Board Updates

The GFW School Board held a regular meeting on Monday, October 16, 2023. 

Watch the meeting on YouTube:

School and Community Recognition

During the meeting, Dr. Horton and the board recognized the Thunderbird Foundation for their work and contributions to the district. As the district has been transitioning to a full-service community schools model, the Thunderbird Foundation has stepped up to  connect with that initiative even more as a 501c3. The Thunderbird Foundation has been going since 1999 and supports a number of initiatives including supporting the Agriculture, Engineering and Manufacturing Academy through the GFW Farmer’s Legacy Fund that allows farmers to donate portions of their crop proceeds to the district. 

Jennifer Haas and Tonia Schiro accepted the award on behalf of the Thunderbird Foundation and the Site Team that does so much to support the students of GFW. 

Superintendent’s Report

Dr. Horton shared an update about the upcoming November 7, 2023 operating levy referendum question that allows voters to consider revoking and replacing the district’s operating with a lower amount. State statute requires the ballot to include a disclaimer that the approval of the question would result in a tax increase, but taxpayers will actually see a decrease in their taxes if the question is approved. 

CFO Lindsey Heine presented on the Revoke and Replace Operating Levy Election. The district promised taxpayers the opportunity to consider revoking and replacing the operating levy at a lower rate if the savings of operating a single site could be achieved. The plan proposes revoking the existing operating levy of $1,406.30 per pupil and replacing it with a new levy of $992.40 per pupil. The tax impact for residential/commercial/homestead will reduce the impact by $111.14 per year or $9.26 per month. 

There are three combined polling places for the special election, which will be the same locations as the April 2023 election. 

Principal Reports

Principal Thompson shared that it’s a busy time at the elementary school with lots of T-Bird way activities coming up. The T-Bird Way real life heroes continue to celebrate heroes in the community with fire fighters being recognized in October. Students got to learn about fire safety and see fire trucks. GFW Football players have been visiting on Fridays and students are absolutely loving getting to spend time with the players each week.

Principal Jacobson shared that a lot of work is taking place at the middle school and high school with work taking place in diving into data and supporting interventions for students in math and reading. College and Career Readiness opportunities took place with students attending a conference to learn about more than 80 different colleges and universities with another group of students going to Ridgewater College to take part in a variety of hands-on learning options and learn about career prep. FFA students completed their annual corn drive to raise funds for Camp Courage. Teachers have been participating in professional development opportunities around new curriculums. 

Board Reports

Board members shared committee reports on ongoing work including facility planning, the plan to review policies, and discussing the school calendar for the next school year. 

Consent Agenda

The board approved the consent agenda. 

Resolution and Action Items

The board approved the acceptance of donations.