March 23, 2016

School board tackles full plate at March meeting

By Annette Tait
In addition to discussing open enrollment (see associated story, “CSPS board tackles ‘the elephant,’ above right), the Center-Stanton School Board had a full plate during its regular monthly meeting. Members addressed staffing for the coming year, touched on short- and long-range planning, learned about upcoming changes in federal law, and discussed options for C-S High School football and a number of facilities needs.
In his administrative report, CSPS Superindendent Curt Pierce informed the board that he and Elementary Principal Kathy Bullinger had visited with the elementary staff regarding changes for the coming year. There is no longer a need for two kindergarten teachers due to lower enrollment at that grade level, plus a position opened due to Fifth Grade Teacher Nancy Geiger’s retirement. The outcome was to offer the fifth grade teaching position to Lane Flagen, who is willing to move up a grade level from teaching fourth grade, and to offer the fourth grade teaching position to Sharla Roloff, who is currently teaching kindergarten. Flagen and Roloff were both amenable to the changes.
Also in Pierce’s report was an update to the district’s three-year and five-year plans. North Dakota law requires school districts to regularly update three-year and five-year plans, and to keep them on file.  As part of this process, a public meeting must be advertised to discuss and receive public input. Pierce will prepare updated plans for review in April, with the public meeting to be scheduled in May.
“The plans include projections for demographics, student numbers, projections for financing, and staffing,” Pierce said. “They also look for what may be on the horizon for building improvements.”
Due to the availability of current enrollment numbers for lower grades, the plans can be pretty accurate from grades three or five on up. However, Pierce advised the board that it can be more difficult to project kindergarten through third grade, as these students are not yet in school.
Pierce also noted that, should there be any staff openings for the coming year, he will attend a teacher network fair March 30 hosted by Dickinson State University and the University of Mary, and that a hunter safety course will be held at the school from 6-9 p.m. April 4-12.
Secondary Principal Tracy Peterson combined his report with the written report provided by Bullinger, who was not able to attend.
Peterson noted that he and Bullinger participated in a presentation by the state Department of Public Instruction regarding opportunities provided by reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The state DPI is offering an alternative to schools who are currently on an improvement plan for not meeting the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) adequate yearly progress (AYP) requirements.

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