Hay Springs School Board welcomes two new members

Hay Springs School Board welcomes two new members

By Emily Summers

The Hay Springs School Board met for their regular monthly meeting on Monday, January 9. The meeting began at 6:44 p.m.

The call to order was given by George Clear as the regular presiding members were not present. Board members present at the time of the call to order included Greg Heiting and Mariam Kearns, as well as newly elected members, Justin Anderson, and Katie Stock. 

Many school staff were present at this meeting including, but not limited to, Superintendent George Clear, Principal Mark Hagge, Kim Marks, and Staci Wolken.  David Russell was not present at the beginning of the meeting and was excused by the Board. 

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the Board and all in attendance. 

The first order of business was for new members, Justin Anderson and Katie Stock, to take their Oaths of Office.

The Board then moved on to the reorganization items, which are necessary when adding new Board members. Greg Heiting was elected Board President, Justin Anderson was elected Vice President, David Russell was elected Board Secretary, and Meriam Kearns was elected Board Treasurer. 

The Board also reorganized its committees. 

Heiting was placed on the Finance and Building committee as well as the Grounds Committee. 

Anderson is now on Curriculum and Instruction. 

Russell is on Finance, Americanism, and Lister-Sage Committees. 

Kearns is on the Americanism, Curriculum and Instruction, and Lister-Sage Committees. 

Stock is on the Americanism Committee as well as the Committee Curriculum and Instruction. 

The new Board has several housekeeping motions to approve in accordance with regulations. 

These motions included Motions to Approve: Bookkeeper’s responsibilities, Agenda for January 9, 2023 meeting, Board of Education Code of Ethics, Conflict of Interest, Public Complaints, Deposits and Transfers, School Board Legal Counsel, Newspaper and Method of Publicizing Meetings, Superintendent as the Non-discrimination Compliance Coordinator and lastly the Principal and the Title IX Coordinator. All motions were approved with little discussion by the Board. 

Administrative Reports started with Superintendent Clear. Clear reminded the Board that they had only had four school days since the last Board meeting due to snow and the holiday season. 

He had drawn up a report regarding the school days missed by all the students. Clear also discussed the fact that only two more days could be missed without the school requiring make up days; which he proposed to put on Fridays. 

Clear also discussed the need for a change of this years calendar. Due to the snow the teachers missed a training opportunity, which can be made up by moving 4 hours from the last day of the administrative school year to February 14. This was approved by the Board. 

Hagge then gave the Principal’s report. He and other teachers are looking forward to learning more on Envision Math and Reveal Math, both of which have school visitations coming up. Depending on these visitations the school maybe buying new math books. 

Hagge thanked teachers, Kyli Heiting and Jessica Mintken, for their help with the PBIS quarterly assembly which was held on January 5. 

Kim Marx, Director of Student Services, gave her report by simply stating that work on grants and assessments continues. Clear added that he plans on attending a District XI meeting on winter activities soon. 

The Technology report (written by Larel Reimann, not in attendance) had no discussion by the Board as they felt his report was straightforward. 

Business Manager, Stacy Wolken, briefly stated that she had updated the summary of cash receipts last week. The Board agreed that there were no major changes and everything looked in order.  

There were no public comments at this time. 

The Board had several items under discussion during this meeting. Lister-Sage required no discussion at this time but there was an update regarding transportation and the new school bus. 

They are still working on getting the new electrical school bus. The biggest hold up they are facing right now is getting the charging station set up at the school and making sure they have the grants necessary to make everything happen smoothly. 

Clear also spoke regarding the Beef to School project. He was able to pick up the beef they ordered from Rapid City the Wednesday before Christmas. This filled the school freezers to roughly eighty percent capacity, which is enough to get the school through the end of the year. 

David Russell was then able to join the meeting in time to hear the update on school financials. 

There was only one item brought up during this section of the meeting. Clear had attended a budgeting and financial training for superintendents in Kearney on February 8. He plans to attend as many trainings like this as possible. 

The last item for discussion by the Board was the recent accreditation visit. This report was given by Jessica Mintken. 

In December, the External Team came and gave feedback regarding the last five years of school improvement goals. To review, the goals were that 85% of the students at the school meet growth or proficiency on their NWA scores and that the school would have all staff trained in the schools preferred teaching models. 

The External Team gave multiple points of feedback; some of which are highlighted here. They stated that they could tell that the school was committed to giving quality education. The team loved that the school did whole school celebrations; not just as a high school, middle school, or elementary school. They thought students and staff were very friendly and welcoming, as well as committed to achieving success. 

The External Team thought that the school could work on a few items over the next five years. 

First of these items included the school continuing to work systematically on curriculum and standards. They suggested that the school use new school approved standard templates, which has been provided by the state; along with narratives derived from data collected by the school, in order to see the reasons for changes in scores (like those caused by COVID). They also discussed in-service days having a clearer plan to increase productivity. 

Lastly, Mintken stated that to start the new five-year cycle, the school plans to work on a few things this year. These things include new goals, one of which will be an academic goal, and reviewing the school’s mission and vision.  

The end of the meeting was used voting on action items of which there was ten. 

The Board approved all ten items which are as follows: the Meeting Minutes for December 19 regular Board meeting, financial account summaries and balances in the amount of $92,364.15, January payroll liabilities amounting to $252,509.17, E-sports as an official school activity and the expenses of their recent travel amounting to $455.62, E-sport stipend of 5% base pay effective for the entire 2022-2023 school year, Motion of accept resignation of Linda Kudrna from the position of Activities Director with regret, effective the end of the 2022-2023 school year, change to the Board policy 705.02 (which changes the deposit of collected fees from school facilities to be deposited into the General Fund) and goal of completing review of Board policies within two years, make-up days on Fridays in the Spring, if necessary, advertisement of two-year term Hay Springs School Board opening, adjustment to 2022-2023 calendar, and moving half of the teachers work day to February 17 from May 25. 

With no further business the Board adjourned the meeting at 7:53 p.m. 

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 13, 2023.

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