APRIL calendar

South Washington County, MN

Your CITY and DISTRICT meetings

JAiME for SCHOOLS’ April Feature is the activity of reading as a family. Sometimes families can teach children better than schools. Sometimes schools can teach children better than families. And SOMETIMES an idea is best taught by BOTH! That is where a series like the Tuttle Twins comes in handy.

Scroll to the end for more details …

time for Spring Showers…



On April 6th, the school board will have a school showcase by the principals of Bailey, Red Rock, Royal Oaks and Newport Elementary Schools. Next they will give updates on the progress of Long Range Facility Planning. Then the Superintendent will introduce the “Transportation Guiding Change Document.” I’m curious to see what that looks like.

Update added 4/6/23 : Two extra meetings have been scheduled by the school district for the final week of April. They will hold their second Community Meeting, and this one will concentrate on a preliminary 5-year facility plan. (See more details and link to the district’s website below.) They will also meet to discuss Strategic Planning with TeamWorks International. The notice reads, “The purpose of the meeting is to refine the Strategic roadmap, and potentially work on the 3 year operational plan.”


I have been working on school district transparency since December of 2022. The following two topics fall under this category, so I am adding it to the Transparency Series.


On April 14th, some students will be participating in The GLSEN Day of Silence. I asked the SoWashCo Communications Director two days ago how our district plans to inform parents and teachers about this day. Nothing has been communicated, that I am aware of. When they get back to me with an answer, I will add an update below. If you are a parent or teacher who has received information about this, please let me know.

This is on the GLSEN website HERE.

There are many concerned residents in surrounding school districts who are bringing this Day of Silence to light. It is very important that parents be given the opportunity to talk to their child before sending them to school on April 14th. The label “student-led” does not change the importance in maintaining a district-to-family bridge of trust. GLSEN was actually founded by a group of teachers in 1990, so this is in fact adult-led.

In Stillwater Area Schools, two speakers addressed the board at their March 28th meeting. I highly encourage you to listen to Catherine Hobbit and Michael McCarthy during their Public Comments to the Board HERE, beginning at minute 13:12.

Update added 4/6/23

After emailing the district questions about GLSEN Day of Silence, I received a replied within 3 1/2 business days (5 1/2 days total). I also received an answer to my data request within 13 hours. This means a lot to me, and I want to acknowledge the hard work and professionalism I see in our district’s new Communications Director.

“GLSEN Day of Silence is a student-led day of action. Students have the right to free speech and peaceful assembly, so long as doing so does not create a material or substantial disruption to school operations and does not violate a school rule, policy, or law. South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) respect the rights of students to protest. That said, we have not been informed of students planning to participate in this event … If and when we learn about students planning to participate, we will share a message with families about our guidance and procedures for student demonstrations and protests. This message would be shared with staff and families via email, if communication is warranted.”

Shawn Hogendorf, Director of Communications and Community Relations

Washington County Tax Valuations

for 2024 have been mailed, and residential homesteads have once again gone up in estimated market value. Woodbury saw an average increase of 20% in 2023 and is now seeing an average increase of 9.4% in 2024. Contact your assessor in the month of April if you feel like your estimate is wrong or if you want to understand the the EMV better.

So where DO our taxes go? The city likes to point to the school district, and the school district likes to point to the city. It is pretty easy to confirm by looking at your tax bill though. Over half of your taxes goes to District 833 SoWashCo Schools. The diagram to the right is from the City of Woodbury Mayor, Anne Burt in March when she gave her State of the City address.

Image from City of Woodbury, 2023 State of the City. View Mayor Anne Burt’s message HERE.

2023 Notice of Highest Paid Employees in 2022

It is a requirement by MN statute for cities with a population over 15,000 to notify its residents of the three highest paid positions and base salaries.

Why is the same standard of transparency not required for a school district? I’m not sure. If this statute was created with the intent to inform taxpayers, then it only seems logical that a large school district (who takes 51%) should be required to notify its residents the same as a large city (who takes only 25%). Maybe I just am not finding it, but I looked on the District’s website, in the “Financial” tab, and I have never heard this information freely given at a school board meeting. Odd.

It just so happens though, that I have this information from the countless data requests I have pulled over the years. I think it will help for comparison.

City of Cottage Grove


  1. City Administrator: $197,849
  2. Public Safety Director: $159,307
  3. Finance Director: $148,158

City of Woodbury


  1. City Administrator: $191,199
  2. Information and Communications Technology Director: $162,000
  3. Assistant City Administrator: $159,174

ISD#833 South Washington County School District

The school districts fiscal year begins in the middle of a calendar year (July 1 – June 30). The year indicated here is the end of the fiscal year. For instance “2024” means for the fiscal year 2023-2024.

