Board readies for new year, staff shortage
By Katie Zerr –
Seating the new board, electing officers and closing out business for the 2013-2014 school year the Mobridge-Pollock School Board, Monday, July 14, opened business for 2014-2015.
Mobridge-Pollock Superintendent Tim Frederick asked the board to review the proposed 2014-2015 school year budget and note changes in the revenue projections. The budget is determined by using the enrollment of 660 students at $4,781 per student assessment. He said the district will continue to use the full $350,000 in opt-out funding and will see cuts of more than $385,000 in grants and title funds.
The board also heard a presentation by Jesse Konold concerning the state of the district’s insurance policies. The board approved spending $550 to add another $1 million to the umbrella policy.
After concluding old business, which included the public hearing for the 2014-2015 district budget, new board member Jay Shillingstad took the oath of office, replacing outgoing board member Todd Wagner.
The board then, on unanimous ballots, re-elected Harry “Bingo” Kindt as board president and Eric Stroeder as vice president.
The board also approved the following appointments for the upcoming year:
Superintendent Tim Frederick-designee for federal programs, 504 coordinator, and compliance officer, curriculum coordinator, and school improvement coordinator.
Middle School/High School Principal Joe Lenz-curriculum coordinator and Title IX compliance officer and truancy officer.
Elementary Principal Jill Olson-curriculum coordinator and truancy officer.
Special committee appointments are as follows:
Kindt and Jay Shillingstad-buildings and grounds; Stroeder-finance; Jane Looyenga and Kindt-negotiations; Looyenga and Shillingstad-policy; Stroeder-legislative; Gilbert Mickelson and Shillingstad-transportation; and Stroeder and Looyenga-technology.
Frederick told the board the district continues to look for position candidates and to find possible solutions to fill all of the available positions. He said he is currently interviewing for two open positions for elementary teachers, but those candidates have also interviewed with other districts.
He said he would meet with the principals next week to discuss strategies on how they will meet the needs of the students with the present staff. He said in his discussions with other superintendents, they are also having problems filling positions.
“This is really a concern,” he said. “But not just in Mobridge-Pollock or Smee but in Pierre, Harrisburg and Sisseton.”
He said the administration would continue to work on the shortage situation.
Frederick told the board there needs to be more clarification of the process and procedures for athletes who violate the rules.
He said in order for athletes to be aware of the consequences for violations, they will be required, along with their parents, to read and sign the document that states the training rules and disciplinary actions prior to participating in each sport throughout the year. He said some athletes may not have received the documents at the beginning of the year; therefore each athlete participating in each sport will receive and be required to sign the documents.
Other changes in the handbook included changes in wording concerning violations.
The handbook will now explain thoroughly the process of cumulative violations and suspensions being carried from sport to sport and from year to year.
Suspended players will be required to practice with the team under the supervision of the coach but cannot dress or participate in competition. A suspended athlete may be on the sideline or on the bench during competition.
Because of what Frederick labeled as “witch hunts” in the past, suspension and violations rules will be applied if a report is made and substantiated in writing by a Mobridge-Pollock School staff member, legal authorities or an individual’s voluntary admissions.
Other clarifications in the training rules section of the handbook included rules of conduct and the consequences for violating these rules.
The board also discussed the use of the ICU program to help athletes who are failing classes to keep their eligibility. Frederick said the ICU program was more stringent in the lower grades to help students set better work habits. He said coaches are made aware of how their athletes are doing in class and teaming time is also used to discuss students and build strategies to help them with academic problems.
Frederick told the board the district is moving toward having a need for academic programing 11 months out of the year. He said currently there are students using a summer program to address failing grades in algebra.