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Lessons from Holocaust taught in NYM

New York Mills High School eighth graders will be the first to benefit from an extensive training course their English teacher attended. In July, Rachel Brock, who is entering her second year with the district, attended an invite-only training course in Washington D.C. at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Through taking part in the 18th annual Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators, Brock had the opportunity to visit with Holocaust survivors, as well as discover various tools and ideas she can use in her own classroom to teach about heavy issues such as genocide.
Attending the conference with a full scholarship, Brock said the convention was even more than what she expected. Weeks after arriving back in NY Mills, Brock said one exhibit sticks in her mind. It told the story of the German neighbors that stood back and did nothing as the Jews were persecuted. Although these Germans didn’t join in the genocide, they didn’t try and stop it either.  read entire story. . . .

Polka time again

Five years after polka music filled the Ottertail air for the first time, the annual Polka Daze festival will bring hundreds of people to town. Sponsored by the Ottertail Lions Club, the fifth annual Polka Daze festival will be held from September 4-6 in Ottertail and feature three days of dancing, accordions, food and plenty of time for conversation.
Polka Daze, which is held under a big yellow tent in the community park, has grown to be a popular destination for polka enthusiasts throughout the region. Ottertail Lions member Jerry Smith said approximately 300 people attend the event each year.
The annual polka festival will kick off on Thursday when Marie and The Boys take the stage. The group will perform from 7-11 p.m. and will play a variety of old-time music.  read entire story. . . .

Ottertail approves 5 percent  preliminary levy increase

The Ottertail City Council approved a five percent increase in its preliminary levy during its regularly scheduled meeting on August 21. Though the council can decrease the levy before it is finalized in December, it cannot raise it higher than five percent.
Over the past several years the council has approved a similar five percent increases in its preliminary levy, but has finalized a lower than five percent increase in the levy in December. Last year the council lowered its levy to a less than zero percent increase when it was finalized.  The five percent increase in the city’s levy would increase the levy by approximately $16,326.
In order to take another look at the 2015 budget and levy, the council has scheduled a budget meeting on September 15 prior to a joint meeting that has already been scheduled.
 read entire story. . . .

Revenue could increase by $200,000 at school

The New York Mills School District will see an increase in revenue starting in 2015-16 school year. Depending on the number of students enrolled, the school could potentially see $200,000 in additional revenue.
The change comes because of new Minnesota legislation. With the new law, the state will give schools additional revenue, if local taxpayers take on a portion too. Specifically the state to local ratio is 66 to 33, respectively.
Yes, this does mean local taxpayers will see an increase on their property taxes next year. However, the hit won’t be as big, because in the same meeting last week, the board moved on another matter that decreases taxes.  read entire story. . . .

Tests scores tallied: NYM right around state average

Statewide test results were released last week and much to the surprise of New York Mills School administrators, NY Mills School fell below state average for the first time in years.
“I don’t think these scores are a true reflection of what’s going on here,” said Elementary Principal Judith Brockway. “It’s not reflecting on the reality of what students know.”
“We have top notch students, top notch teachers,” said High School Principal Michelle Young.
Standardized tests were given to all students in third grade and up during the 2013-14 school year. Of those students, 59.1 percent across the district proved proficient in math, reading and science. This is a fraction below the state average of 60.5 percent. Students deemed proficient meet standards set by the state.  read entire story. . . .

Sewer project wraps up in Deer Creek

Almost as soon as it began, the Clark and Olson St. sewer project wrapped up in the City of Deer Creek.
During its regularly scheduled meeting on August 25, the Deer Creek City Council heard from Chris Thorson of Ulteig Engineers about this summers project. Thorson said the major construction has already been completed with the grass seeding and tree planting set for this fall.
After having to remove a line of evergreen trees that were in the path of the construction, the council approved planting some maple trees on the project line to replace the removed trees.  read entire story. . . .