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February 6, 2003 Meeting Notes

School Naming Task Force
Moorhead Area Public Schools
7 p.m. February 6, 2003
Townsite Centre Room 266

Members Present:

Jeanne Aske,
Lyn Dwyer,
Roger Erickson,
Bryce Haugen,
Brad Holschuh,
Carol Ladwig,
Mark Meister,
Matt Naugle,
Jeff Offutt,
Denise Paulson,
Sandee Rasmussen,
Maggie Rousseau,
Steve Scheel,
Lauri Winterfeldt-Shanks.

Members Absent:


District Representatives:

Dr. Larry P. Nybladh, superintendent,
Pam Gibb, communications coordinator.


Dr. Nybladh called the meeting to order. Members were asked to introduce themselves and share why they wanted to be a part of the School Naming Task Force. Nybladh introduced Pam Gibb, the communications coordinator for the district, who will serve as a resource to assist the task force.

Nybladh reviewed with the task force members materials related to the task force's responsibilities, suggested guidelines for naming schools, and an overview of the school district's facilities, including which schools are being built, which are being remodeled and which will be closed.

Task force members were reminded that they will need to decide whether to reuse current school names, whether to retire the names on schools being closed or repurposed, and how to honor those names that may be retired.

The task force can consider names for:

  • Moorhead High School
  • New middle school
  • New elementary school
  • Remodeled elementary school in the current Robert Asp building
  • Remodeled elementary school in the current Moorhead Junior High building
  • District education center in the current Probstfield building

Selection of Chair

Task force members named Jeanne Aske and Bryce Haugen as co-chairs. It was decided that Gibb would record the minutes so all task force members could be involved in the discussion.

The task force decided to rely on consensus building for decision making. Nybladh suggested that the task force discuss timelines and then have an informal discussion of tasks and how to organize. Leadership of the meeting was turned over to Aske.

Future Meetings

After discussion, the task force scheduled meetings for 7:30-9:30 p.m. on the following dates to meet their May 1 deadline. All meetings are scheduled for Townsite Centre.

February 13 — Board Room
February 27 — Room 266
March 13 — Board Room
March 20 — Room 266
April 3 — Board Room
April 17 — Room 266

April 24 could be a meeting date if necessary although a room is not currently reserved.

Discussion of Process

Task force members discussed various options for involving the community in the school naming process. An announcement has been placed in the Senior High announcements asking students and faculty to share their ideas with Haugen and Holschuh. There was discussion about educating people prior to soliciting their ideas for names and developing a form to use.

Possible options discussed are to include information on the district Web site, in KidSource, in the high school newspaper Dimensions and through The Forum. It was mentioned that not everyone reads The Forum or has Internet access.

There was discussion that the process needs to be determined. A form should be created to have people submit their ideas. People's names and phone numbers should be required on the form. It was mentioned that people need to realize these are suggestions for consideration by the task force; it is not a contest to name the schools.

There was discussion of including the guidelines on the form so people suggesting names would know the criteria. The guidelines were reviewed. There was discussion about whether to include all of the guidelines. It was decided to leave all the sections in to stimulate thought. Another suggestion was to include an option for those who think a current school name should be retained and why.

Meister suggested the idea of coming to consensus through phases. He explained that he saw the process as having several phases.
Phase 1: Educate people on the process and guidelines.
Phase 2: Gather ideas from the public.
Phase 3: Test the major ideas with parents and students.

Winterfeldt-Shanks wondered if the education phase could be streamlined because of the the short timelines. She offered to create a draft of the form for the committee to review at the next meeting. Dwyer offered to assist.

Aske suggested that Mark Peihl be invited to the next meting to present information on Moorhead to the committee. Members were asked to think about what was discussed. A draft of the form will be reviewed.

Next Meeting:

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 in the Townsite Centre Board Room.