that our community values our students’ educational opportunities.
What goes on within these new walls will be what measures our educational success, and I will tell you that I never have worked with a more talented and committed school staff or school board. These people keep the needs of our students as a top priority and do not shrink from any educational challenge. This commitment and the commitment of our students and families to excel will continue to make us even more proud.
Our public will see a design at our new middle school that enhances instruction in such ways as improved use of technology and spaces to support collaborative learning. Improved instructional areas will be seen for such areas as for special education, art, music, industrial technology, family and consumer science, and physical education. Building security with controlled access, security cameras, and notification systems also were a design priority. Our community education offices and swimming pool are attached to our middle school providing easier access and use by the public. A multi-use space, which functions as a cafeteria during the day, overlooks a three-station gym that will give adequate space for our p.e. classes and will function as our main competition gym.
The Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program now is housed in a new wing on the west side of the Churchill School. Not only will this host the same programs that were at the middle school, but it will allow us to expand programs and make accommodations for our summer programming as well.
Other remodeling has happened in all our schools. The Garfield school needed upgrades, especially for the student bathrooms, main office, and spaces for student support services. The high school has a remodeled media center to better accommodate group learning, use of instructional technology, and private areas for student support services. Wireless access has been improved throughout our district. The high school, Churchill, and Washington have remodeled entrances and offices that will, among other things, vastly improve building security and controlled access to these buildings. Consultants helped us further improve security by strategically placing security cameras in and around our buildings and improving alarm and notification systems where needed. Security is also enhanced with a new keying system and electronic card access to critical entrances and exits. Other repairs and maintenance projects are being completed such as a resurfacing of the east high school parking lot, the replacing of a roof at the high school, and roof work at Churchill and Washington.
I want to thank our staff members and especially the middle school, grade five, ECFE, and technology staff for their collaboration in design work and in making the move to the new buildings. A big thank you also goes to our custodial staff for the move. Our construction managers (Kraus Anderson), architects (ARY), other design consultants, and the hundreds of construction workers on this project all have done fantastic jobs on their projects and working to get their jobs done as quickly as possible.
We are looking forward to another fantastic school year. We have the facilities and staff to make that happen, and we are working with families, students, and a community that value good education and the work and commitment to make that happen.