School Board approves contracts / policies

The updated elementary and secondary handbooks for the 2008-2009 school year were approved. The main changes were the wordage concerning graduation and a tighter policy concerning cell-phone use by students.

A brief discussion was held on whether "Haakon" or "Philip" should now be the name for the school district. Part of Haakon County is now in the Kadoka Area School District and some students attending this school district come from Jackson County. The Haakon School District is not a county district. The Lyman school and its extracurricular teams are not "Lyman County," but are officially just "Lyman." South Dakotans from East River seem to know where Philip is, but are not sure where Haakon County is or that Philip is the high school from Haakon County. The discussion topic of the school district name was dropped in order to not cause controversy.

The administrative contracts for the 2008-2009 school year have been approved. These are two year contracts. The position held by Keven Morehart, which includes the superintendent and the elementary principal responsibilities, will receive $80,600 per year. The position held by Jeff Rieckman, which includes the high school principal and the athletic director responsibilities, will receive $54,000 per year. The business manager position held by Jackie Longbrake will receive $35,200 per year.

Parent mileage for the 2007-2008 school year included 27 families. The total amount for parent mileage paid by the school district for that time period was $40,193.

The budget hearing will be at 8:00 p.m. during the next board of education meeting. The board approved the dates and times for the 2008-2009 board meetings, which are always on the first Monday after the second Tuesday of each month. The yearly meeting at a Rural Attendance Center will be at the Cheyenne School at 7:00 p.m. on October 20.

A waiver from an administrative rule has been granted. This yearly waiver is so the high school may offer freshman algebra to eighth graders. This optional high school credit requires eighth graders to pass a course-end exam by 85 percent.

The board authorized the advertising of bids for propane. The closing date will be July 11. The bid to supply barium chloride for use with the geo-thermal well heating system has been let. Black Hills Chemicals will supply 165 50-pound bags of barium chloride at $86.30 per bag.

The City of Philip has received a $175,000 grant for the storm-sewer and run-off project on the hill south of the school buildings. The board of education will meet with the city council to arrange the payment of the school's share of the project. If work cannot be completed by the beginning of classes for the next school year, the project might have to be postponed until next summer.

The summer open gym sessions have started. Monday evenings will be for football and boys' basketball. Wednesday evenings will be for girls' basketball, girls' volleyball and for wrestling. The reason for doubling up is so students don't have to drive back and forth as much.

The Fine Arts Building will be used June 25 for an informational open house with TransCanada representatives about a crude-oil pipeline coming through Haakon County.

The next school board meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. in Room A-1 of the Philip High School on Monday, July 14.