Cross country co-op on track for TL-M

11/26/08 (Wed)

Cross country co-op on track for TL-M


By Brenda L. Shelkey

Next fall a new sports program will be added to the calendar. During the October meeting of the Turtle Lakd-Mercer school board, Supt. Gaillord Peltier asked that board members consider adding cross country to the extra-curricular activities and consider co-oping with McClusky-Goodrich for the program.

During the Nov. 17 meeting, board member Tina Goven reported that the co-op committee met with Underwood and they agreed to a co-op between TL-M, Underwood, McClusky, and Goodrich as McLean County Cougars for cross country. Board members agreed that a cross country team would be a good addition to the sports agenda.

Goven told board members that the co-op committee also was open to inviting McClusky and Goodrich to join the Cougars for the junior high football co-op.

Tax levy set for TL-M

With the state legislature’s desire to make the county and school districts take more responsibility for the local funding, districts are required to increase the tax levy every year until it eventually reaches 180. Currently, the tax levy rate goal required by the state of North Dakota is 155.

Peltier informed the TL-M School Board that the Turtle Lake-Mercer School District mill levy for the 2008-2009 school year is 166.35 mills for the General Fund for the amount of $875,000. The mills set for the Building Fund are at 10.00 mills for an amount of $52,600.69. The total amount is $927,600.69.

Board President Rod James explained that a mill for our district is worth about $5,200.

Part-time reading-math coach position approved

Peltier presented his recommendation to hire a part-time reading coach for Response to Intervention, RTI. No Child Left Behind will be raising the bar for the level of proficiencies this year.

The reading coach would be working on specific math and reading skills identified by the classroom teacher, but with students within the classroom, not being pulled out of the classroom.

James expressed his concern that this is not a budgeted item and wondered if the school couldn’t use the staff already hired.

Elementary Principal Katie Heger explained that it was a year- long need, although the amount of time could fluctuate. She said, "These students need remedial skill instruction. Teachers don’t have time to train a non-certified person and a certified person can be in a team-teaching type of situation."

Heger explained that the teachers have been giving good feedback on how they would like to use the additional instruction time with team-teaching situation.

Peltier said, "I know this is a financial issue, but it is going to be less than $10,000 for the rest of the year, more likely around $8,000 for this year. The reason I’m recommending doing this -- next year, we will try to put it into the budget – it will give us a good indication whether or not this is working."

James responded, "That’s what I would like to see, making sure that there is an indication that it is working." Peltier assured board members that they will try to be creative with staff to see what will work.