The Milbank School District Board of Education met in regular session Monday, October 10. The board approved a request to create an ELL (English Language Learner) paraprofessional position pending approval from a Shared Services Grant. “We have a need for ELL services within our schools and this may be a continual need,” said Superintendent Tim Graf. “We have a number of students scoring at three or below on the access test. With more students expected to enroll in November, it would increase the number of students to 14.”
Graf explained the district can apply for the Shared Services Grant to fund the position and would share the service with the Deuel School District. “We currently are able to serve some of these students on a limited basis through the migrant program, but the needs outweigh the resources. With this new position, we would be able to provide basic English instruction to our ELL students in greatest need.”
The first reading of the new policy regarding advertising in the schools and the sponsorship program was discussed. According to Graf, the policy is being put into place to deter potential problems with advertising contracts down the road. “We recommend allowing the banners in the gym to remain through next school year until June 30, 2018,” Graf said. “There would be no additional charge and this would give us a year to get contracts with local businesses in place. We could also continue our current agreements with the message board, program ads, and media production ads.” The board will take action on this policy next month.
Other items on the agenda were also approved. Lisa Brown was hired as a kitchen staff employee, filling the role recently vacated by Molly Tesch. One open enrollment application was approved for a fifth grade student who had been attending school in Milbank but moved to the Wilmot School District. The tuition agreement for two additional high school students from Big Stone City was also approved.
Several items were reviewed. One was a conflict of interest waiver for Superintendent Graf, who is a member of three boards in the state. Another was the first draft of the 2017-2018 school calendar. Approval is expected within the next month or two. “The calendar remains much the same as this past year,” Graf noted.
Mr. Evje, Middle School Principal, gave an overview of the new NWEA testing the district implemented this year. The first round of testing was completed and teachers are just beginning to assimilate the results and data.
Graf informed the board that the school’s report card and SPI scores are now available online at www.doe.sd.gov. “We did fairly well, but these scores are just one assessment or measure and not an all-inclusive look at how our students are performing. These scores will ebb and flow from year to year with a lot of variables.”
Reports were given by Koch School Principal, Amy Brandriet; Special Education Director/Middle School Principal, Kris Evje; Koch School Special Education Director, Keri Schliesman; High School Principal, Dan Snaza; and Superintendent Graf.
The next meeting of the board is set for Monday, November 14, at 6 p.m. A Meet and Greet for new staff members will precede the meeting at 5:30 p.m.