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Verndale wants guidelines for fan behavior

The winter sports season has brought some coaching and spectator problems for Verndale superintendent Paul Brownlow.

After a considerable amount of discussion, the District 818 school board voted to give Brownlow the green light to hire an extra C-squad basketball coach should the need arise this winter. Brownlow has had no hard and fast rules to go by when coaches have asked for help. Board member Denise Braemer argued against the decision and voted no to the motion.

The school board also heard from Brownlow about an unruly basketball fan which he had to temporarily ban from the building. The board wants guidelines for fan behavior to be clear in the future.

Assistant coaches for the new Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale baseball team have been determined. Jed Carlson will be the varsity assistant with Chris Schwantz also filling the role if numbers demand it. Greg Johnson and John Weishalla will be the junior high baseball coaches.

Principal Justin Sperling introduced the 2010 PLAN and EXPLORE assessment reports. Sophomores being tested in English, math and reading in the PLAN program were at or about the national benchmark for college readiness. Nationally, sophomores' skills in the sciences is just 13 percent nationwide and only 7 percent in Verndale. Six Verndale sophomores were in the top 20 percent nationally and six were in the bottom 33 percent.

The biggest group of Verndale's eighth-graders taking the EXPLORE test scored in the 50-74 percent group in English, math, reading and science. Four Verndale eighth-graders were in the top 10 percent nationally and six were in the bottom 14 percent.