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Teachers' contracts and soon the prom

by Del Bartels

The Monday, January 19, Haakon School District 27-1 Board of Education meeting began with two guest speakers.

South Dakota Highway Patrolman Jason Hamar and Haakon County Deputy Sheriff Mark Foley updated the board on the upcoming Drug and Alcohol Awareness Day. This year, the day-long activity for high school freshmen will be in Kadoka on April 29.

Two years ago the annual safety presentation included grades nine through 12. The day ended with a mock accident, which included many local first responders and even the lifeflight helicopter based from Rapid City Regional Hospital. Last year the event was held in Philip, but included just the freshmen of the local schools for management reasons and for more of a small group teaching atmosphere.

The two officers and their teams are asking for as many parents as possible to be present during this year's presentation. The activities are to stimulate discussion about safety and right choices. School Board President Bill Slovek said, "Everything that I've heard from last year's Awareness Day was good."

Next school year's calendar has been approved. It closely mirrors the 2008-09 calendar. Teacher in-service and fall sports will start on August 17. Classes will begin August 19 and end May 20. This will allow students to get out for Christmas break a few days earlier.

Teacher contracts for the 2009-10 school year will be offered soon. "Since we are on a two-year contract anyway, the wages are already set," said Superintendent Keven Morehart.

Two board members' terms will expire this year, Kelly Blair's and Matt Reedy's. If an election is required, the board has approved sharing costs for the April 14 election with the City of Philip. The school district will shoulder the costs for the polling place in Milesville.

Members of the board were presented with certificates in honor of South Dakota School Board Recognition week of January 11 through 17. The certificates read, "On behalf of the Haakon School District 27-1, thank you for your leadership and dedication to our children and public education."

"We did real well on the fire and safety inspection report again," said Morehart. "The only things noted were little things." Items such as clearing up areas currently used for storage and adjusting the electronic catches on outside doors are already being done.

Vonda Hamill is the board member designated for curriculum review for high school science and for elementary reading.

Two students have changed work sites for their school-to-work program.

In the secondary principal's report, Jeff Rieckman said the state volleyball championship banner is on display in the gymnasium. The registration process for next year's classes has begun. Soon the administration can work on the number of which classes will be needed and can start building the schedule.

The Science on the Move program will be February 4 and 5. Debra Snook, the eight to 12 math instructor, is gearing this year's science program somewhat more for the elementary and junior high students. The planned high school music trip to Chicago will be March 25 through the 29. The date for the school prom has been set for April 4.

In the superintendent's report, Morehart said that the elementary boys basketball and the AAU wrestling seasons have started. There will be a teacher in-service on January 23. A self evaluation of the school board is to be completed by each member, to be reviewed during the next board meeting.

The next scheduled meeting for the board of education will be at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, February 16, in room A-1 of the Philip High School.