Haakon School District 27-1 growing

During the Haakon School District 27-1 School Board meeting on Monday, September 18, it was announced that the district is growing in numbers of students.

At the end of school last year, there were 277 students in the district. As of the board meeting, there are a total of 295 students in the district - 105 in Philip elementary, 14 in kindergarten through eighth grade at Cheyenne Rural Attendance Center, 15 in K-8 at Milesville RAC, 49 in Philip Junior High, and 112 in Philip High School.

Some students have moved to the district, while 13 have open-enrolled and commute from outside the district. Three district students are registered as being home schooled this year.

The board reviewed and adopted the budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year. This year's budget is:

•general fund $2,056,542

•capital outlay $324,860

•special education $275,924

•pension fund $58,876

The budget set last year by the school board was:

•general fund $2,064,457

•capital outlay $382,000

•special education $243,060

•pension fund $57,855

Last year's actual expenditures were:

•general fund $1,878,578

•capital outlay $341,758

•special education $210,724

•pension fund $57,855

The board briefly discussed the reserves and the controversial sparsity and small school factors in the state funding system.

"Good job," said Bill Slovek. "We don't want to cut the quality of education, but we need to count our nickels and dimes or it could get pretty ugly in a year or two."

The board meeting began with an insurance update from Joe Gittings. Last year's premiums were $19,832. The premiums for this year will be $20,418. The policy includes $1 million coverage for general liability, in addition to a $1 million umbrella coverage. This last year the school district received a $2,500 safety program refund. The year before that, it received $3,300.

The board awarded this school year's propane bid to Midwest Cooperatives at $1.39 per gallon.

Extracurricular contracts for this year continue to be filled. Mark Ford is the Oral Interpretation coach. The head cheerleading advisor is Brittany Van Lint, and Kagee Formanek is the assistant. The head boys' basketball coach is Jordon Kjerstad. The assistant boys' basketball coach has yet to be named.

The School-to-Work Program participants will begin work soon. The program has arranged community learn-as-you-work positions for the 14 high school students who are in the program.

The Philip West River Classic on Thursday, September 21, will be Philip's first conference cross country meet in the new Western Great Plains Conference. The single conference takes the place of various schools belonging to two different conferences - the Badlands and Three Rivers. Member schools are Bennett and Jones Counties, Kadoka, Lyman, New Underwood, Rapid City Christian, Wall and White River. The athletic activities include cross country, varsity volleyball, varsity and junior high basketball, and varsity and junior high track. Principal Jeff Rieckman is hoping for future years that golf and junior high volleyball will be included, as well as fine arts competitions. Football is still in the Western Football Conference, which Rieckman said are basically the same teams.

Other future activities are:

•This year's first grade check for students will be on Thursday, September 21.

•Parent/Teacher Conferences will be on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 26-27.

•Also on the 26th, the seventh and eighth graders will go to Kadoka for a seminar on how to deal with bullying, substance abuse and to improve resiliency.

•A ninth grade writing assessment will be on October 3.

•Homecoming will be Monday through Friday, October 9-13, with the parade scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Friday.

The school board will inspect the currently used school buildings during the afternoon before the next board meeting. That meeting for the Haakon District 27-1 School Board of Education will be held at the Milesville Rural Attendance Center at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 16.