ICU program is making a difference


-By Katie Zerr

Mobridge-Pollock School District principals told the school board Monday, Oct. 14, that the ICU program, established to improve student performance is working.

Middle school principal Joe Lenz and high school pPrincipal Andrew Overland reported that that number of students required to participate in the program have dropped throughout the first months of school.

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) program is designed to help students complete their work and to encourage an atmosphere to improve learning. The ICU is for students who don’t hand in assignments and receive zeros for the work they are not handing in. Students were failing classes mainly due to not turning in assignments and turning in sloppy work. The program is designed to make the students get the work completed and to create a network for teachers, students, coaches and parents that will help students succeed in completing the work and improving learning. Students who fail or do not turn in assignments are put on a list, which is handed out to teachers, and the parents of the student are notified they are on the list. Each day, teachers and others are available for one-on-one time with these students to help them complete acceptable work.

Lenz told the board that after seven weeks of implementation of the program in the middle school has had early success. He said students are starting to understand that if they fail an assignment they are expected to do the work until they get a passing grade. No zeroes will be accepted.

Lenz told the board in the 2012 -2013 school year there was an average of 30 students per week that were failing a minimum of one class at the end of the first quarter. In 2012-2013 that average had dropped to 21 students per week failing. In the seventh week of the program, that number has dropped to five students failing a minimum of one class.

Overland reported that the high school staff had held an incentive day to reward students for who have been staying on top of their school assignments and to give those that have fallen behind an opportunity to catch up. Those who were caught up participated in a number of activities including board games. He said at 1:45 p.m. there were 115 names on the list. By 3 p.m. there 59.

He said he felt the day was successful and he had good feedback from the students.

“ICU is definitely working,” Overland said. “It is hard for the teachers, but I tell them  that this is about the kids. Kids that are participating in middle school will eventually learn to do the work and do it right throughout their years in school.”


Tiger Stadium

Superintendent Tim Frederick told the board that some of the projects that needed to be taken care of in the near future included repairs and updated at Tiger Stadium. He also told the board purchasing a replacement for the charter bus with an activities bus and purchase a new cargo van for the district’s fleet. He said there are a number of options he is researching and will continue to search for a van that fits the needs of the district but can be purchased for funding secured for the van.

The visitors’ bleachers at Tiger Stadium must be replaced, he told the board. Even with modifications, the bleachers are old and some children could slip through the spaces under the seats and fall to the ground.

Frederick and Lenz told the board the problems with the surface of the track continue, as crack repairs are not hold up and new cracks are appearing. Funding that had been set aside annually to correct the problems has had to be spent on repairing the track.

Frederick said told the board every other track he had seen at other school had at least eight to 12 inches of asphalt under the surface. This track has three to four inches and no mesh mat. He told the board cracks in the track are related to a decision to skip the mesh mat during the instillation that saved the district money, but ultimately caused the problems with the surface.

Board member Gilbert Milkelson said many of the problems with the track are related to the standing water on the infield (football field). He suggested the district consider adding a drain tile system that would keep the water from seeping into the track.

Lenz said the seven to 10 year maintenance service is upcoming and the company that installed and serviced the track will come in to do the needed repairs. That entails filling the cracks, installing a new surface and painting the track. The cost of the maintenance will be $40,000.

He explained that spending the money will extend the life of the track (which is about 15 years.)

Frederick said if they don’t spend the money to repair the track it would not last to 10 years. The repairs would be done in the spring.

Executive session

The board recessed into executive session to discuss a student situation, board reviews and a personnel issue.

No motions were made when the board resumed session.

-Katie Zerr –


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