School board votes on contract renewals

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At a special meeting Tuesday, April 1, the Mobridge-Pollock School Board decided to reduce the administration staff by one and the elementary staff by one to meet 2014-2015 budget constraints.

With grant funding ending, staff that had been paid through that funding is gone. Since the drop in the state funding level in 2010 has not been made up through further funding, these reductions were made necessary.

The board decided not to the renew contracts for Andrew Overland, high school principal, and Jodi Fox, elementary teacher.

During executive sessions dealing with reductions needed to meet the budgets for 2014-2015, the board decided on previously-mentioned reductions in staff.

After a short executive session, the board voted to move a different direction with the basketball program and not to renew the coaching contract for Ann LaMont, head girls’ basketball coach, and to advertise to fill the position starting immediately.

The board did offer administrator contracts to elementary school principal Jill Olson, middle school principal and athletic director Joe Lenz, technology coordinator Brian Helm, food service director Pearl Haux, chief finance officer Kim Schneider and superintendent Tim Frederick.

The board also approved the resignation of Janice Haan, a fourth-grade teacher who has announced her retirement.

The board also discussed options of bussing within town and working other districts on pick up points in Mobridge. It is a discussion

the board talked about last year, including pick up points for busses coming into the district to take students to other schools.

“We want to do this early as to not cause any problems for those districts,” said Frederick.

Board member Jane Looyenga told the group that getting children into the district at a young age is a benefit to that student. Feeling a part of the school and their classes earlier in their academic career is important to students succeeding in education, she said.

Kindt said if the district limits the number of pickup points for other districts, they need to entertain the idea of having pick up points for students in the Mobridge-Pollock District.

Board member Todd Wagner asked why the district would start this now. He said there are kids who live on the perimeters of the district who attend the schools now. If the district started picking up students at certain points, other parents could push to have their students picked up at other points around town. That could cause logistic and cost problems for the district.

Frederick said first and foremost, the district needs to find out why parents are sending their children outside of the district to school and if it is primarily a transportation issue.

This issue will be discussed again at the next regular school board meeting.

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