Fillmore Central Principal Heath Olstad and Dean of Students Chris Mensink both presented their regular monthly reports to the school board on Tuesday evening, Oct. 30.

Olstad reported on several items, including a recap of the fall athletic season, which was impressive for both the volleyball and football teams.

"The volleyball team lost a heartbreaker at the subsection tournament," he said, "but both teams did us proud."

Juniors who chose to take the PSAT test did so on Oct. 17. "It's good practice for the ACT tests," Olstad added, even though the two are not actually affiliated.

He pointed out that the test and its results can be a good tool for students to utilize if they choose to study the results. Olstad also added that it is simply a good experience for students to get used to the testing environment and timing element.

SADD members held several special events during the week of Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 in recognition of Red Ribbon Week. Several members visited the elementary school to speak with students to spread the message about making positive decisions. The "Grim Reaper" visited the high school and marked students throughout the day, representing the number of students who are killed as a result of drug use, drunk driving or other high-risk behaviors.

Olstad also told the board that the seventh grade class was attending a three-day, two-night camp at Eagle Bluff as the board met. "It is an amazing opportunity and wonderful experience for our students," he said. Due to local support from organizations and private individuals, the cost per family is only $25 per family. He added that no student was denied the opportunity to go if the fee provided a hardship for the family.

Parent-teacher conferences were held on Oct. 25 and Oct. 29 at the high school. "The attendance at the high school is never as high as we'd like it," he noted. "But those there appreciate the opportunity to meet the teachers face to face." Olstad attributes lower attendance with the ability to contact teachers through e-mail and become updated through online information.

The juniors had attended a college fair in Rochester on Oct. 25 where they were able to look at several different career options as well as talk to area college representatives.

A financial aid representative from Winona State held an informational event for students and parents on Oct. 29 "It was a good meeting for the parents and they were given a lot of valuable information about financial options for their students," Olstad added.

He also noted National Honor Society would be hosting its annual blood drive to benefit the Red Cross on Nov. 9 for students aged 16 and older as well as staff and faculty members. Olstad explained that the students under 18 need to have parent permission, but many obtain that and become donors.

The Falcon Scholar Club awards ceremony will be held on Monday, Nov. 19, at 9:10 a.m. with Emily Torgrimson being the speaker. She is the founder of Eat for Equity, a charitable organization that holds dinner events to raise money for a variety of different causes.

Finally, Olstad reported that about 20 high school students have volunteered to help deliver Meals on Wheels this winter. The students pair up with adult drivers to take meals to area seniors.

Mensink shared several special dates at the elementary school as well as updated the board on progress of the "One and Done Fundraiser."

He told the board members that this year's fundraiser was one of the most successful with students raising just over $14,000 through the sale. "We want to especially thank the community," Mensink added. "We appreciate the support we get from them every year."

The funds raised are used to fund field trips, purchase student planners and pay for special activities held throughout the year.

The students will be honored for their hard work with parties and limo rides on Nov. 15 and 16.

Mensink shared another highlight of October was a visit by the Copper Brass Quintet Group on Oct. 16. "The kids had a great time with it," he added.

A book fair was held at the end of October and Mensink did not have any figures to present as the sale had just concluded, but he assured the board that it was a very successful event.

Finally, Mensink told the board that the Kemps Nickel for Schools program was ending but the school had received over 14,000 milk caps which will earn about $700 for the school.