The Milbank School Board met on Monday, May 14, in regular session. Several items made up the agenda, but staff changes remained the focus.
Natasha (Hartman) Karels was hired as an English-Language Arts teacher. Karels is an MHS graduate and former employee, who has been working in Harrisburg the past two years. Melissa Gall, previously employed by the district from 2007-2013, was also hired as an English-Language Arts instructor. Gall has most recently been employed as an associate pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Milbank. Nancy (Dahle) Weber, a Milbank native and MHS graduate, will join the district as a fifth grade teacher. Weber has been employed as the administrator at Watertown Christian School. Katie Wollschlager was hired as a summer OST employee.
The board accepted the resignation of Gail Adelman, who has been with the district food service for 25 years. Adelman is considering a part time role next year. Gretchen Koopmans, who has been an English/Language Arts teacher for the past two years will return to the Watertown School District. Johanna Fischer resigned as the middle school and high school nurse and health careers teacher. Jerry Kathman, Maintenance Director for Milbank High School since 1985, and “almost a fixture of the school”, according to Superintendent Tim Graf will retire effective August 1. Kathman had resigned last year, but remained for the 2017-2018 school year to facilitate a smooth transition. Jeff Trapp, a science teacher in the Milbank Middle School, has been appointed high school science teacher. The district is currently advertising for the middle school position.
An agreement was made between the school district and Big Stone Therapies for speech services. Karla Kastrup resigned the full time speech therapist position she maintained by splitting hours between the Milbank School District and the Big Stone School District. Megan Grafsgard, an employee of BST, will provide the part time services for Milbank.
The school adopted a restrain and seclusion policy. The policy is required in schools effective July 1. The policy acknowledges it is to be used to ensure the safety of the student. Examples cited are: to break up a fight, calm or comfort a student; prevent a student from running in front of a car; to knock a weapon from a student’s hand; or to keep a student from physically harming another student or staff member. It does not allow for items of physical restraint. Staff will undergo training in its proper use.
The board approved the purchase of 60 new IPads and cases and 220 new chrome books and 60 HP Chrome books. The cost to the district is $82,074.80. E-Rate will cover the cost of upgrading the Ruckus wireless access points and improving and updating the Wi-Fi.
HOSA team adviser Johanna Fischer and two students who qualified for nationals spoke on their HOSA experiences. The board also approved travel for the HOSA team to the National HOSA contest in Dallas, Texas. The school district will pay $300 for each of the five students and Johanna Fischer. The remainder will come from the HOSA budget.
The district was awarded a Workforce Initiative Grant of $44,424 to advance the new AC and DC electronics classes as a dual credit option with Lake Area Technical Institute.The class will be held in the former auto shop area of the high school. Eleven students from Milbank and Wilmot have enrolled in the program. LATI is conducting the search to secure an adjunct professor to conduct the classes.
Approval was granted to obtain bids to fix the main parking lot at the high school. Restriping is also planned for this year.
The board will meet in special session Tuesday, May 22, at 6 p.m. to discuss the adequacy study performed at Koch Elementary School. The next regular board meeting is June 11, at 7 p.m.