The Huron Board of Education voted to move forward with phase one of the Madison Elementary School expansion project. Phase one will involve the addition of eight classrooms and a set of bathrooms to be added onto the north end of the building.
By passing this motion now, business manager Kelly Christopherson can begin working on getting a resolution drafted for issuing Capital Outlay Certificates for the $1.9 million cost of this aspect of the elementary renovation project.
The district has the wherewithal in the Capital Outlay Fund to fund this portion.
These certificates will not increase taxes in the community, as they are part of the tax levy already being paid. Christopherson stated that next spring, when the district begins looking at the possibility of issuing General Obligation Bonds to complete the elementary renovations, these certificates would be rolled into the bonds to free up the Capital Outlay Fund for other things.
General Obligation Bonds would replace the ones used to fund the middle school, which the district is paying off at $900,000 per year. These bonds would not increase taxes paid by property owners, but would extend the taxes already levied to retire the current bonds.
There will be a public hearing held on the Capital Outlay Certificates Jan. 13. According to Jeff Hazard of the Koch Hazard Architect firm, bidding would open for the Madison construction Jan. 24 with construction to begin in the spring and the completion date slated for the beginning of the 2013 school year.
John Halbkat said that this addition is a necessity. “This is not just five board members trying to push through another addition,” he said. “We can not operate without it. Moving forward with phase one is a necessity caused by community growth.”
He also pointed out that by going with eight classrooms now instead of only six, the district will save money in the long run. “Although we may decrease the phase one cost by $310,000 for two classrooms, it will cost us more than that to add them during the second phase of construction.”
Jim Adams, adaptive physical education instructor, gave the Good News Report on the Boost-Up SMART program at Buchanan. The Stimulating Maturity Through Accelerated Readiness Training (SMART) program is a compilation of brain-enhancing skills that have been in use since the beginning of the year.
The program includes activities that help integrate both sides of the brain, develop visual skills, encourage balance and body awareness, fine-motor skills and many others to enhance brain development. The SMART curriculum was designed to enhance readiness skills so students will be successful in school.
Demi Moon, high school principal, spoke about a lip dub video the students made this fall and gave an update on the Trick or Treat Street event, which hosted between 700 and 800 children.
Two students, Thorn Dramstad and Zach Olson, presented the Wikispaces seniors in government class created during the recent election.
Darci Love explained the new School Performance Index (SPI) and Gap Groups being used by the state to track school achievement. The SPI will eventually include five indicators for a total of 100 possible points.
The Gap Groups designation includes minority groups, disabled, economically disadvantaged and limited English students. Because of the large number of English as a second language students, the middle school was named a focus school. Staff will participate in a Web-based school improvement tool and work with state approved coaches to help with interventions to increase school scores.
In his superintendent’s report, Terry Nebelsick congratulated school nurse Rita Bazler for being elected to the national board of school nurses. He said Carol Tompkins and the nutrition department managed to get Huron qualified to receive an additional eight cents per student for school meals. Huron is one of eight schools in South Dakota to qualify for this additional funding and it will be retroactive to Oct. 1.
He mentioned that calendar committee will be meeting in December, the Sertoma Club was instrumental in bringing a Sanford science lab presentation to Huron Dec. 4, and the board will meet with local state representatives and senators Dec. 10 in the same room as the board meetings for the annual legislative lunch.
In other business the board approved a request to apply for a Clean Diesel Grant from the EPA; approved an open enrollment request to be effective Jan. 2; accepted four resignations; and approved two new hires.
For the complete article see the 11-27-2012 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-27-2012 paper.