School Board hears report on attendance

Posted 12/12/22

Notes from December 12 Huron School Board meeting

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School Board hears report on attendance


HURON — Monday night The Huron School Board of Education met and approved six resignations, five new hires, one contract for board approval, two leave of absence requests and a request by American Legion Post 7 to use a school bus in February to transport conference attendees.  

Washington 4-5 Center, fourth-grade teacher Erica Boomsma and four students from her class presented the good news report.

“We know that attendance is a very important part of our students' achievement and their journey in education,” said Boomsma. “We know that this plays an incredible role in how much they are able to get from the time they spend in school. And when we talk about absenteeism, especially chronic absenteeism we know that students that are gone — whether through consecutive days in a row or sporadically — can miss upwards of a month of school and instruction.”

This leads to incredible gaps in a student's learning that are really hard to overcome, she added.

Boomsma noted that chronically absent students are about 17% more likely to read at grade level.

“If you combine it with that data, that if you’re not reading at grade level by the time you exit third grade, you have a 25 percent chance of ever catching up to your peers. So attendance is incredibly important.”  

Boomsma gave a presentation to the board about why children liked to go to school. Many children had different reasons such as: they liked their teachers, making friends and learning new things.

Business Manager Kelly Christopherson went over his report with the board, including a small construction update that the architects and engineers are still working on the plans for the track at Tiger Stadium and tennis court expansion. He also spoke on the arena air conditioning, with a plan to let out for bids on the items by mid-January.

Director of CTE Jolene Konechne said there was a group of 17 people who attended the 2022 National CareerTech VISION Conference. While working with Clark County school district they were able to tour two different academies, East Career and Southeast Career and Tech Academy. Many programs are offered such as nursing assistant, sports medicine, automotive service, technology, construction technology, culinary, information technology, marketing and hospitality, and mechanical technology, to name a few.

Dr. Christopherson went over the blueprints that are being made for the CTE extension. With the possibility of a second floor, an elevator would be needed. But wanting to see the price down they are hoping that they can get all the courses on one floor. This would add items like art to move from the high school to the new building to attach the extra 35,000 square feet to the existing building.  

Superintendent Dr. Kraig Steinhoff presented the Classified Employee of the Month award for December 2022 to Suzie Van Berkum.

In Dates to remember, Dec. 23 to Jan. 3 is holiday break with no school. Classes will resume Jan. 4, 2023.

The next school board meeting will take place Monday, Jan. 9, in the IPC room located on the second floor of  Huron Arena. The public is encouraged to attend.