School Back In Session, School Board Meeting, August 19

By Tim Huether

The Bennett County School District Board met for the first time since school officially kicked off, August 19, with students attending classes on Monday. All administrators raved about how well the Back To School Open House last Thursday went and was attended.

“I think it was one of our best Open Houses ever,” said superintendent Stacy Halverson. 

“Back to School Night was fabulous,” said Federal Programs Director Belinda Ready. “We had 379 people signed up and we had more than that there.”

All three principals indicated the first day of school went very well, kicking the new year off on a positive note.

Superintendent Halverson reported that last week’s inservice went quite well and added that there were a lot of positive comments about the motivational speaker who presented to the staff.

Halverson said the new school website and app is up. She also reported that she and Belinda Ready went to the Tribal Education meeting in Kyle to get the approval for their consolidated application. You must go there to present your application and have them approve or agree to let them send the signature page to the president. They got the ok and that is the last piece to be sent to the state.

For summer projects, they are working on the third wing at the grade school on the dryvit that was approved.

The middle school cement project was put far behind due to the weather this summer said Halverson. 

Josh Fanning said the buildings and grounds committee made the recommendation to let Hahn’s carry the contract into the spring. 

Halverson said she would agree so it would not be a rush job.

The new building CVMR will be advertised in the Booster this week and next week. September 4 is the day the proposals will be due, with all that information going through Upper Deck. On September 11, tentatively, a special board meeting will be held to see what they want to do. 

Halverson said they still have an opening for a custodian, head and assistant high school boys basketball coaches, an assistant high school volleyball coach and middle school football coaches.

There will be inservice this Friday and the first home football game is this Friday. The first home volleyball game is August 29. Homecoming week is September 9-13. 

Josh Fanning asked if the lack of people wanting to coach is an issue of lack of pay or community negativity or questioned does nobody want to coach.

Halverson said she feels the pay should be raised but deferred to the athletic director and Mr. Redden. She added that she didn’t think the pay was the only thing, because you coach kids because you love kids and want them to become successful.

Jon Pierson said there are a fair amount of people who are a little hesitant to jump into coaching right now. He said he can’t say why it is.

Principal Redden said he has talked to other schools and they are having trouble finding people too. 

Pierson said the number of students out for fall sports is good with over 20 out for football, 20 plus out for volleyball and 20 out for cross country, saying, participation is up. 

New Middle School Principal Jon Pierson said they had no real hiccups on the first day of school and said almost every student showed up, commenting he was very happy with the first day. 

Principal Redden said he held an assembly at the Legion on the first day and made his talk about the choices you make. He said there were a lot of new faces at the high school.

Redden said it was amazing how many smiling faces he saw this morning.

Seniors presented the Build a Warrior program.

Principal Amie Kuxhaus reported that the first day enrollment number for PreK to fifth grade was 262, up 10 from last year. She said the new staff orientation went well and the Pride Expectations and procedures are running very smoothly. 

The Build a Warrior Program - First Get to Know You activity is planned for Thursday at 2:50. 

There will be a weekly mission at the Grade School, and this week it is introducing yourself to three people each day. 

In other board action, the board:

-Moved to surplus the following technology equipment: 1 UPS, tag #4283, to be thrown away. 

-Moved to approve policy ACAB “Prohibition Against Aiding or Abetting Sexual Abuse.”

-Moved to approve lane change from Bachelor’s Certificate to Master’s Certificate for Michael Barnaud in the amount of $1,750. 

-Moved to approve the following resignations effective immediately: Lois Gotheridge, SPED ParaProfessional; Nicki Johnson, SPED ParaProfessional.

-Moved to approve the policy additions to the following:  BBB, School Board Elections; BDDG, School Board Minutes; KJ, Posting of National Motto (In God We Trust).

-Moved to accept the following contract for the 2019-2020 school year: Geri Livermont, MGS - SPED Para, $12.00 per hour.

-Moved to accept contract for physical therapy services from the Bennett County Hospital and Nursing Home for the 2019-2020 school year.  

-Moved to approve professional services agreement with FMG Engineering for the following:   Preconstruction Boundary and Topographic Survey - $11,100.00; Geotechnical Services – 7,220.00.

-Moved to approve architectural services with Upper Deck Architects, Inc., for the BCHS Gym/Fitness Center addition in the amount of $794,000.00.

The board heard presentations by the principals on Schoolwide Plan and a Parent Compact.

502 Second Avenue, Martin, SD 57551 • 605-685-6866 •