The Milbank School District Board of Education approved the hiring of Billie Jo Giesel as an English Language Learning paraprofessional during its regular meeting Monday, January 9. Giesel was hired for the joint position with the Deuel School District.
“We continue to enroll additional ELL students all the time, so the timing of being able to offer additional services is perfect,” stated Superintendent Tim Graf.
Giesel resides in Clear Lake and is a graduate of Deuel High School and National American University of Watertown. She will spend three days a week in Milbank between Koch School and the middle and high school. “I feel good about this,” stated Middle School Principal and Special Services Director Kris Evje. “Between Billie Jo and Christine Townsend, we will be providing ELL services every single day.”
Graf also explained that the added expense is covered by a Shared Services Grant, but Giesel will be employed by the Milbank School District and Deuel will treat their portion as a purchased service. As a result of the grant to fund this position, approval was given by the school board to supplement the budget in the amount of $19,282. “We will only get half of this, because we did not begin these services until half way through the school year,” said Graf.
Conversations have continued regarding adding pole vault as a track and field event for the coming track season. “We still have some minor details to work out such as what meets to attend, a practice schedule and small things like that,” Graf mentioned. “But we feel we are close to having a good idea how it will work.”
Ortonville is willing to rent their facility to Milbank for $250, providing documentation listing Ortonville as the other insured on Milbank’s P&C policy is in place. John Trevett, MHS pole vault record holder and collegiate athlete, is willing to coach the athletes in the event. Graf noted that getting a solid count on which athletes will take part in the event will need to be done before poles and helmets can be ordered.
The board voted to table its approval until the February meeting in an effort to give more time to solidify all the details.
In other items, a brief summary of the general fund was given. “Our expenditures total $2,452,624 thus far which is 39.58% of our budgeted expenditures,” Graf explained. “That is compared to $2,287,986 and 40.43% a year ago.”
Approval was also given for two open enrollment applications for a first grade and third grade student from Big Stone City.
Reports were given by the school administrators. The next regular meeting of the board was set for Monday, February 13, at 5 p.m.