The Huron Board of Education met Monday and discussed the preliminary report from Koch Hazard, the firm that has been hired to do an overall facilities study. The first meeting was Sept. 6 and was mainly an information gathering session and walk through of each of the buildings in the school district.
Kelly Christopherson, business manager, said the firm was supplied with building plans and copies of previous studies. The intent of this facility planning is to provide a long-term continued use and building expansion plan for the district. The elementary report will be completed by the end of October. The firm will also look at the middle school, bus barn and maintenance shop.
The preliminary report listed Madison as the priority school for another addition to get it ready for the influx of students who will be coming up from the kindergarten center. An addition of five classrooms at Madison was completed last year, but the school is already over capacity this year. Washington would be the next priority, then Buchanan and finally Jefferson. If Washington can be turned into a third- and fourth-grade center, as hoped, the firm will look at Jefferson for other uses such as printing, supply and the Birth to Three program, as well as others. In all cases, the district will need to consider alternative options such as portables to handle growth until construction is complete.
John Halbkat stated that this unexpected growth in enrollment, although causing major growing pains now, is a good problem to have. He went on to say that the Huron community has always been supportive of the district when there was a need for school construction.
Julie Miller, S.D. Department of Health regional manager, reported on a Point of Distribution exercise planned for Oct. 3 at the middle school. A POD event helps community health providers and volunteers be ready for a catastrophic event. As a designated POD location, Huron must be capable of inoculating 30,000 people in 48 hours. The middle school POD will be used to provide the influenza vaccine to fifth grade, middle and high school students from Huron as well as students from Wolsey-Wessington and Iroquois, during the day and younger children in the evening from 4 to 7 p.m. Miller said the departmentís goal is to have all children aged 6 months through 18 vaccinated.
She requested the use of Huronís school buses to transport students from James Valley Christian School and Holy Trinity School to the middle school for the POD during the day and to also use the buses in the evening to help families with young children and with students in kindergarten through fourth grade get out to the middle school. The board approved the request.
Miller said adults may also come to the event to get a flu shot. There is a fee for adults, however, she said no one is ever turned away because of an inability to pay the fee.
Darci Love reported on the curriculum revision cycle. As the director of instruction, it is her responsibility to see that the district stays on track with reviewing and ordering new curriculum. Since the state adopted the new common core curriculum standards in 2010, the district has implemented new math materials this fall. Next in line will be new English language arts materials. She said the committee will be researching options during the year and will have a recommendation for the board in April. That material will be implemented in the fall of 2013.
Superintendent Terry Nebelsick had a long list of successes in the district, mainly concerning the great turn out for homecoming festivities, Vanya Munceís first Math Night, a big congratulations to the marching band, which only missed placing in the first competition by five points, and a huge thank you to the high school volleyball and football players who ate lunch with the kindergarteners.
The board approved five new hires, accepted the resignation of Barb Peterson, Jefferson office secretary, at the end of the school year with 37 years of service and approved an open enrollment request for a student from Miller to continue attending Huron High School.
Nebelsick reported he will be attending a meeting of large-school superintendents in October and is working on setting a date for board members to have lunch with the local legislators in December to discuss issues concerning education and school funding.
The first reading of Section B, Board Policy, was deferred to the next meeting, as it will be a lengthy discussion. The meeting adjourned and after a short break, board members met with the Administrative Leadership Team to hear and discuss goal-setting reports.For the complete article see the 09-25-2012 issue.
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