School Board approves virtual high school

By Crystal Pugsley of the Plainsman
Posted 6/11/24

Notes from the June 10 Huron School Board meeting

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School Board approves virtual high school

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HURON — High school students in the Huron district will have another option for earning their diplomas next fall through a newly adopted waiver with South Dakota Virtual High School, according to Superintendent Kraig Steinhoff.

Steinhoff told School Board members Monday night that he met with several teachers in the district regarding the number of students that are home-schooled and that open enroll out of the district.

“The two schools they’re enrolling to are Northwestern Area School District and Wessington Springs,” Steinhoff said. “A number of other schools are taking on virtual school.They continue to get more and more families asking for virtual high school classes versus face to face.

“I know it won’t be as good as face-to-face instruction,” he added. “I’m a firm believer a teacher is the best teaching tool, not a computer. People are asking and voting with their feet by going elsewhere.”

Steinhoff said they anticipate as many as 25 students enrolling. “We could help serve those families that want something different,” he said. “We would be able to have a virtual high school starting this fall. I think it will be a revolving work for us.”

Courses would be provided through S.D. Virtual Center, with teachers certified by the state. Board members unanimously approved the waiver application to provide virtual learning.

Board members also held a budget hearing, seeking input from the community on the $55 million budget for the upcoming school year.

“This is an official time for people to speak to our budget,” said business manager Kelly Christopherson. “This is the largest budget we’ve ever had.”

There was no public input regarding the budget.

Steinhoff said he met with school superintendents from Sanborn Central, Wolsey-Wessington and Hitchcock-Tulare to collaborate on a CTE Contract for Shared Services. The contract is a three-year agreement and includes the operation of the CTE Center, the establishment of a CTE Center Association and other guidelines.

Steinhoff also met with officials from Southeast Technical College, Northern State University, Huron Community Campus and HRMC to seek solutions to education requests from Huron Rising 2.0, specifically to provide higher ed opportunities for students and adults in Huron.

Grab & Go Meals are offered every Tuesday and Friday at the Huron Middle School. These meals are free to children ages 1 through 18.

Beth Neitzert, middle and high school orchestra director, was congratulated for winning the Regional and South Dakota American Legion Educator of the Year award.

Cindi and Willie Williams were thanked for building and donating a toner rack for the Buchanan office.

Board members approved a request from the Huron School District Foundation to share funding for an executive director.