By Orland Geigle, Prairie Pioneer
The Mobridge-Pollock School Board accepted a resignation and agreed to purchase a new activity bus at their regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 10.
Upper elementary and middle school principal Erin Dale had submitted her resignation to Superintendent Tim Frederick during the last week of school. The board moved to accept her resignation at their meeting Monday.
“I would like to thank Mrs. Dale for her years of leadership in our school,” Frederick stated in his written report. “She most certainly was one of the stronger instructional leaders I have personally worked with. Her ability to inspire others and her professionalism will be missed. I wish Erin and her family the best in retirement.”
The board then held an extended discussion about that position and other administrative positions in the district and the possibility of realigning administrative staff. Frederick told the board that he had begun advertising for the upper elementary/middle school (UE/MS) principal position, but if they wanted to make changes in the position the advertisement could be changed.
Because the district has faced declining enrollments in the past few years, there has been some discussion about changing the administrative positions, perhaps to a half-time principal and half-time teacher. That alignment could also ensure that there would always be an administrator in each of the buildings (Freeman Davis, upper elementary, middle school and high school).
However, those discussions also included a transition period to move into that alignment.
“We are not in that position right now,” Frederick added.
Frederick said that the district had already received four to five very good applications for the UE/MS principal position and added that the board needed to consider the impact that having good administration in place can have for both students and staff. He also noted the larger kindergarten class this year (more than 50 students) and the possibility of a similar sized kindergarten class next year.
“I think we have the growth to sustain the current administrative structure,” Frederick stated in recommending that the board proceed with interviewing the candidates for the UE/MS position.
The board agreed and move to approve the advertising and proceed with interviews.
The district received three bids for a white activity bus and one bid for an executive coach bus. The bids on the white activity bus ranged from a low of $145,380 up to $201,674. The lone bid for the executive coach bus was $181,000.
The activity buses seat 46 passengers and have some storage underneath, but not for the whole length of the bus. The executive coach bus seats 52 passengers and has storage underneath for the entire length of the bus. Currently the district generally needs to take two activity buses when going to doubleheader basketball games or football games. Some discussion centered around the fact that with the larger executive coach bus a second bus might not be necessary for those trips.
Frederick said that he had checked on both leasing and/or contracting options for an activity bus. However, he said that neither option was feasible, because of the interest payments in the case of leasing or the higher contract cost to cover down time if a bus was contracted.
Following the discussion, the board moved to purchase an executive coach bus and then moved to accept the bid of $181,000 from Foreman’s Sales & Service for the executive coach bus.
In other business, the board:
• Heard that work on the Pat Morrison press box will probably not be completed before football season this fall. Supt. Frederick said he thought quotes for materials and labor were a little high. He hopes to generate money for the project through sponsorships and would plan to complete the structure next year. Frederick also stated that quotes he had received for painting the Freeman Davis elementary school gym were also high, and that he was working with another individual to possibly complete the project.
• Heard that the district has been working on the K-12 school accreditation process and staff development. A key component is ensuring that the district is meeting the state content standards and that students at all learning levels are meeting those standards.
• Briefly discuss the Title I district-wide school improvement plan (SIP). The SIP needs to address the district as a whole, but also needs to be specific for all four buildings (FD, UE, MS and HS). The plan needs to look at the number of economically disadvantaged students in each building and keep the percentage of dollars spent in close correlation to the percentage of disadvantage students.
• Moved to join the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS) at a cost of $350. The district receives monies through various federal programs, including Sect. 7002 which covers land the district lost when the Missouri River dams were built. NAFIS has helped defeat attempts to delete that funding and also other attempts to direct federal funds to private school vouchers.
• Moved to join the Associated School Boards of South Dakota (ASBSD) at a cost of $1,345.99. ASBSD provides a number of services, including professional development, for all school districts across the state and also serves as a main lobbying group for school districts when the legislature is in session.
• Moved to approve hiring Trudy Kemnitz as a part-time teacher for the newly created Health Science position. She will teach classes that are part of the therapeutic pathway in the Health Sciences cluster in Career and Technical Education (CTE). She was hired for three periods a day, which includes planning time.
• Accepted the bid of $250 on the old Thomas activity bus.
• Approved transfers in to the general fund of $285,177 from the capital outlay fund, $83,000 from impact aid fund and $44,287 from reserves and a transfer in to the special education fund of $213,718 from reserves. All of the transfers were already included in the FY19 budget.
• Set the next meeting for Monday, July 8, at 7 p.m. The hearing on the proposed 2019-2020 budget will be held at 7 p.m.