Et Cetera …

Help preserve our lakes

Fairmont bills itself as the “City of Lakes.” We hope residents who believe in this motto – and it’s a pretty good one – will consider stepping forward to join the revitalized Fairmont Lakes Foundation.

The group is currently conducting a membership drive, hoping to be a force for improving the quality of the local lakes. The lakes are, of course, a great community asset.

Those interested in joining the group can contact Mike Katzenmeyer at (507) 235-9534 or by emailing fairmontlakesfoundation@gmail.com

Truman weighs options

Truman school board members are rightly facing up to and addressing a rather gut-wrenching issue for them: Enrollment has fallen precipitously and some kind of reorganization is necessary.

While it would be nice for the district to be able to again attract those students and families who live within its borders, relying on getting them back could be tough. As it makes an effort, the school must board must deal with the numbers it faces. Sharing or consolidation with another school seems inevitable. While that might sting, these things happen and generally offer good results in the long run.

‘J-Term’ offers learning

Speaking of which: One school system where consolidation has been great is North Union in northern Iowa. One new program at the school is “J-Term,” which allows students and teachers to work outside the normal curriculum, emphasizing project-based learning.

So kids are learning as they partake in “crime scene” investigation, or in a cooking class, or as they build trebuchets for a statewide contest.

J-Term supplements other classroom activities and offers a fun approach. We like the innovation.

Sad to see facility close

Elmore Academy is no longer home to at-risk teens, as it has been for the past 15 years. The facility is closing, the kids have been sent elsewhere and up to 50 workers have been laid off.

We know Elmore will miss the activity provided by academy. Not only in terms of employment, but also in the interactions with the students, many of whom worked at the Wildcat Cafe over the years.

While the cafe will be under new ownership – manager Cinda Hagedorn is taking over – the loss of the main facility will be felt for years. It’s a sad day for Elmore and the area.