  1. Superintendent of Schools: 2018=$199,355 / 2019=+3% / 2020=+3% (Jacobus). 2021=$219,950 / 2022=$219,950 / 2023=$219,950 (Nielsen). The next 3-year contract was recently signed for 2024=$240,435 / 2025=$247,675 / 2026=$255,200 (Nielsen).
  2. Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education: 2018=$144,209 in 2018 / 2019=$??? / 2020=$??? (Unknown). 2021-$??? / 2022=$164,268 / 2023=$??? (Schaefer). 2024=$177,072.
  3. Assistant Superintendent: 2018=??? (I believe there was only one Assistant Supt. back then so I do not know what position was the third highest salary.) 2021=??? / 2022=$161,804 (there were three and each received different pay) / 2023=$$$ / 2024=$173,531 (of the three, two receive this same pay).

Independent School District 833 S C H O O L


833 School Board Meetings

Workshop Meeting : April 6th @ 6:00

Business Meeting : April 20th @ 6:00

Community Meeting, preliminary 5-year facility plan : April 25 @ 6:30 – 8 p.m Oltman Middle School

Strategic Planning with TeamWorks International : April 27th @ 5:00

School Board Members

  • Melinda Dols
  • Patricia Driscoll
  • Louize Hinz
  • Simi Patnaik
  • Katie Schwartz
  • Eric Tessmer
  • Sharon VanLeer

7362 E Point Douglas Rd S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016

South Washington County C I T Y


Council Members

  • Mayor Bill Palmquist
  • Annie Perkins
  • Lucia Wroblewski
  • Stan Ross
  • Randy Nelson

Council Members

  • Mayor Myron Bailey
  • Steve Dennis
  • Tony Khambata
  • Justin Olsen
  • Dave Thiede

Board Members

  • Chairman Paul Schoenecker
  • Supervisor Richard (Dick) Polta
  • Supervisor Dan Ohmann

Board Supervisors

  • Dawn Johnson, Seat 1
  • Matt Ruben, Seat 2
  • John Stohfus, Seat 3
  • Julie Windschitl, Seat 4
  • Mike Femling, Seat 5

Council Members

  • Mayor Laurie Elliott
  • Kevin Chapdelaine
  • Tom Ingemann
  • Bill Sumner
  • Marvin Taylor

Council Members

  • Mayor Sandra J. Dingle
  • Jeff Haggerty
  • Tim Jones
  • Jeff Swenson
  • Bruce Zenner

Council Members

  • Mayor Anne Burt
  • Andrea Date
  • Steve Morris
  • Jennifer Santini
  • Kim Wilson

April Featured Activity :

Read as a Family

It would be wonderful if the Tuttle Twins Series were available in public schools. I am not aware of any school in District 833 who carries them though. Not every public school teacher will be able, or willing, to teach your children the positive attributes of a free-market society.

This series is as valuable to the public school parent as it is to the homeschooling parent. Anyone from any model of education can utilize these books to help round off their child’s education. This series challenges children to think about economic ideas in a fun and relatable way.

I promise you, I don’t receive any money for saying this. My children are teenagers now, and those pictured above are for ages 5-11. I have read all the children’s books, and if I had elementary school to do over again with my children, I would weave these books into our families daily reading routine. They are great conversation starters. In addition, there are now 8 toddlers books, 9 teen books, a handful of history books and curriculum materials, a curriculum on economics, 7 graphic novels, and translations in 12 languages.

Spring Showers Bring May Flowers

I find this extremely helpful to remember.

Spring showers wash the snow away. The rain wakes up nature and bring plants back to life with their fresh new buds. Tadpoles will become frogs next month, but for now in April watch the miracle of creation be brought back to life through rain … followed by light.

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by JAiME for SCHOOLS, April 1st 2023 (updated 4/6/23)


2 thoughts on “APRIL calendar

  1. Sending this to. Also sent on your school board email.

    Lord’s Prayer

    By a 15-year-old school kid who got an A+ for this entry

    The Lord’s Prayer is not allowed in most U.S. Public schools any more. A kid in Minnesota, wrote the following

    Now I sit me down in school Where praying is against the rule For this great nation under God Finds mention of Him very odd.

    If scripture now the class recites, It violates the Bill of Rights. And anytime my head I bow Becomes a Federal matter now.

    Our hair can be purple, orange or green, That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene.. The law is specific, the law is precise. Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

    For praying in a public hall Might offend someone with no faith at all.. In silence alone we must meditate, God’s name is prohibited by the State..

    We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks, And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks… They’ve not outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible. To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

    We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen, And the ‘unwed daddy,’ our Senior King. It’s ‘inappropriate’ to teach right from wrong, We’re taught that such ‘judgments’ do not belong..

    We can get our condoms and birth controls, Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles… But the Ten Commandments are not allowed, No word of God must reach this crowd.

    It’s scary here I must confess, When chaos reigns the school’s a mess. So, Lord, this silent plea I make: Should I be shot; My soul please take! Amen

    If you aren’t ashamed to do this, Please pass this on.. Jesus said, ‘If you are ashamed of me,

    I will be ashamed of you before my Father.’

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