Sunday, December 8, 2019

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Dupree School Board October meeting covers everything from projects to policies


The Dupree school board meeting took place Oct.16, and board members addressed transportation and reported on the progress of building projects, student activities and school events.

In the visitor portion of the meeting, which takes place after the meeting is started, Shirley Dog Eagle requested the school arrange transportation for the eight children who attend Dupree School from Bear Creek.

Later in the meeting, CRST Council Representative Bernita In The Woods arrived to make the same request and said she has already asked the tribe if they could assist with transportation but was told the assistance needed to be addressed by the school board.

In the Good News Report, Superintendent Gail Swenson congratulated the AISES students on a successful trip to the national conference and promised the AISES conference attendees will present to the board next month.

Swenson also reported that the German exchange students had a great visit, and as part of the exchange program, a group of Dupree students will go to Germany in May for a 10-day stay.

Also in the Good News Report was the congratulations to the three Dupree students who qualified for the South Dakota State Cross Country meet.

The Northwest Area Schools and building committee member Leo Bakeberg, Elementary Principal Cindy Lindskov and Jr. High/High School Principal Russ Budmayr, Business Manager Connie Alspach and Swenson each gave their respective monthly reports.

Bakeberg reported that NWA Schools organization wants to have cameras put in the mobile units to help deter theft and vandalism, and Bakeberg said he suggested that each school purchase additional cameras that are compatible with their current systems that can be installed in the mobile units when they are onsite. This would prevent NWAS from having to purchase multiple programs or cameras that would be compatible with the different systems in different schools.

Bakeberg also reported that the building project is on course and the plans ready for board approval. Later in the meeting, in separate motions, the board approved a building contract with Upper Deck Architects. Inc. and soil testing with American Engineering Testing, Inc.

Board Member Jess Brewer asked if there was a need to contact CRST Cultural Preservation prior to beginning the building process, and the other board members and Swenson thought that since a portion of the work will be done on ground already built on, they might not need to. To be on the safe side, the board said they would check with the tribe to insure compliance.

Alspach reminded board members that a Federal Grants public hearing was to be held Wednesday, Oct. 23 in the Dupree lunchroom.

Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held in the evenings on Oct. 28 and 30 reported both school principals and Swenson.

The elementary school attendance is at or above 94 percent for each class, and Lindskov said she had incentive plans to try to maintain the successful attendance rate.

Budmayr reported tardies as the primary problem in the junior high and high schools, and that the failing list is half of what it was this time last year.

Alspach also reported the Impact Aid Conference was informational.

“Vaping was huge,” she said,

“[Vaping] is a scary thing given the potential health damage it can cause,” Swenson said. Swenson said she will review Dupree School’s state report card with the board at next month’s meeting, and Lindskov shared that the school is preparing for a Comprehensive Needs Assessment and an Accreditation Review in the coming months.

The minibuses — one the school has had fixed and the other the school purchased — should arrive in November and December.

Lindskov said in her report they need more class space in the elementary as numbers have increased.

The count for the school on count day was 16 students in Pre-K, 200 students in grades K-6, 76 students in grades 7-8, and 100 students in grades 9-12.

The board reviewed the Policies and Procedures for Section B, FInancial Management and approved the changes/revisions in a motion for approval.

The meeting ended with two separate executive sessions — one concerning a personnel issue, and the other concerning a parent concern/student concern.