School Board hears reports from Huron Middle School

Crystal Pugsley of the Plainsman
Posted 2/28/23

Notes from February 27 Huron School Board meeting

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School Board hears reports from Huron Middle School


HURON — Students and staff at Huron Middle School gave three presentations during the Huron School Board meeting Monday night.

Leah Branaugh is teaching a new personal finance class in the middle school, that focuses on deciding how students will budget and use their money.

“We talked about comparison shopping, calculating discounts and writing checks,” Branaugh said. “Some have asked if they will ever need to write checks; maybe by the time they’re ready to do that, they might not need to anymore.”

They just finished a chapter on budgeting, and the last unit will cover credit and credit scores.

Bonnie Bartholow, facilitator of Project Lead the Way, said this is the first year the course is being offered at the middle school level. It has been taught in the elementary grades for five years.

“Project Lead the Way is a hand’s-on STEM curriculum,” Bartholow said. “I give them the background of what they need and allow them to take that idea the way they would go. We try to go with real world problems.”

Students in sixth grade worked to create a toy or game a child with cerebral palsy could play with, while seventh-graders are working on flight and space, building prototypes and test models. This will conclude with students creating their own mission to Mars. Eighth-graders are learning to be medical detectives by getting a patient case and going through vital signs and diagnosing. They will dissect a sheep brain, and at the end of the unit they will investigate a disease that is ravaging a community to figure out where it came from and what steps to take to stop it.

“It’s really a great program to get kids thinking about the future,” Bartholow said.

She also had one student from each grade talk about the projects they were involved in.

HMS librarian Ethan Simmons and Dayna Winter talked about the HMS Maker Space that has been launched. “Maker Space — it’s a space where you make,” Simmons said. “It’s a space for students to make things. Rubber-band airplanes, legos, snap circuits, bots. There’s a new activity every week.”

The library also hosts during and afterschool clubs, including chess club, tech club, sewing club, etc.

Winter said the library boasts more than 16,000 titles that students can choose from, with more than 900 books checked out at the time.

Beth Neitzert, HMS orchestra instructor, talked about the Honors and Chamber orchestras that perform. Students audition for spots in those orchestra opportunities.

Terry Regnier, who mans the Technology Help Desk at the high school, was selected as the Classified Employee of the Month for February.

Supt. Kraig Steinhoff gave an introduction of the Certified Staff Recruitment Incentive, which has been getting a number of applicants. This will be on the agenda for its first reading at the March 13 board meeting.

High school students who will begin working at the Madison 2-3 Center as student-teacher assistants, are Hser Da Say, Day Lu Paw and Sophia Klich, all sophomores, and Peyton Schock, junior. Each will receive $13.74 per hour.

Teams that have earned Academic Achievement Team Awards are one act play, gymnastics, boys’ wrestling, girls’ wrestling, debate, girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball, and girls’ and boys’ basketball sideline cheerleaders.

“The criteria to have that award is the team has to achieve a combined grade point of 3.0 or higher,” Steinhoff said. “When our kids are involved with other students socially, it helps them be more academically successful.”

In other business, the School Board:
• Approved a request by Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons to use a school bus June 15 to transport approximately 30 camp attendees from Camp Woodland to Ravine Lake and back
• Approved an advertising renewal for Dakota Provisions at Huron Arena

There will be early release on Wednesday, March 1, and no school on March 10 for spring break. The next board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. March 13 at the IPC.