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Benson Public Schools is asking the community to vote on a school referendum on Aug. 14 as a part of the primary election. Some voters, particularly those living in area townships, will receive ballots in the mail from the county. If you receive a mailed ballot, complete it and mail it back to the county. Other voters can cast their vote at nearby polling locations. Here's a look at how you will vote based on where you live: Swift County Benson Armory: Benson P-1 Benson P-2 Benson Twp. Torning Twp. DeGraff City Office: DeGraff Kildare Twp. West Bank Town Hall: West Bank Twp. Mailed Ballot: (Mailed on July 10) Camp Lake Twp. Cashel Twp. Clontarf Clontarf Twp. Danvers Dublin Twp. Kerkhoven Twp. Marysland Twp. Six Mile Grove Twp. Swenoda Twp. Tara Twp. Pope County Hoff Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed July 16) Langhei Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed July 16) Rolling Forks Twp. - Precinct Chippewa County Mandt Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed around July 25) Grace Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed around July 25) Register to Vote Are you registered to vote? Click to check your status online. Click to register to vote today. Vote Absentee Voters also can vote early by mail by applying for an absentee ballot from the Minnesota Secretary of State. Ballots will be sent starting June 29 for the Aug. 14 Primary Election. Ballots will not be counted if they are received after Aug. 14. Click to request an absentee ballot. Preparing to Vote Voters can begin preparing for the vote by viewing the sample ballot and learning more about the plans. Attend an upcoming information meeting on July 18 and Aug. 7 and get your questions answered. Click to view a sample ballot. Click to learn more about the referendum plans.
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jul 13, 2018 at 9:56 AM
Benson Public Schools today unveiled the proposed site plan and exterior rendering for the Northside Elementary addition. The plan would bring together the district's earliest learners and grades K-5 in one convenient, safe and dedicated space that promotes active learning. Learn more about the referendum plans for the district. Key components of the referendum vote on Aug. 14 at Northside Elementary include: A nearly 15,000-square-foot Early Childhood Addition that will accommodate district's child care and preschool programs 40-unit parking lot with convenient drop-off for early childhood A new 3,000-square-foot multi-use space that will serve as a cafeteria, activity space and collaborative learning environment Remodeled kitchen More secure entry Under this plan, the district would add about 18,000 square feet at Northside Elementary, as shown in dark red below, and remodel a total of 1,600 square feet, as highlighted in light red: View the site plan and rendering for Benson High School.
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jul 10, 2018 at 12:59 PM
Members of the Community Task Force that led to the 2018 bond referendum talk about the process and plan on KSCR. Those interviewed included:  Dave Nagler - Landowner Jesse Hughes - Business Owner and Landowner Jim Hilleren - Landowner Tim Nagler - Landowner Eric Peterson - Business Leader Dennis Laumeyer - School Superintendent Listen to the interview.
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jul 05, 2018 at 3:42 PM
By Superintendent Dennis Laumeyer When I first came to Benson, the school district’s history of providing a large number of quality enrichment activities caught my attention. Over the years, I have seen a growing number of students participate in a variety of activities. In a year, we’ve had more than 350 students in choir and band, over 75 in theater, and over 200 dancers. So, I understood the disappointment in May 2017 when the district had to close the 1928 auditorium after the ceiling collapsed. In the past year, it has meant limiting access and learning opportunities for students. The broader community felt it, too, as the district moved concerts, theater productions and dance programs to the gymnasium. We have not had enough room for everyone and the seating has been inadequate, especially those who have accessibility limitations and our elderly residents. The Aug. 14 bond referendum seeks to change that. A new auditorium that would seat 600 people in comfortable theater-style environment and have full accessibility for all is among the key components of the upcoming bond referendum. Meeting Key Needs The $26-million plan developed by the 45-member Community Task Force aims to meet key needs of the community with a minimal tax impact, including: Create new dedicated auditorium space and add music room at high school Create child care and early learning center at Northside Elementary School Add Northside cafeteria, which also provides needed activity and community space Remove 90-year-old auditorium Remove 90 and 68 year old junior high buildings Create a PreK- grade 5 dedicated learning center at Northside Develop a 6-12th grade secondary school Develop collaborative learning environments to engage junior and high school students Repurpose pool to activity space Upgrade secure entries at elementary and high schools This will mark the school district’s first major remodel since 1994. Efficient Use Overall, this project promotes the efficient use of the district's current facilities and update spaces to meet the changing needs of education. This project will add about 55,000 square feet, remove 112,000 square feet and update more than 21,000 square feet. Attend Meetings & Tours We will continue to share more details on the plan in the coming weeks. Join us at Northside Elementary for the next informational meeting and tour from 6-7:30 pm on July 18. The meeting will focus on plans for child care and early learning through elementary, new cafeteria/activity space and safety upgrades. Learn more today and receive updates by following Benson Public Schools on Facebook and Twitter.  
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jul 05, 2018 at 11:43 AM
The 2018 bond referendum for Benson Public Schools includes building a new auditorium that would seat about 600 people in comfortable theater-style environment. Just one component of the plan, this auditorium seeks to: ·      Bring our community together. We see this as a beautiful space that would bring our community together and become a place that draws others to Benson for exciting and anticipated theatrical, musical and dance performances that they can experience. As a community space, we would welcome churches and other community groups to use it. ·       Enhance production experiences. We could serve more students through our programs and expand experiences in lighting, sound, set design and other aspects of a production. ·       Host professional performances. We imagine hosting professional artists to show students where their dreams could take them and provide meaningful entertainment for our community. Similar auditoriums have been built across Greater Minnesota, including this one in Dassel, Minnesota.
