Four-day school week to be researched
By Katie Zerr –
The Mobridge-Pollock School Board on Monday, Nov. 11, asked Superintendent Tim Frederick to explore the pros and cons of a four-day school week and if it would work for the district.
Board President Harry “Bingo” Kindt, told the board it is time to explore the idea and if it is worth further consideration and to set up a committee to do more in depth research.
He said there are a lot of facts that need to be taken into consideration, but the board and the district need to take a look at the benefits to see if it could work in the Mobridge-Pollock District.
“I am not a big fan of the four-day week,” Frederick said. “Some districts are using it as an incentive and that is working in some districts.”
One of the benefits that has been discovered with four-day weeks is that teacher/student contact time actually increases.
One of the biggest objections to the four-day is from parents trying to find care for their kids on Fridays, said board member Eric Stroeder.
The board will also consider hiring an administrative position, a director of curriculum and assessment. The position requirements include a masters degree in administration, five year’s classroom experience, a strong technology background and strong leadership skills. Frederick said he will continue to research the feasibility of the position and report back to the board in February or March with his recommendation.
ICU program update
Middle School Principal Joe Lenz and High School Principal Andrew Overland reported the results of the ICU program are beginning to show in the students.
Lenz said it seems to be a success with most of the middle school students. He said there are those who need more attention, but for the most part, students are beginning to understand that all assignments are expected to be finished. He said with others it is a little more difficult to get the message, but he hopes in time, they will also understand this is expected of them.
He said the book study is going well with teachers having good discussions and developing a program that is doing well.
Overland reported there are success stories in the high school, but he said there are also students who are taking a little longer to learn what it is about. He said he had a student tell him that she would not be passing if she hadn’t had to participate in the ICU program.
“The longer we do this the better it will be,” he told the board.
He told the board ICU hours in the high school have been extended on Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. until 5:15 p.m. The students that are assigned to this time are the top 25 who are missing the most assignments. He said the hours were extended at the request of the teachers who felt these students needed more time and attention.
When asked if he thought the students were learning through the process, Overland said they are learning to be accountable and hopefully they are learning the information through doing the work in ICU.
Kindt told the principals a parent whose child was involved in the ICU Program complimented the work being done and the positive results.
Elementary Principal Jill Olson reported the changes made to the math and reading programs in the elementary schools have helped students and that is reflected in the positive numbers on the first quarter honor rolls.
Out of 53 fourth-graders, 51 are on the honor roll, meaning they averaged a 3.0 or better grade average. Twelve of those students had a 4.0 grade point average.
In the fifth grade, 37 of 45 students were on the honor roll, with 10 students having a 4.0 average.
Olson also reported the district received a 42 out of a possible 42 score on the Special Education Performance Plan from the South Dakota Department of Education.
Frederick told the board one of the school’s vehicles was struck by a large buck during on a trip home from Miller. There was extensive damage to the vehicle. The school will most likely need to purchase another vehicle as according to one estimate the vehicle totaled.
– Katie Zerr –