Haakon Board of Education begins year

Swearing in ... New Board of Education member R. Mark Radway, left, and re-elected board member Kelly Blair declare their oaths of office as business manager Britni Ross reads them.

The Monday, July 20, meeting for the Haakon School District 27-1 Board of Education began with the swearing in of newly-elected board members R. Mark Radway and Kelly Blair.

Bill Slovek was voted in again as the board president and Anita Peterson as the vice president. Slovek then initiated the "housekeeping that must be done at the beginning of each new year." First National Bank in Philip is the official depository for school district funds. The Pioneer Review is the official newspaper for publications of school board meetings, advertisements, etc.

The school board meetings are set for the first Monday after the second Tuesday of each month. The starting time will be 7:00 p.m., except for November, December, January and February when the starting time will be at 6:00 p.m. The October meeting will be held at the Milesville Distance Learning Center. Board members will continue to receive $50 per meeting. School lunches will remain the same prices as the last few years: kindergarten through sixth grade students: $1.65; seventh through 12th grade students: $1.90; student reduced price: 40 cents; adults: $2.65; and extra milk: 25 cents. Admission prices will remain the same for extra-curricular activities: students and senior citizens (65+): $2.00; student and senior citizens season pass: $20; adult: $3.00; and adult season pass: $35.

A propane bid was accepted from Fitzgerald Oil at $1.14 per gallon, with just under 2,700 gallons purchased last year. Land-O-Lakes received the milk bid at an average of 17 cents per half pint. Bids for barium chloride for the hot water well system are still being accepted.

Three points were covered quickly. Superintendent Keven Morehart said, "The football field is looking pretty good after it was fertilized and sprayed for weeds." The board approved the third reading of a more-clearly-worded public complaint policy concerning federal title programs. The board approved the first reading of a policy against all forms of bullying. Morehart said, "The bigger schools already have an anti-bullying policy and, though not yet required by the state legislature, we want our policy on file before it becomes mandated by Pierre. The policy format is one recommended by the Association of School Boards of South Dakota."

Three extra-curricular contracts were approved. Lacey Clements will be the assistant volleyball coach. Ralph Kroetch is the cross country coach. Kim Bouman is the head volleyball coach. Bouman will be the guest speaker at the South Dakota Coaches Convention in Aberdeen on Tuesday, July 28. The district's volunteer coach list now includes Travis DeJong, Aaron Johnson and Nathan O'Dea for football and Carol Kroetch and Harold Iwan for cross country.

The board members discussed keeping the forms used for evaluating teachers, administration and the board itself. Thoughts ranged from Slovek's, "We already evaluate the board every year, its called an election." to Vonda Hamill's, "I have no problem with us looking into ourselves in order to better ourselves," and to Peterson's, "Even though you are elected, it doesn't mean that you are going to get along and work well together. If you have five good evaluations and one real bad one, you will know that something is in the woodpile and someone has an axe to grind." The questionnaire forms might be simplified for the board and for the administration evaluations.

For the teachers' evaluations, Morehart said, "You get a fair reading because we (he and Secondary Principal Jeff Rieckman) are in and out of the classrooms. Still, if a teacher has been doing great for many years, it's hard not to evaluate them the same. It's a small enough district that you are going to hear about any problems. We will bring up this subject at the teachers' in-service to see if they want newer formats for evaluations."

Also tabled for the August meeting was the new budget. Morehart said that the number of students will be about the same or greater than last year, with an estimated 285. The proposed budget is up about $3,200. Approximately 85 percent of the budget is wages and salaries.

The next Haakon School District 27-1 Board of Education meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 17, in Room A-1 of the Philip High School.