306 West Elm Street
Houston, MN 55943
Current News [News Archive]
- Tina Barness named Minnesota School Counselors Association (MSCA) Elementary Counselor of the Year. She can now be nominated for the national award!
- MNVA Student Rebecca R. Named Winner of Nation-wide Academic Sprint Spring Contest
- Houston Robotics Team Selected for Alliance
- Houston Public School District has received the Minnesota Department of Education 2015 School Finance Award.
- Jacqueline Mathers selected to participate in the Teaching with Primary Sources program which is sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Archives.
- Houston Elementary School earned Rewards School status all four years the award has been given. Only 20 schools in the state have achieved this feat.
- Houston Preschool earned the 4-Star Parent Aware status, which qualifies for state-funded scholarships. (See note below.)
- Kiel Koehler won second place in the Miller Ingenuity Competition. He used the majority of his winnings to purchase Lego robots to expose all seventh grade students to the technology and engineering skills associated with building and operating the robots. These robots were delivered to Houston High on Friday, March 6.
- Kiel Koehler also was awarded the grant for a classroom set of desktop computers.
- Erica Upton-Wurst received the Breaking Barriers Award this fall.
- Tina Barness was named the Southeast Minnesota Elementary School Counselor of the Year. She is now in the running for the statewide award.
- Houston Junior High Knowledge Bowl Team 1 earned top honors at the regional Knowledge Bowl meet in January.
- The one-act play placed third at the Sub-Section 1A meet, just missing a chance to advance to Sections.
- Successfully completed the Office of Civil Rights review.
- Houston High School was named a 2014 Gold Medal School by US News and World Report. Houston High ranked third out of all the schools in Minnesota and 308th nationally.
- Summit Learning Center was named a 2014 Bronze Medal School by US News and World Report.
- Houston Elem/ MS FLL Robotics team Knit Wits placed second overall in head-to-head competition and won the Core Values award for their encouraging and polite behavior.
Houston ISD 294 Master Facility Plan
We at Houston Public Schools are very proud of our school facilities. We owe a great deal to past Boards of Education and to the community for their forethought in constructing, maintaining and financially supporting the buildings we have. However, as is true with all buildings, if they are not maintained, they will not endure the test of time. For example, about thirty years ago the 1957 section of the current high school was remodeled with new windows and a stucco façade, a façade that is now deteriorating at the ground level. We would like these buildings to be used for generations to come; therefore, we knew it was time to research the best plan for ensuring the longevity of our buildings.
For the past nine months, Houston Public Schools has been working on a Master Facility Plan with the assistance of Unesco, a Minnesota consulting firm. Over that time, Unesco has done a comprehensive facility analysis of all the district’s buildings and has identified numerous deferred maintenance needs, energy efficiency upgrades, indoor air quality improvements, exterior safe-facility enhancements, and interior remodeling opportunities.
The District’s Facilities Committee has had numerous scope discussion workshops with Unesco reviewing the District’s immediate, mid-term and long-term facility needs. These discussions have focused on necessary improvements and upgrades that will have a positive impact on reducing operating costs while at the same time improving the overall learning environments. The Facilities Committee has studied the Unesco proposals and has made a recommendation to the full School Board for approval. At a Special Meeting on Thursday, July 25 the School Board approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Unesco, Inc. to assist the District in proceeding with deferred maintenance and indoor air quality projects in its facilities.
As is true with all conversations about improvements within the district, the desire to maintain or reduce the tax implication to the community is vital in any decision. The 2015 legislature passed new legislation recently that changed how the school districts’ facilities projects are funded and financed. Fortunately, the new legislation includes a state equalized portion of any tax impact of the projects. The District’s Finance Committee and full Board were informed on Tuesday, June 16 that District 294’s equalization component will be approximately 90%. Meaning, for every dollar of local tax for the project, the State will pay approximately $0.88, and local taxes will not have to be raised at all.
The scope of work being recommended for consideration includes the following projects:
- Safe building entrance renovation
- Lighting system upgrades
- Ventilation improvements
- Gymnasium bleacher replacement and floor refinishing
- Window and exterior wall replacement
- DCD space remodel
- Control system re-commissioning
Early Childhood Center
- Safe building entrance renovation
- Ventilation system replacement
- Central dehumidification
- Roof replacement
- Boiler replacement
- Lighting system upgrades
- Direct digital control installation
- Replace older roof area with a "lifetime" sloped metal roof installation
- Multi-purpose room expansion
- Basement window replacement
- Lighting system upgrade
- Mechanical improvements
The Board has approved the multi-purpose room expansion although it is not included in the new legislative equalization funding so other funding mechanisms will need to be found for that project.
- Sloped-roof improvements to protect the entire length of the buses
For any questions regarding the approved projects please contact Superintendent Krin Abraham and/or the Board members.
In July, MNVA elementary teacher Mrs. Allmon, had the opportunity to attend the International Literacy Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. The conference brought together more than 6,000 literacy educators and experts from around the world with the theme of "Transforming Lives Through Literacy". More than 300 sessions on key topics in literacy education were available.
A highlight of the conference was hearing basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal speak about his journey from a career in athletics to earning his doctorate in education. Shiza Shahid, cofounder of the Malala Fund spoke about her role as a social activist to promote education of girls worldwide, and actress/author Octavia Spencer from the movie, The Help, also spoke about her struggles with dyslexia and how her life experiences helped her become a mystery novel author.
Mrs. Allmon is excited to have had this wonderful professional development opportunity, and she is ready put some new ideas from the ILA Conference into practice this fall!
At School Event and Activity Calendar - click on the event to see the event details