Et Cetera …

School did right thing

Fairmont Area Schools initiated a welding academy in the 2012-13 school year to help students gain skills for growing demand among industry. The program expanded, and is doing so again, because it has been well-received and has gained the financial backing of those industries it helps.

The businesses deserve praise for seeing the long-term benefit of the academy. The school deserves a pat on the back for having the vision to implement the program, and for finding creative ways to keep it going and growing.

More consistent plan

Blue Earth Area Schools is looking to implement a scheduling change that would eliminate scheduled late starts or early releases and simplify things by letting students out of school 45 minutes early on Wednesdays, from Oct. 1 through April 30.

The idea is to bring consistency, for students, parents and teachers. Students would be in school during prime learning times. Parents would not have to worry about special arrangements for day care or to take time off work. Teachers would get professional development time.

It sounds like a great move.

Deal seems to be fair

Fairmont Area Schools has reached a contract agreement with teachers. The terms, generally, involve a modest boost in teacher compensation and benefits.

The deal does include a big boost for coaches and fine arts directors – 10 percent to be exact. The school looked at compensation for coaches at schools within the conference and found Fairmont to be at or near the bottom. The big hike in pay is meant to remedy this in some way.

We don’t have a problem with this deal, which seems to have been worked out in good faith and with due diligence.

Bike tour set to visit

We congratulate Ringsted and Bancroft, Iowa, for earning spots on the RAGBRAI route this summer. The event features about 8,500 cyclists pedaling across the state in July, with some towns serving as overnight stops and some as places to enjoy a break, get something to eat and meet new people. Ringsted and Bancroft will be daytime stops.

With all those riders coming through the area, northern Iowa has a chance to show itself off to potential tourist visits in the future. We know everyone will be putting their best foot forward to welcome the RAGBRAI crowd.