School Board Holds Regular Meeting in October

By Aaron Eberle
On Monday, October 10, the school board held their regular meeting at 7 p.m.
Diane Stevens, stated that she went to the ASBO Conference in Pierre. One session was on conflict of interest disclosure. It was put on by Gerry Kaufman, ASBSD Director of Policy and Legal Services. Stevens stated that the main message she took away from the Kaufman, was that if someone was questioning whether they should disclose a contract, they probably should. The law is unclear, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Stevens has sent some information to Ben Elliott so Elliott and staff can begin on the school’s 2015-2016 audit. Stevens and Dave Courtney will be working on the Personnel Record Form and will have it ready for submission on October 17.
Stevens traveled to Chamberlain to attend the health insurance information meeting put on by SDSDBF concerning the assessment they have been working on. Jim Holbeck, Superintendent of the Harrisburg School District and a member of the health pool advisory committee explained how the health insurance ended up being how it currently is. Holbeck explained and answered questions about how the committees arrived at the solution. Holbeck also went through the reasoning behind the decisions the committee made and what the outcome of those decision were.
In the end, the Edgemont School District owes $85,960. There are several ways to pay the assessment cost. A memorandum of agreement will be sent to each school district in November. Payment options will need to be discussed and decided on. The memorandum of agreement will need to be sent to the ASBSD by January 1, 2017. Stevens stated that this will be an agenda item at the November board meeting.
Stevens stated that Deb Worsham will be going to Pierre for a “new manager training”. Worsham’s training will include lunch meal pattern, lunch offer vs. serve and production records. Stevens also stated that Clova has started a fresh fruits and vegetable program for the elementary kids. Clova does this in the afternoons.
Lane Ostenson stated that he attended the A.D. meeting in Deadwood and they started on the calendar for next year. Ostenson talked with Custer’s A.D. They are hoping to have some kind of home event for wrestling in Edgemont. They talked about the possibility of a scrimmage/wrestle off for the different weight classes, or possibly a dual. Ostenson will keep everyone posted on what is decided.
Ostenson spoke of the band playing in the Chadron State College homecoming parade on Saturday, October 8. They were also invited to play a few selections with the Chadron State Band during the football game. Ostenson thought the kids did very well.
Ostneson stated that he has spoke with the Doug Shower, the Faith A.D. Shower wanted to know what Ostenson’s feelings were on six man football. Ostenson was hoping to get it talked about at the state level. Cortney is down to 11 kids on his football squad this fall to fill a nine man team.
Amy Ferley stated that things have been hectic, but everybody is finally settling into a routine. The kids have been participating in several learning opportunities outside of the classroom through different field trips.
Ferley stated that there have been some big changes in the special education department. It was decided that Mrs. Joint could better serve students in a different classroom. Ferley was thankful for the student who helped carry and rearrange so the move could be done quickly and easily.
The State Performance Plan (SPP) coordinator came to discuss the accountability results. This data was from the 2014 - 2015 school year. It was a bit out-dated, but was still interesting and good to keep track of how they were doing. As a special education staff, they will be choosing an indicator that they would like to improve on.
Ferley attended at TIE advisory board meeting. It was a very informative trip. She learned about what TIE is working on and gave them feedback about how to better reach schools with that work.
Ferley stated that they have had a couple of meetings with Sherry Crouft and Lennie Symes since accepting the Bush Grant through TIE. Crouft and Symes will be helping Edgemont through the grant, as well as providing professional development, resource and support. Ferley will be looking for a time to meet in November to begin the structural rebuild work.
Teachers are working in their classrooms and with each other to better meet students at their individual levels. Ferley also stated that she will be taking three teachers to the Systems Change Conference. She wants these teachers to go to as many sessions about MCL as they can, so they are prepared for Edgemont’s own planning team.
The state has reopened the Classroom Innovation Grant. Ferley will be reapplying for it. She is hoping to defray some of the cost of trips that are not covered by the Bush Grant.
Dave Cortney stated that the South Dakota Department of Education released the Smarter Balance Test score to the public form the 2015-16 school year. Melody Schopp released a statement saying the overall performance on the state assessment.
Cortney stated that there are not enough students in the high school to gather data, but there was enough in the K - 8 section, which put Edgemont in the progressing school category. The high school is classified as a small school.
Cortney stated that the public could look at the report card from the state online at
Board member, Susan Humiston has looked at the website and thought that the data was overwhelming. Humsiton stated that maybe the public could contact the school if they had any questions on the website or the data.
Cortney stated that September 30, was the final count day. The DOE uses this as the number for 2016-17 funding. Edgemont’s total number for both schools will be 143 students. This is down seven students from last year.
The board discussed a list of things that would be surplus for trash or for sale. Cortney wanted to add the 1995 Bus #7, a light pole and a sewer router junior to the list for sale. The board approved these items.
The board also discussed a draft of ASBSD Legislative Resolutions. One of the items on the list was compulsory school attendance. The ASBSD supports compulsory attendance in public school to age 18 or until the student graduates. Maintaining compulsory attendance age until 18 minimizes the potential for students to transfer to public school in order to drop-out of high school.
Board member Connie Gerard wondered what everybody’s thoughts were about having to keep them until they were 18. Gerard felt that Ostenson, Cortney, Ferley and Stevens would have a better grasp on that since they were working in the school system. Gerard also commented that at one point in time, the school could just keep them through the eighth grade.
Ostenson stated after the eighth grade policy, was the policy that the school had to keep them until the age of 16 and now it looks like 18. Ostenson felt that it should stay at 16.
Ostenson also stated that you could tell who wanted to be there and continue their studies and who didn’t want to be there at 16. Ostenson doesn’t feel that they should hold those students, but he will do what the state or the school tells him to do.
Board member Gary Darrow felt that 16 was a young age to start life. Humiston stated that in today’s world you are not going to go anywhere without a high school diploma.
Cortney agreed with Ostenson that a person knew what students wanted to stay and learn and which ones didn’t at 16, but knew that they would have to hold them until 18.
The board will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, November 7, at the school library.

Fall River County Herald Star

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