The Fairmont Area School Board approved the required science classes for grades 9-12.. The proposal was approved by the Curriculum Committee.

The board heard from teacher Kari Duehlmeyer, who discussed her second year efforts to work on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and science improvements at the elementary school.

“We’ve implemented coding across the board for elementary [students],” she said. “It’s really just a beginning, entry-level coding so that kids can get exposed to vocabulary and the concepts of it. They get about an hour a month for instructional time, and then they can expand on that.

The board on Tuesday also heard from Superintendent Joe Brown, who shared some news regarding a potential amendment to the Minnesota Constitution. Former Supreme Court Justice and Minnesota Viking Alan Page and Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, are proposing a constitutional amendment to replace the amendment of our current constitution of Minnesota that was put in place in 1857,” Brown said.

Article 13, Section 1 of the Minnesota Constitution reads as follows: “The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.”

The proposed amendment would read: “All children have a fundamental right to a quality public education that fully prepares them with the skills necessary for participation in the economy, our democracy, and society, as measured against uniform achievement standards set forth by the state. It is the paramount duty of the state to ensure quality public schools that fulfill this fundamental right.”

The change is meant to help combat the state’s academic achievement gap.

“They (Page and Kashkari) are planning to come to Fairmont High School on Feb. 20 for two hours,” Brown noted. “It’s a real pleasure to have these two people who are really passionate about the need for us to do something different in Minnesota.”

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