School notes 2-3-24


McKinley Learning Center
It’s been a year of inspiring developments! The reverse inclusion of 5-year-old students at McKinley Learning Center has yielded positive and encouraging outcomes. The students with special needs have made remarkable progress in their social and academic skills, finding a sense of belonging and acceptance among their general education peers.

The general education peers have embraced the concept of inclusion, demonstrating empathy, understanding, and support towards their classmates with special needs. Their collaboration has created a more inclusive and harmonious classroom environment, enriching the educational experience for all students involved. This inclusive environment has provided valuable opportunities for growth and learning of essential kindergarten readiness skills such as identifying letters, letter sounds, numbers 1-20, colors, and shapes. Furthermore, the McKinley team’s selection to present at both the South Dakota Special Education Conference and the TIE Conference in Sioux Falls is a proud and hopeful achievement and will be showcasing their expertise and commitment to inclusive education.

Upcoming screening dates at McKinley are set for Tuesday, March 19 and Thursday, March 21 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Please call 605-353-6680 to make an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome during the listed times.

Submitted by Destinni Girton, preschool teacher at McKinley Learning Center

Huron Middle School nurse
As the Huron Middle School Nurse, I want to provide you with an update from the Nurse’s Office. It is wonderful to have our students back in the school after the break.

• General health: Please be reminded of the importance of maintaining good health habits, including regular handwashing, getting adequate sleep, and a balanced diet. Students often enjoy certain foods but they don’t always have a balanced diet. Talk to your medical provider to find out if a multi-vitamin would be good for your student during puberty.

• A topic many people try to avoid: Constipation. One of the most frequent symptoms that brings students to my office is stomach upset. I have a rule in my office, if the student has a stomach ache they have to sit in my private bathroom for 10 minutes and try to “go,” before we call a parent. Most of the time we don’t have to call the parent. On the way back to class the students, usually say, “I feel a lot better, thank you.” Students at school have a hard time using public restrooms to defecate, instead they try to hold it until they get home. This leads to constipation. It is a vicious cycle. Constipation can lead to pain, cramping, vomiting and even anxiety about the pain and cramping. Instead of thinking about classwork they are thinking about whether or not they will be able to “hold it” until they get home.  Many of the students don’t realize that they should go every day.If your student frequently complains of stomach aches or vomiting, you should have an in-depth conversation about the frequency and consistency of their bowel movements.  Seek medical advice if your student is not “regular.”

• Vision and Hearing Screenings and Immunizations: All Vision screenings were done before Christmas. If your student was noted to fail a vision screen, you should have been notified. Hearing screens in middle school are done only when referred by a parent or teacher. If you have concerns about your student’s vision or hearing please request a screening by contacting me. There are some students that still have not received their two required immunizations (tetanus booster and meningitis) for all sixth graders or new students entering middle school. If your student did not receive immunizations before entering middle school, please do so ASAP. You can contact me for more information regarding your student’s requirements to remain in school.

• Medication: If your child requires medication during school hours, please ensure that all necessary forms are completed and that the medication is provided in its original, labeled container. All medication, with the exception of some emergency medications, are to be kept in the nurse’s office. Our priority is to keep every student safe and healthy and ready to learn.

• Communication: I want to encourage open communication between myself and parents/guardians. If your child has health concerns or if there are changes in their health status, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. My phone number at the Huron Middle School is 605-353-6900.

Submitted by Rita Baszler Lanners, BSN, RN, NCSN, HMS nurse