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School Board looks at several grant applications

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017

HURON ― The Board of Education met Monday with a busy agenda.

Board president David Wheeler pointed out upcoming dates of importance including President’s Day (No School) on Feb. 20, the deadline for filing nominating petitions for the school board on Feb. 24, and parent/teacher conferences at the various schools March 28 and March 30.

The consent agenda was approved. Items included were approval of previous minutes and reports, approval and bill payments, approval of new hires and resignations, and intents of grant applications. Grants to be applied for were Middle School Drama applying for a grant from the Huron Community Foundation for the Missoula Children’s Theater, the High School Student Council applying to HYLC for a grant for State Student Council, the HS Student Council applying for a grant from Huron Community Foundation to help fund State Student Council, the 4/5 Center applying for a Reflex Educator grant of a program to improve basic math skills, and a grant by the Huron Middle School to the SD Office of Homeland Security for a keyless entry system that Superintendent Terry Nebelsick said will “bring the Middle School in like with other schools.”

The consent agenda also included extending the lease of McKinley to the Head Start program for 2017-2018 under the same terms as are currently in force, and Open Enrollment requests OE-2016-19 and OE-2016-20.

Nebelsick then offered his congratulations for student successes in the district, including Aubrey Rutledge FOR winning the regional spelling bee in Mitchell and qualifying three years in a row, the Huron High School speech and debate team for placing second in the Conference Forensic Tournament (which makes 31 years in a row that Huron has been first or second), Courtney Hoogland, Sam Gilbert, and Allison Valero for their receiving superior acting ratings at the SDHSAA State One Act Play Festival, Peyton Williams-Morrison for achieving Middle School Champion in the Geography Bee, Tanner Cronin for being named Runner-Up, Erica Zell and Synden Shillingstad for their medal winning performances at the State Gymnastics Meet, and thanks to Barb Nicholas, Music Teacher at Buchanan K-1 for her work on the K-1 Winter Extravaganza concerts.

Board member Kerwin Haeder stated that he will not be seeking another term.

Danielle Radke, Title 1 Para-Educator at the Washington 4-5 center, was presented the award for Classified Employee of the Month by Principal Beth Foss.

Jolene Konechne and Dr. Brooke Sydow presented a report on the Career Technical Education Workforce Development Grant proposal. This is a matching grant that would be used by the District to create a state of the art medical education facility for the purpose of encouraging Huron area students to pursue the health care profession in the Huron area. This program would be in partnership with Huron Regional Medical Center and area secondary education facilities. Current enrollment in the Huron High School’s “Principals of Biomedical Science” has doubled in the past year and is now at 45 students, with a strong interest expressed by students not yet enrolled in the course. Ms. Konechne expressed some concerns about meeting the grant application deadline of March 13, but noted that it is an annual grant. The Board thanked them for their report and encouraged the team to continue their efforts.

Tim Van Berkum gave the Legislative Action Network report, detailing issues that are being watched in the legislature. Several bills have potential impact on the District, but as they have not yet been passed there is no action to take at this time. Two of particular interest are the bill revising the conflict of interest law that was passed last year to clarify it, and a bill to set the mandatory school attendance age at 16. Van Berkum stated that further reports will give additional details as the legislative session continues.

Business Manager Kelly Christopherson gave the Business Manager’s report. He stated that revenue for the year is $8,926,000, 50 percent of budget, and expenditures are $8,771,000 which is 41 percent of budget. He stated that both these numbers are within expected bounds.

Christopherson further stated that the school district has locked in its heating gas rate of $0.45 per therm for next year. He also reported that the final payment for the artificial turf project for the athletic field was made in the bills approved earlier in the meeting, and that the project is now finished.

Superintendent Nebelsick then gave his report, starting by acknowledging the service of the School Board as part of South Dakota School Board Recognition Week. He also thanked the Board for their efforts on Legislative Day, and affirmed that their efforts are helpful, and time well spent.

Nebelsick reported that the proposed “Junior First Grade” program will not proceed. He first conceived the idea as a way to address the rate of kindergarten retention. Further study, Nebelsick said, showed that other processes will achieve the same results more smoothly by concentrating more on the students’ capabilities at high school graduation, noting also that most of the students retained in kindergarten are either those with late birthdays, in the months of May through July, or are premature births. He said that further refinement of the existing procedures will be needed and that the board will be kept appraised.

Sherri Nelson reported on the new K-12 Social Studies textbooks. The selection has been made, and interested parties may review the books at the School Board offices at Huron Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 12-5 p.m., or Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In old business, the Board approved the new policy on signing bonuses for teacher recruitment, the policy GDBA-3 (N) for the support staff hiring schedule, the Huron High School Registration Book 2017-2018, authorized the purchase of a 21-passenger minibus according to the the bids received, and the project for asphalt parking lot pavements and concrete sidewalks for the new athletic field.

In new business the Board approved Ace Auction Services for the 2017-2018 for any auctions the District may need to conduct, based on the Ace bid being the most favorable of the bids received. Superintendent Nebelsick then introduced the proposed policy updates for the Special Education Comprehensive Plan in preparation for the first reading at the next Board meeting.

The meeting was then adjourned.

For the complete article see the 02-14-2017 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-14-2017 paper.

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