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Kenmare School readies for start of classes Tuesday

“We’re ready to roll,” Superintendent Duane Mueller told board members at the August 14th meeting. “The kids will be coming Tuesday. We’ll bring the teachers in Monday.”

8/15/12 (Wed)

By Caroline Downs

“We’re ready to roll,” Superintendent Duane Mueller told board members at the August 14th meeting. “The kids will be coming Tuesday. We’ll bring the teachers in Monday.”

Both principals reported their preliminary registration numbers for the coming school year. High school principal Robert Thom estimated 95 percent of the student body attended registration, held last week. Currently, 46 students were enrolled in grades 7 and 8, down one student from the end of the last school year.

KHS closed out the year with 87 students in grades 9 through 12 and now has 80 registered. “The unknown is, next Tuesday morning are we going to get some faces we’ve never seen before?” Thom asked.

Elementary principal Janis Gerding noted 155 students were expected to enroll in grades kindergarten through six, with 147 registering to date. Two sections of kindergarten students totalled 27 students, one section of first grade had 15 students (with 18 expected), and two sections of second grade had 23 students (with 24 expected).

Only 19 of the 24 students expected for third grade had signed in. Fourth grade had registered 19 of the 21 expected students, while fifth grade numbers stood at 22 kids, with 25 expected. Gerding believed the sixth grade classroom would have 25 students, with 23 of those enrolled so far.

“We keep calling to check on those students [who haven’t enrolled yet],” Gerding said, adding that no records had been requested by other schools yet for those kids.

Classes will begin for Kenmare students on Tuesday, August 21st.

Lack of coaches puts
sports teams in jeopardy
Thom reported a lack of coaches for 7th and 8th grade football, 5th and 6th grade boys basketball and 7th and 8th grade girls basketball. He noted he advertised for coaches in The Kenmare News and posted a notice at the school. “As of today, I’ve received no calls or inquiries about any of the positions,” he said. “I’m really worried about what to do. Coaching seems to be less and less attractive.”

Gerding asked about parents working with the 5th and 6th grade programs. “If you want your kids to play as a parent, at some point you have to take some responsibility in that,” she said, adding that sports at those levels in the Minot schools were coached by parents.

She suggested parents could share the coaching duties to accommodate their own work and family schedules.

Thom liked the idea for the young boys basketball season, with practice beginning next week. “The way the fifth and sixth grade is structured, it would be perfect for parents because the kids don’t play games during the week,” he said. “They play jamborees on Saturdays.”

“Can we make some calls?” Gerding asked, adding that parents could be paid an honorarium.

Board member Michele Nelson commented that some parents don’t want the responsibility of potential injuries. Gerding and Thom said basic training could be made available to parents. “It’s doable,” Thom said. “It’s not as easy as getting certified teachers to do it, but if other schools are doing it, we can do it here.”

The positions are advertised again in this week’s issue of The Kenmare News, with interested parents and other community members asked to contact Thom at 701-385-4996 as soon as possible.

More security cameras
Superintendent Mueller reported on the installation of new security cameras in the school.

This includes three more in the locker areas, one more in the commons area, two apiece in the auditorium and the gymnasium, one in the hallway by the computer classroom, one by the computer server room and one posted outside the vocational agriculture classroom.

“We have a total of 25 cameras,” he added. “We’ll have pretty good coverage with all that.”

New committee
Board president Lars Christensen announced committee assignments for the 2012-2013 school year.

The Negotiations and Finance Committee will be chaired by Jan Kostad, with members Blaine Huff and Christensen.

The Transportation Committee will be chaired by Craig Ellsworth, with members Lenny Rodin and Huff.

The Curriculum and Technology Committee will be chaired by Christensen, with members Kostad and Rodin.

The Maintenance and Building Committee will be chaired by Rodin, with members Doug Miller and Michele Nelson.

The Lunch Committee will be chaired by Nelson, with members Kostad and Miller.

The Activities Committee will be chaired by Miller, with members Christensen and Ellsworth.

The Policy Committee will be chaired by Huff, with members Nelson and Ellsworth.

The Outreach Committee will include Christensen and Kostad.

In other business:
• Board members approved the minutes and district’s bills for payment as presented.

*The board approved a bid for a year’s supply of coal from Minot Coal at $108.45/ton for Wyoming stoker coal, which fit the board’s specifications in the bid. The district also received a bid for coal submitted by Center Coal in Dickinson and delivered from the BNI Mine in Center at $24.75/ton.

• Board members approved a teaching contract for Shayne Haustveit, who was hired to teach the business education classes.

• The board reviewed and accepted the updated certified staff handbook for the district. Superintendent Mueller pointed out the addition of the district’s bullying policy and several minor revisions.

• Board members also received a copy of the uncollected property taxes for review.

• The board approved the use of the high school building as a temporary shelter for community members. Keys to the building will be made available to the Kenmare Police Department so they can open the building in the event of a tornado or other natural disaster requiring shelter for residents.

• Board members approved the annual compliance report for the district, as well as the pledge of securities from State Bank & Trust of Kenmare at $2,425,000. The board also designated State Bank & Trust of Kenmare, Town & Country Credit Union and BNC National Bank as depositories for the district’s funds.

• Board members approved five bus routes for the 2012-2013 school year, with five veteran drivers hired. “They all came in and talked to Mr. Mueller before they signed their contracts,” Murphy said. Superintendent Mueller asked the board to continue discussions throughout the school year about bringing on new drivers to replace those who are considering retirement.

• Gerding reported about the online IXL math program she and Superintendent Mueller were considering for implementation in grades two through six. She noted the program’s easy access from school or home, documentation of student and class work, and the ability for students to catch up their math skills or work head of their grade level. A one-year site license for teachers and up to 100 students in grades kindergarten through six would cost $950, while a site license for up to 300 students in grades K-12 would cost $1,650.

• The Activities Committee will meet Wednesday, August 22nd, at 7 am at Kenmare High School, with representatives from the Kenmare City Council.

• The Maintenance and Building Committee will meet Tuesday, August 28th, at 7 am at Kenmare High School.

• The next regular meeting of the Kenmare School Board will be held Tuesday, September 18th, beginning at 7 pm at Kenmare High School. A public hearing on the significance of changes in the district’s taxable evaluation will be the first item on the agenda, following the call to order. The district levied 106.56 mills during the 2011-2012 school year, with 106.80 mills expected to be levied for the current year. All district patrons are invited to attend and comment.