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Dupree school board meets

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By Jody Rust
Correspondent, WRE

The Dupree School District No. 64-2 school board met Monday, August 12, 2013.

Prime topics at the meeting were the results of the Automated Critical Asset Management System (ACAMS) Outbriefing, the South Dakota state testing results for the school, bus routing issues, the school’s drug policy and the implementation of a gifted and talented program.

Superintendent Quinn Link presented the ACMAS outbriefing report outlining the results of the safety assessment conducted by Region Three Coordinator for Homeland Security Kendall Aldinger in April 2013.

“Listening to this guy [Kendall], it looks like we’re one of the most up-to-date schools in security,” said Deanne Keegan, school board member.

The school board focused on two aspects of the report that will be addressed to improve security through a Homeland Security grant that is given to regions within the state. Dupree is a part of a 14 county region, and grants are open to local fire departments, law enforcement departments and schools.

Dupree’s grant will request funds for cameras at the playground and push-button locking mechanism on doors to hallways.

Signage to the main entry of the building was another component of the safety report, and Link suggested that the school district cover the cost of new signage making the main entrance of the building more apparent to visitors.

Other security suggestions in the outbriefing were to prepare a “Go Kit” for lockdown situations, run an evacuation drill that challenges expected evacuation avenues so that teachers need to make impromptu alterations in the established plan and create a staff and student identification system.

Counselor Patty Peacock presented the SD testing results, identifying an overall consistency from one year to the next in testing performances even though the testing groups were different in each year.

Peacock shared an extensive statistical analysis report of the testing results, with a breakdown in percentages across grade-levels and by testing indicators, which will assist teachers in targeting areas that need to be addressed to fill gaps of knowledge and skills in the areas of math, reading and science. Board members made no comment on the testing results presented.

Bus routing issues garnered extensive discussion in an effort to provide adequate service to students commuting from Iron Lightening. The school is still in need of a bus driver for the Lantry route.

Discussion of the drug policy resulted in the board moving to retain the current policy, which was implemented in full force last year. Discussion was raised on whether to make amendments to the policy because of concerns raised by parents; however, the board determined that the policy as written, meets its intent, which is to identify students who use drugs and provide counseling and treatment options for them.

Loss of privileges, including participation in extra-curricular activities, clubs, concessions, open lunch and senior privileges are all consequences to violating the school’s drug policy. Students can earn those privileges back after complying with expectations after a first offense.

The board moved to accept the drug policy as it is, without any amendments.

Parent Julie Thorstenson asked the board to provide an update on a request to develop a gifted and talented program at Dupree schools during the public comment segment of the meeting.

Link addressed this issue, stating that the staff with be reminded to make gifted and talented curriculum a part of their regular classroom instruction and that students will receive gifted and talented instruction through the 21st Century grant after school activities. Link sighted the Destination Imagination program ad one example of a way the school will service and challenge their gifted and talented students.

“I am hoping to encourage teachers to look at some challenging methods, materials activities during the school day to address gifted and talented needs,” said Link.

Link also said that the district will attempt to develop some follow-up to ensure the gifted and talented instruction is being provided for students during the day.

Other items on the agenda included:

• Northwest Area Schools report from Nathan Grueb

• School enrollment reports from Cindy Lindskov and Tim Fredrick

• Recognition of Kindergarten teachers Tether Lundberg and Lynn Pesicka completed 40 pd hours through the SD Discovery Center and earned the distinction of NASA SD Stellar Educators promoting Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics

• 18 open enrollment students accepted

• New hires: Justin Lesmeister, high school math; Leah Spiel, elementary special education teacher, Jeanna Rose, elementary teacher, Jessie Longbrake, cross county coach

 

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