The School District 2 Board unanimously approved several action items at their meeting Monday in Sheridan. Along with the annual Audit Report.
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On first reading, five policies were approved: Staff Leaves and Absences; Professional Staff Development Opportunities; Professional Staff Suspension, Termination and Resignation of Employment; Reduction in Professional Staff Work Force; and the Early Retirement Incentive Plan.
Approved on second reading were policies on: Professional Staff Recruiting; Part-Time Substitute Professional Staff Employment; Professional Staff / Non-Teaching Duties; Student Absences and Excuses; Attendance Procedure; Student Suspension or Expulsion.
Trustees approved the award of the bid for two new buses to High Plains IC Bus Sales, LLC of Sheridan in the amount of $527,796. One is a route bus; the other is an activity bus.
They approved two out-of-country travel requests for student abroad opportunities. Spanish instructor Mario Montano will be taking students to Costa Rica over Spring Break, and Business instructor Sharon Deutscher will be taking a group of students to Greece and Italy this summer. Both trips are done through Education First Tours.
Trustees approved acceptance of several materials, supplies and monetary donations from the Story community to the Story Elementary School; and they approved Board Member Committee Appointments for the coming year.
Information presented included Sheridan Junior High Principal Mitch Craft outlining the SJHS Electives Redesign program to allow more electives to be offered to 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Worked on for two years, the model will require students to take courses, mostly of their choice, in three areas: Career & Technical Education; the Humanities (Visual Art, Music, Foreign Language); and PE/Wellness.
Sheridan High School Assistant Principal Jack Brimhall provided updates of changes made to the Freshman Learning Community, and indicated that at the high school level, Freshman year is the most critical in achieving graduation rates.
Since implemented, Brimhall said, there have been significant drops in behavior infractions between 2007 and 2010/2011, and the percentage of students receiving F's has gone down dramatically in that time period as well. He also noted that hazing between upper classmen and Freshmen is non-existent. Superintendent Craig Dougherty comments.
Dougherty presented an update on Board Goals, and Assistant Superintendent Tom Sachse told the Board that the District received for FY11 $5.4 million in grant funds, thanks in part to stimulus funds available this year only.
Demolition of the Meadowlark facility on DeSmet is complete, but with winter conditions, the contractor will need to meet soil compaction and site grading before the new facility contractor is awarded the bid on March 7th.
And completion is anticipated for the end of January for the wall structure of the Hill Stabilization Project at SJHS. District Facilities Director Julie Carroll told the Board the winter conditions and unforeseen soil conditions have caused a slight delay in the project, but overall it is "progressing nicely." After the wall is in place, she said, soil compaction will be completed as weather permits.