Dear Editor,

I invited my little brother to come home for a visit. I didn’t expect him to come. He is the little brother and still a pain. But it made me think, ‘What changes would he notice’? Four hundred homes and 5,000 more people since he left comes to mind but that build out had started before he left.

I think the thing he would notice is that there are no more senior work release programs. When he graduated less than 50% of the seniors were in the building for a whole day. Most of them had jobs around town or advanced classes.

It would be impossible to bring that back to the Belle Plaine High School because there is a lack of teachers qualified to supervise work release programs. In the 90’s there were five qualified instructors. Today there is only one.

The school board needs to hire a shop teacher, a domestic arts teacher, a medical prep teacher just to begin to meet the vocational needs of Belle Plaine. That would begin to put our students back to work. Belle Plaine is the only school in the area that thinks college prep is more important than vocational discernment.

Larry Kiewel

St. Peter, Mn

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