School board approves opening concession stands back up

By Tim Huether

The Bennett County School Board approved opening back up the concession stands for school activities at their regular board meeting Monday night. 

Superintendent Stacy Halverson said they have cleaning supplies and plexi glass guards for both the Legion and the stadium and said they will need to get signage up if they are to open the concessions back up.

Board member Josh Fanning said he has been to other facilities and they are having concessions, adding that he did not see a problem with the District moving forward with opening up concessions.

Board chairman Mike Olson said what he is hearing from the board is to open concessions back up.

Todd Alexander moved to open concessions back to normal and to follow protocols set by the Dept. of Health. The board approved the move with all voting in favor.

Jed Liedtke, Puetz Construction, updated the board on construction progress, with a lot going on. He said they will be pouring concrete on the mezzanine this week. Overall things are moving right along.

In administrative reports, Supt. Halverson said the enrollment count day is Sept. 24 and they are currently down about 15 students. She added that number could change by the 24th. There are 56 students opting for the distance learning with 28 at the grade school, 14 at the middle school and the high school.

Live Ticket, the video streaming of school events, has had 22,011 views since the school started using it about a year and a half ago.

Upcoming events at the district include: Life-touch pictures; Homecoming week events; Indian Ed. Grant meeting Oct. 7; Native American Day activities and planning.

State and federal discussions happening:

Enrollment, with the state possibly letting the districts use either last year or this year’s numbers; Liability protection for school boards and administration because of COVID; Accreditation and other reviews; Rapid tests and masks to school with the possibility of each child getting these.

Halverson said they are in their sixth week of school and they need to continue to follow their protocol and they have to be prepared.

Middle school principal Jon Pierson was unable to attend but submitted his report which was read by Halverson.

For Parent Teacher Conferences, they are only meeting face to face with certain students’ parents based on need, to limit the number of people in the school. If parents call with a concern, they will make them an appointment to meet with teachers as well.

Flex Learning is working pretty good at the Middle School.

Regarding athletics, the Cross Country team is doing well and are competing at the Western Great Plains Conf. meet Wednesday in Philip. They tried something new by hosting a volleyball match with Gordon-Rushville, prior to the football game against Gordon-Rushville. Pierson noted that it went well and Gordon-Rushville’s Athletic Director is in favor of continuing it. They are gearing up for Homecoming week with five home events that week.

High School principal Nick Redden said they had an experimental day with hot meals at the high school for lunch and said it went well with 40 kids served in 10 minutes.

Redden said for Parent Teacher Conferences the teachers stayed to make phone calls and set up meetings with 65 parent conversations. Some appointments were made to set up parents with teachers for specific conferences. Redden said he felt that went real well.

The theme for Homecoming is Marvel/DC Comics. Redden said they are trying to keep Homecoming traditional, yet based on District safety protocols. They are looking to cook outside Monday, prior to coronation, weather permitting. He said the overall goal for Homecoming is to give the kids as much as they possibly can for Homecoming. 

The burning of the BC will be held in the Middle School parking lot following coronation.

Grade School principal Amie Kuxhaus said they are now serving hot meals at the High School. 

She said waivers have been approved for 50/50 school days and 100 percent online school if needed.

For distance learning, there are 11 students from grades Kindergarten to 2nd grade and 17 students from grades 3-5 using it.

She said they have started something different at the grade school called Warrior Challenge. She said classrooms are competing with each other on a variety of things .

The Parent Teacher Conferences went smooth at the grade school. 

Federal Programs Director Belinda Ready said they are working on several things, including: Monthly at home activity packets for families; Native American Day activities; Comprehensive needs assessment with team meetings set for Sept. 25; Professional Development for teachers/paraprofessionals; Curriculum binders for teachers.

Ready said National Relief Charities delivered six pallets of items, including pencils, paper and all kinds of school supplies to the school. 

The board moved to accept a contract for the 2020-2021 school year for Samantha Henry, Para-professional, $12.00 per hour

The board moved to approve policy GCA-R 11, Para-Professional Job Description.  

The board moved to approve a Facilities Management Agreement between the City of Martin and the Bennett County School District. 

The board moved to void the following check due to lack of presentation: #178342, Sleep Inn and Suites, $930.78

The board moved to approve the final budget for 2020-2021 as presented in July. 

The board moved to approve tax levy request for the 2020-2021 school year with the opt out amount. 

Opt out amount - $250,000

General Fund Ag - $1.443

OO -  $3.229

Other Non Ag - $6.682

Special Education - $1.684

The board moved to surplus the following items from food service inventory. 

Bread slicer

Bread pans

Bowls, mixing and soup

Floor mats


The board moved to approve lane change for the following: 

Sadia Risse, BA +12, $525.00

Patricia Miller, BA +12, $525.00

The board moved to enter executive session for negotiation matters pursuant to SDCL 1-25-2(4), with possible action to follow. 

The next regular school board meeting will be Oct. 19. 

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