The Big Lake School Board held their final meeting of 2012 last week and approved the proposed school calendar for 2013-14. The new calendar includes two additional days for staff development, which were missing from this year’s calender. “The staff asked for this,” said Principal Glenn Evans, who presented the information. “We lost two days this year.” Some board members asked if the extra days were necessary. “We have been asking our staff to do many new things this year,” said Director of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Crystal Thorson. “I am not sure we are giving them time to do all that.” “Professional development days are more structured than ever,” said Supt. Jonathan Miller. “We will be happy to share the curriculum with you.” The motion passed with Board Member Tony Scales opposing. The board also passed the adoption of a new policy on school colors and the school mascot, The Hornet, to allow more flexibility for sports uniforms. The board also heard an update from Principal Bob Dockendorf on the high school schedule planning, which will be the same as the middle school schedule next year. Trap Shoot The board unanimously approved a proposal to adopt trap shooting as a community education activity. Students will not be allowed to bring guns to school and must have their gun safety registration to apply. Teams will be formed and team photos will be placed in the high school year book. There will also be individual competition. Students will be able to letter in the sport, Activities Director Brad Schnitzler said. The sport is expected to be self supporting. Students will be released from school to fetch their trap guns from home on practice days. Ammunition will be transported to the shooting range and stored there for them so they will not be in possession of both at the same time, Schnitzler said. Students must provide their own transportation and ear and eye protection as well as their own trap gun. Elk River, Rogers, St. Michael-Albertville and St. Francis already have trap shooting teams and Princeton and Cambridge are considering adding it to their programs. While trap shooting is not yet part of the Minnesota High School League roster of sports, they are looking at creating a state tournament. It is an Olympic sport. Trap shooting teams consist of five people. Boys and girls shoot together. Last year, 102 teams from 57 schools participated in a shooting tournament not sponsored by the MSHSL. The sport offers opportunities for students to earn scholarship money. Over 3,000 students have participated in the sport so far and there have been no concussions or other injuries and no incidents, Schnitzler said. It will cost $230 to participate. Finances The board approved a $200,000 one-day bond sale which will be handled by KleinBank to free up money from excess debt service funds. They certified the final levy at $6,976,415, following the Truth in Taxation public hearing conducted prior to the board meeting. Most Big Lakers will notice their portion of the school levy has decreased for next year. The board heard the last treasurer’s report from Kevin Phillippe, who will step down after the last election. “We are seven students up from last month and we have two more than we had on the first day of school,” said Phillippe. “We are up three students from last year. We are looking good right now. We are 27 students above budget but from Jan. 1 to Feb. 1 we have seen the biggest drop-offs in attendance. The good news is we won’t have to do any cash flow borrowing this year,” he said. Board Member Scales gave an update on the Wright Technical Center, which has completed contract negotiations with their staff. The principal is retiring this year and Dr. John Sweet has been hired to find a new principal, he said.