The Pony Express

Community Design Team discusses future of district facilities

The Community Design Team discusses in small groups how to best use district facilities.  Each table is assigned a building to make specific recommendations for.

John Franklin, Copy Editor

January 9, 2020

When January comes, the School Board will receive a recommendation from the Community Design team. The Community Design team is a team the Cunningham group put together after the School board voted to hire them. The Community Design team's goal is to utilize existing space in the school district, enhance...

Proposed literacy curriculum voted down 3-3

With this new language arts curriculum, students have the option to check out their own books through the media center, or choose from a wider variety of classroom reading materials. This will keep students interested and motivated to read novels.

Elle Guggenberger, Graphics Editor

December 10, 2019

The Nov. 4 board meeting was the deciding factor regarding whether or not the district should implement a new literacy curriculum. The idea was first introduced at the Oct. 10 meeting at the Stillwater City Hall. The secondary curriculum review committee researched many options to modify the curriculu...

District task force coming up with proposal for the school board by 2020

The district task force will have meetings ending in January 2020. They will make a recommendation to the school board to address issues in the district. Members of the team discuss the expansion of the student population and how to create learning environments for all students.

Mairin Torgerson, Photographer

November 17, 2019

The school district has been through numerous changes in recent years. Many of the ideas executed were made possible and created by the Community Design Team. The team is part of the district long-range facilities task force made up of community members, parents, city officials, students and staff. The schoo...

Superintendent Pontrelli deserves complete support from community

School board members voted 5-2 at a board meeting in June to begin discussions about a separation agreement. Superintendent Pontrelli is not interested in cutting ties with District 834.

Julia Bennet, Social Media Editor-in-Chief

October 28, 2019

The school board began discussions this past summer regarding a separation agreement with the Superintendent Denise Pontrelli. Closing three elementary schools and changing the course of action for the district caused an enormous amount of frustration and distrust within in the community since the BOLD...

Morris Leatherman survey results spark conversations about district changes

Young students flood out of Brookview Elementary at the end of a busy school day. Brookview is one of the newest elementary schools, which was a result of the new and incoming students coming from the southern areas of the district. This K-5 school was opened as a result of the B.O.L.D. plan that was put into place after the district shut down Withrow and Marine Elementary.

Rachel Duerr, Online Editor

September 26, 2019

In August 2019, a public research team called The Morris Leatherman Group conducted a phone survey with 570 randomly selected residents of the community to assess the attitudes and obtain opinions of the residents and parents in the district with all of the changes made in recent years. The Morris Leatherman Group ...

Long-Range Facility Planning Task Force need volunteers

Reccommendations made by the Long-Range Facility Planning Task Force volunteers will be presented to the school board throughout the year. This task force will ensure the safety of our facilities and district as a whole.

Paige Sanders, Photography Editor-in-Chief

April 22, 2019

To better our district and community as a whole and furthermore better the future of our facilities in the district, volunteers will help make this possible. The district is covening new members for a Long-Range Facility Planning Task Force. This new wave of volunteering community members will include parents and staff w...

Budget cuts severely diminish professional and curriculum development plans

The School Board discusses their action items at the school board meeting. Staff development cuts passed 5-1, with Board Member Jennifer Pelletier (right) the only nay.

Abby Banks, Print Editor-in-Chief

March 15, 2019

The school board voted 5-1 to cut $348,000 from the district's budgeted professional development (PD) days at a March 7 business meeting. This was on top of the $500,000 cut with combined PD and curriculum development budget that occurred Dec. 20, 2018. This cut accounted for roughly 56 percent o...

EIC Column: Palestinians aim to have their voices heard

At a board meeting on Feb. 21, Shahd Abouhekel read aloud her poem titled

Lilly Sample, Online Editor-in-Chief

March 10, 2019

On May 14, 1948, Israel became an independent State with David Ben-Gurion as the Prime Minister. What many in the world thought of as a movement to solve anti-semitism became the beginning of a Palestinian ethnic cleansing. Ever since, Palestinians have been fighting for their lives and for their f...

School board further reduces 2019-2020 budget to fill deficit, still does not comply with policy R 5.4

The school board finalized more budget cuts on Feb. 21, finally balancing the deficit.

Lilly Sample, Online Editor-in-Chief

February 26, 2019

During the 2017-2018 school year, the board fell into a $2.4 million deficit pit. Meetings to address the deficit began in early October, and are still continuing into late February. Being $2.4 million in the hole, the board needs to make cuts for operations to return to normal for the 2019-2020 school...

School board in discussions to cut $2.5 million

The board's proposed budget cut was voted on after their Dec. 20 meeting. Cuts are still being decided and new drafts of the cut list should be released soon.

Hazel Flock, Layout Editor

December 18, 2018

On Dec. 13, the school board began examining the budget cuts within the district that needed to happen. The school is budgeting around a $2.5 million deficit and they approved $1.081 million worth of cuts as of Jan. 11. The board originally proposed $1.523 million in reductions, however after t...

Staff Editorial: keep budget cuts away from classroom

Photo by Paige Sanders

Pony Express Staff

December 17, 2018

Due to a $2.5 million deficit for the 2019-20 school year, board members are working to reduce expenses.  Thousands of people will be impacted in the district next year as tough decisions will be made to cut the budget. Board members should aim to make cuts that have the least impact on student learning. Programs,...

School board gathers as new team forms

School board elect Liz Weisberg had signs  placed all over the district and won 16.6 percent of the votes.

Chas Morgan, Layout Editor

November 20, 2018

The history of the school board has been a bumpy one and there has been conflict within the board and with families. "I think we've struggled the last three years since the decision to close schools, to work together as a board and move forward together. There's been some division and it seems lik...

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