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jul 05, 2018 at 11:06 AM
In case you missed it, here's a look at coverage of the 2018 bond referendum in the local media: Many Show Up to Hear School Building Proposal June 29, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record "More than 70 people attended the first meeting sponsored by Benson Public Schools to inform the public about the purpose of the proposed $26.3 million building levy referendum to be voted on Aug. 14." Building a Better Future for Our Children June 28, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record "We have no children or grandchildren in the Benson schools. But that is not what we base our decision on to wholeheartedly support this referendum. We back this referendum because it is our turn to support the future of the community’s children. It is our turn to support the needs of the businesses of the community. It is our turn to support the needs of our faculty to have modern, quality facilities in which to teach our children." Benson School Levy Should Be Our Focus April 18, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record "Benson Public Schools is studying options for addressing building maintenance needs as well as essential facility upgrades that could cost between $20 and $29 million. It has brought three citizen groups together to give it input on the most critical building needs." School Board Seeks Citizen Input on Referendum January 12, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record "The Benson school board is seeking volunteers to serve on a school committee to analyze the school facilities. Each committee will work independently with the school architect and superintendent to analyze the current facilities and make a facilities improvement recommendation to the board. This is a grassroots effort where the community will help shape the direction of the district facilities by assisting the school board." School Could Set Levy for May January 5, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record "Benson Public Schools could be going to the voters in May asking them to support a levy referendum for basic maintenance and upgrading of district buildings. Just what the projects would be and what they would cost has to be decided yet. School board members are going to rely on input from a cross-section of district citizens for direction on the scope of a building renovation project. Those citizens will be brought together for several meetings, given a tour of facilities, told what problems each has and the challenges the problems present."  
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jul 05, 2018 at 11:03 AM
More than 100 community members gathered Monday night to learn more about Benson Public Schools' Aug. 14 bond referendum and take a tour.  Leaders from the Community Task Force provided an overview of the process they went through to evaluate the school facilities and develop a next step plan to meet the needs of students and the community.  Click to view the slide presentation with more details. During this first community meeting, leaders focused on the plans for a new auditorium and activity spaces.  Future meetings will focus on another key components of the plan, including birth to elementary, school safety and collaborative learning. Click to learn more about upcoming meetings. Overall, this project promotes the efficient use of the district's current facilities and update spaces to meet the changing needs of education. This project will add about 55,000 square feet, remove 112,000 square feet and updated a series of other spaces from early learning and elementary to junior high and high school. Learn more about the plan.
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jun 29, 2018 at 7:57 AM
Benson Public Schools released the proposed site plans and artistic rendering for the updates for junior and senior high spaces under the 2018 school bond referendum. Key components include collaborative learning environments and other spaces for junior high, an auditorium, a band room and a more secure entry. Site Plan This aerial provides an overview of the site changes to Benson High School. The new spaces are highlighted in dark red. The remodeled spaces are highlighted in light red. New Space Added The highlighted space in the site plan below shows the new space to be added at Benson High School. 
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jun 27, 2018 at 5:12 PM
Benson Public Schools provides band and choir opportunities to about 350 students every day. The district engages 200 dancers, from ages 3-18, in an extensive dance program and recently had to limit our musical to 75 participants. Last year, the arts programming took a significant hit when the district had to close its long-time theater. The ceiling on the 1928 building collapsed. It was beyond patching and the repairs that the district had done in the past. The district had to move its concerts, theater productions and dance programs to the gymnasium. The lack of an auditorium impacts the quality of the programming and led the district to limit access for students. "Benson students have remained committed and energized," Superintendent Dennis Laumeyer said. "But we know the experiences are so limited and far from what we want to give them. We don’t want our small-town roots ever holding our students back from gaining enriched experiences that will shape them for a lifetime." While other smaller schools and communities may have let go of fine arts opportunities, Benson has sought to enhance them. Providing quality programming for all ages has been a part of the district's history and a source of pride for the community. "Among the thrills of my job has been watching people pour into the gymnasium and sit on bleachers to support our arts programs"Laumeyer said. "We have not had enough room for everyone and the seating has been inadequate, especially those who have accessibility limitations and our elder residents." The 2018 bond referendum seeks to change that. It includes building a new auditorium that would seat about 600 people in comfortable theater-style environment.
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jun 26, 2018 at 1:05 PM
Benson Public Schools is seeking a dynamic and experienced photographer to take pictures for the Benson Braves extra and co-curricular teams and individuals. Requirements: The equipment and expertise to take professional quality photographs Flexible schedule – pictures may need to be taken during the morning, afternoon, and evenings Speedy Turnaround – Orders must be shipped within 24-36 hours of arriving at the lab Ability to produce a variety of products and services, including buttons, stickers, keychains, backpack tags, banners, poster, magnets, and other products and packages Offer a variety of customer photo packages  High quality customer service to work with coaches, advisors, student-athletes, and parents Offer competitive pricing for families If you can meet these requirements and would like the opportunity to capture team pride and promote the Benson Braves student-athletes, please contact Benson Schools at 320.843.2710.
Posted by dzimmerman  On Jun 21, 2018 at 6:32 AM
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