School board approves activities policy

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Taking the decision out of the hands of parents and students, the Mobridge-Pollock School Board approved a policy on younger students participating in varsity extra-curricular activities.

The policy lays out the steps required for a coach or instructor to petition to allow a student to move up from middle school to high school competition in track, cross country, wrestling, golf and some fine arts activities.

This petition is submitted to the activities director who will meet with the coach to discuss the validity of the petition and whether it will be submitted to the committee for consideration.

The committee consists of the activities director, the high school and middle school principals and the coaches of the levels of the sport involved.

For other activities, coaches and instructors will not be allowed to petition up any student from the middle school to participate in high school activities.

Unless there are extenuating circumstances that reduce the numbers of students involved in the sport so a team cannot be sent to the field or court, no students will be allowed to move up in football, basketball or volleyball. There is a contingency to this policy to cover this type of circumstance.

Mobridge-Pollock Superintendent Tim Frederick told the board the policy was the work of coaches, instructors and administration and has the backing of all those involved.

“We involved the principals in this decision because some students may be able to tear it up during play, but are not ready for an academic or emotional reason to compete against older students,” he told the board. “The principals will have the information to help make these decisions or can the information needed to make these decisions.”

The board agreed the policy was in the best interest of the students and it was approved.

 

Crisis management

Frederick told the board steps are being taken to ensure the staff is well versed in the actions to be taken if an intruder was in any of the schools.

“We as a district are reviewing the policies and will start off by addressing the issue of what should be done in the first five minutes of a crisis,” he told the board. “All of the staff understands what they will need to do during this time crucial time.”

He said he had set up a meeting with the stakeholders in this type of situation, the area emergency services including the fire department law enforcement, city officials and the staff of Mobridge Regional Hospital.

“We will go over this together and set the plan for the first 15 minutes of a crisis,” he said. “We want to make sure we are prepared to ensure the best possible outcome.”

He said when events such as what occurred in Connecticut occur, reviews of policy and actions related to that type of scenario follow.

He also said the district has signed up for a cyber-bullying hotline. He explained that research shows that communities that have these hotlines have had information made available to them that has helped to avert a crisis situation.

He said it is also a good way to track incidences of bullying or hazing some students have had in other areas before coming into the district.

He said during the next staff development day, he would speak directly to each staff member to ensure they know and are comfortable with the role they will take in a crisis situation.

 

Federal funding

Frederick told the board cuts in federal funding could mean cuts to established programs in the district, including the SIG (school improvement grant) for 2013-2014. That is a $200,000 grant.

“On March 1, they are starting to cut federal funding and that may mean that is $200,000 that might not be there in 2013-2014,” he told the board. “We can expect as much as an eight to 10 percent cut in our title programs and that could be an additional $30,000 to $50,000 we can lose.”

He said with the funding in reserves the district could operate as it does now for a year or two before cuts in programs and staff would have to be considered.

He said the Perkins funding used to purchase equipment needed for the CTE classes could also be one of the programs cut from funding.

– Katie Zerr –

 

 

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