School Board gears up for a positive year

HURON — As the start of the new school year fast approaches, the Huron School Board of Education geared up at Mondays meeting with reports of educational developments from personnel within the district that recently attended the Associated School Boards of South Dakota and School Administrators of South Dakota (ASBSD-SASD) convention held on Friday and Saturday in Sioux Falls.
School board members David Wheeler and Shelly Siemonsma shared experiences from presentations which they attended at the convention.
“One of the more interesting ones I went to was on the State Aid Funding Formula,” Wheeler explained. “I also went to a session by Ted Haeder dealing with controversial issues and talked about the different ways to handle those. There were a lot of good areas to learn about.”
“There were great speakers this year again, it was exciting to see and I feel motivated every time I walk out of one of the presentations,” Siemonsma explained. “I went to the open laws session and I also attended the search and seizure presentation, really good job at explaining how to deal with that and what you can do if you do have to seize someones phone. It was a great convention.”
Director of ESL Rodney Mittelstedt shared a good news report with the board, regarding the ESL Summer School program. Mittelstedt highlighted that a total of 394 K-7 students plus 30 ninth through twelfth grade students attended during the three weeks in June the program was held.
“The focus of ESL summer school is always with reading and math and improving those skills, they were taught and learned other things as well, but there’s always that emphasis because those are the things we really focus on in ACCESS testing.”
Other subjects included art, health, personal finance and welding, as well as additional activities that the Huron Public Library assisted with.
It was a positive highlight of the presentation that the United Way Day of Caring took place during the summer school program, where volunteers, students and many individuals helped organize a reading station, a music station, plus an outdoor demonstration with drones.
Superintendent Terry Nebelsick discussed during his report the recent leadership meetings, training sessions and focuses of the district, plus the recent flooding issues affecting the agricultural communities in South Dakota.
“Beadle County is at 300 plus percent moisture compared to a typical year and so we really need to be sensitive to what our friends and neighbors are going through,” Nebelsick noted.
It was also brought to the attention of the public that due to an influx of enrollment the school lunch period will be split into two separate times in order to better handle a smaller amount of students at a time.
Business Manager Kelly Christopherson shared a successful outcome for the school’s online surplus auction which was held on Tuesday, July 16, “things went well and we got $64,000 and we will deposit those funds into the general fund,” he explained.
In old business the revised handbooks for 2019-2020 were approved, as well as the district school bus pickup points in Iroquois and Wolsey-Wessington.
Introduced to the board on Monday was a bid to make improvements to the handrails at Huron Arena, a policy outlining graduation requirements, an increase of 1.2% for Delta Dental insurance rates, among other business.
The first day of school will be Tuesday, Sept. 3, following the State Fair, while Homecoming is set for Friday, Sept. 27. Other important dates are available online at the school website.
The board will meet again at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26, in the Instructional Planning Center at Huron Arena.