The Milbank School Board met for their regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 11. Members of the board approved the minutes from the May meeting. The board also approved the recommendation brought forth by Superintendent Justin Downes to keep in place the district’s current Return-to-Learn plan.
Three staff positions were approved for 2023-2024. Maurina Johnson will serve as a Milbank Middle School science teacher, and Steve Stemsrud was approved to be a middle school assistant wrestling coach. Susana Chonay Morales was hired as a custodian. The board noted that with the approval of Chonay Morales, the district now has a full complement of custodians for the first time in a long time. Paraprofessional Laura Garay Flores submitted her resignation and the board accepted it.
Out-of-state travel was also on the agenda. The board approved travel for the Milbank FFA Chapter to travel to the Twins Cities. The South Dakota FFA Foundation is setting up an FFA Day at a Minnesota Twins game. The Milbank group will travel with another chapter at no cost to the Milbank School District.
Members of Milbank FFA were also given approval to travel to Madison, Wisconsin, for the World Dairy Expo Cattle Judging Contest to be held October 1-6. The event will provide the team with competition similar to what they will encounter at the 2023 National FFA Convention. The group plans to take a school vehicle to Wisconsin. The cost to the district will be about $2,300. The National FFA convention will be held in Indianapolis November 1-4.
Marie Ivers, special services director, reported the special education department started its summer transition program last week. The program runs half days from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Central Church was secured for its location as the program cannot be held on school grounds and the church is large enough and is handicap accessible. The board also approved repayment of $501,500 in promissory notes from the special education department to the general fund.
The principals and athletic director presented end-of-the-year reports. Dave Graf, principal of Milbank Elementary School, reported elementary teachers have been using their flex days at the end of the year to continue exploring curriculum training individually. Ryan Scoular, principal of Milbank Middle School, said teachers have been focused on wrapping up the year and scheduling for next year.
Downes said there is a possibility the administration team and board members will accompany him to the Associated School Boards of South Dakota and School Administrators of South Dakota (ASBSD/SASD) Joint Convention that will take place August 8-9 in Sioux Falls.
Downes also reported on the progress of the Career and Technical Education facility expansion project. The last big floor will be poured on Tuesday, June 13. Both shops, classrooms, bathrooms, and gymnasium are set to be poured.
The next meeting of the Milbank School District Board of Education is scheduled for July 10. The meeting will follow the budget hearing to be held at 6 p.m.